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Interactive book-teaser Sixteen Horses is a reminder of the ability of textual content • Eurogamer.web


What a novel technique to promote a novel. Sixteen Horses: Prologue is a brief interactive expertise designed to whet your urge for food for a model new crime thriller of the identical title, released only a few days ago, and written by recreation alumni Greg Buchanan, whose credit embody No Man’s Sky: Atlas Rises and Metro: Exodus. And although I say “whet your urge for food”, I realise it most likely will not do something of the type, as a result of it is fairly grim. Do not play it whereas consuming your lunch. That is a few discovery of useless issues.

The Prologue is not lengthy, and it is free, considerably clearly, and whereas it would not do something inherently shocking or thrilling, it reveals how essentially {powerful} a number of well-chosen phrases and slight interplay may be. There is a scrumptious second on this expertise, while you uncover the useless issues, the place you may select how one of many characters reacts to the grotesque sight. Is it disgusting or is it stunning? It is a stirringly darkish thought. And your act of fascinated about it: it is like somewhat poke at your creativeness. It is a tiny second of funding, an ever-so-slight leaning nearer to the story. And while you wrap it up in music and sound results, and a few good footage, it combines to robust impact. It is an effective way of setting the scene for the guide.

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None of that is new to video video games, after all. They have been taking part in round with textual content since they started. However that does not imply there’s nothing to be realized from Sixteen Horses: Prologue. The truth is, I might like to see video games use an identical form of sparsity within the quantity of phrases used. Too many, I consider, and also you dilute the ability of your phrases total.

However what Sixteen Horses additionally jogs my memory is how powerfully textual content may be wielded in the best palms. It jogs my memory so vividly of the dream-memory moments in Misplaced Odyssey on Xbox 360. They’re my reminiscence of that recreation, not the various hours of JRPG in between. These text-based recollections, these brief tales exploring the unhappiness of what it means to be immortal. The love outlasted, the relentless development of time. All merely instructed with properly chosen and properly positioned phrases, and a few slight animation for emphasis. I can really feel nostalgia stirring in me even now.

I do not need video games to lose that, or to miss how {powerful} textual content can nonetheless be. It is why a few of my favorite video games come from studios like Inkle, which actually appears to grasp that much less may be extra. Inkle’s Jon Ingold even stated as a lot whereas speaking to Aamir Mehar, in a bit about precisely this: the power of text in games. And what nice style in video games Mehar has! By the way, there are many different nice examples text-powerful indie video games – I do not need it to sound like Inkle is remoted right here. Bury me, my Love is fantastic. However what about in greater video games? Is well-wielded textual content solely a reminiscence for them now? I sincerely hope not.

The primary of many poignant dream recollections in Misplaced Odyssey on Xbox 360.

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