The Shattering

 

 

Genre:    Adventure 

Developer:  Super Sexy Software

Publisher:    Deck 13

Released:   April 21, 2020

Requirements (minimum):

 

  • OS: 64-bit Windows 7 or later 
  • Processor: Intel core i3-2120 (3.3 GHz) / AMD FX-4100 X4 (3.6 GHz) or better
  • Memory: 6 GB RAM
  • Graphics: GeForce GTX750 Ti / AMD Radeon R7 265 or better
  • Storage: 8 GB available space  
  • DirectX: Version 11 
  • Additional Notes: "Media Feature Pack for N versions of Windows 10" is required. If you have Windows 10 N instead of regular Windows 10 Home or Pro, install the Media Feature Pack from Microsoft

 

 

 

By flotsam

The Shattering

Super Sexy Software / Deck 13

Self-described as a psychological thriller, one in which you are thrust into the mind of John Evans and a struggle to piece together the fragments of your past and present, The Shattering has some admirable ambitions, but it left me feeling ambivalent about their delivery.

John has suffered an unidentified trauma, one that has caused the shattering in question. Through a number of therapy sessions, and guided by the voice of his doctor, the game unpicks and unpeels his memories to get to the heart of what happened. Three hours or so of therapy should see you through.

John's mind is a fractured place but not a complicated one. There are no difficult challenges to hold you up as you move through the sessions, and no real puzzles of any sort. You will essentially be looking for the next thing to click on to move forward, and often in a contained environment. On numerous occasions you will be in a room, and you won't be able to leave if you haven't worked through all the necessary triggers. While you might be able to open drawers or cupboards which have nothing relevant in them, generally whatever you need to find will be one of a very few hotspots, so again the challenge is minimised. The only real challenge comes in occasionally having to find e.g. the relevant item on a series of shelves.

Which is fine, because the point of the game is not those things.

The game plays in the first person, and the environments are predominantly black and white, save for some pertinent objects. It isn't graphically opulent, but it looks quite good and works rather well in terms of the narrative. Its construct is at times a high point; environments falling apart, expanses of nothing, and jittery and incoherent imagery reflect the state of John's mind.

The soundscape works well, as does the limited voice acting. You move with the W key and interact with the world with the mouse. That will predominantly be a left click, but there are some right "click and holds" that are required, one very early on that held me up for a while before I realised what I was meant to do.

You will have to find some items but just having them will enable you to move on, so there is not inventory as such. It autosaves as you go, and you just choose to continue from the menu.

I admire games that try and explore big subjects. Rescuing princesses is one thing, exploring mental illness is something else entirely. While the good things were good, the game as a whole though fell a bit flat.

I played on:

OS: Windows 10, 64 Bit

Processor: Intel i7-9700k 3.7 GHz

RAM: Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB DDR4 32GB

Video card: AMD Radeon RX 580 8192MB

 

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May 2020

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