Rezensionen zu „Dear Esther“ und „The Quiet Man“

„Dear Esther – Landmark Edition“ reviewed (Steam): ‚Being a journey through one man’s mind, the literary quality of „Dear Esther“ may still stand high above most other games – which is kind of sad actually. As sublime and socially never intimidating as it is, I just have to appreciate it – especially when compared to juvenile Zeitgeist efforts like „Gone Home“.
When it comes to this „Landmark Edition“, I already played it in late 2016 when it was first released on consoles (the Xbox version) – after having played the original Source game on my 2010 MacBook. Now, I could play it in 4K, and, after switching my main monitor, in 5K even.
Graphically it still holds up – even when compared to „Firewatch“, another favorite of mine (played the PS4 version excessively in early 2016), that does not technically benefit from higher resolutions. And even though I thought I knew „Dear Esther“ in and out, it’s just amazing how its tiny details and little discoveries can change my perception of the game after every playthrough. This time around I still „managed“ to all in all miss ten voice over points and two commentaries (I already listened to them on Xbox): the commentary mode is really very good, especially the insights by the composer who seems to be so passionate about this tile.‘

Und wer sich gewundert hat warum „The Quiet Man“ bei Square Enix nicht in deren Indie/Arthouse-Abteilung „Collective“ erschien: ‚What a pleasant surprise! „The Quiet Man“ is an interactive movie to die for.
Forget about the likes of „Her Story“ or „Contradiction“: similar to „Need for Speed“ (2015) and, in part, „Quantum Break“ (2016), „The Quiet Man“ uses today’s technology to its most effect when blending its real-time rendered gameplay with FMV cutscenes. Still, anyone who considered this to be a social awareness piece is thankfully dead wrong.

Like the one’s who thought Ubisoft’s „Watch Dogs“ may be serious about the politics of data security, or „Far Cry 5“ a concrete statement against Trump. No, „The Quiet Man“ is not really about the deaf and hard of hearing. And it’s not as sophisticated as „Hellblade – Senua’s Sacrifice“ either.
„The Quiet Man“ is not politically correct. In fact, it’s so far away from today’s usual mainstream video game fare – maybe because its „Max Payne“-style anti-hero does belong to an out-of-the-box demographic – that I’m even glad such a game could still get greenlit by a major publishing house.
It may even be considered „pornography“ by today’s standards. Anyone who has ever read the term „revenge porn“ should know what I mean by that phrase.

Yet the whole game is still meant to be played by first and foremost non-gamers, more so than even David Cage’s games: I would go so far and compare „The Quiet Man“ to Sony’s Playlink series of titles even – except „The Quiet Man“ uses a very basic traditional input method, rather than a smartphone device.
There are no collectibles or anything else that would make a typical video game out of it. There is no narrative exposition and the story is told through vignettes, and vignettes alone (anyone who liked the narrative style of „Homefront“ should be in heaven: overall really unpopular stuff, everywhere to look at – therefore the bunch of negative reviews).
So, this is no video game Fast Food regarding „immersion“ or „skills“. Instead, and after GOTY contender „Forgotten Anne“, Square Enix released an exploitative title which is truly diversifying the medium again. And not in the usual sense of course, I’m certainly looking forward playing the rest of its chapters.‘ (erneut auf Steam)

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