Open Road: Kentucky Route Zero Act III Out Now

By Adam Smith on May 6th, 2014 at 6:00 pm.

An old time radio crackles into life, the dial set between nowhere in particular and somewhere else entirely. The voice that speaks could warble with the best of them but it catches on the hooks and snags of age. The accompaniment is the picking of a banjo and the wail of a harmonica. A boot thumping against a dusty floorboard, that’s percussion. This is how we learn that Kentucky Route Zero Act III has been released.

I actually heard about it through Twitter, at which point I loaded up my copy of the game (through Steam) and saw that the new act is already available to play, right from the menu. Guess I know what I’m doing tonight.

If you haven’t already, this might be a good time to check out The Entertainment.

One piece that grew larger in scale than we expected it to is the interlude between acts II and III, “The Entertainment.” But even though it demanded a lot more of our time and attention that we anticipated, we’re very happy with how it came out. “The Entertainment” is at least as important a component of the Kentucky Route Zero project as any other, which should become more clear when Act III comes out.

Without getting into any spoilery detail, Act III is *significantly* more involved than the first two acts. We knew this coming into it, based on our narrative outline of the game. There are also components of it that grew in scale beyond our expectation, but we feel they’re worth the time and effort.

I have a feeling KRZ might be our game of 2014 if all goes well with the remaining chapters. You never know!

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21 Comments »

  1. The Sombrero Kid says:

    I just got round to playing the first 2 parts at the weekend. Nice vibe but I hope it starts making sense soon.

    • Ross Angus says:

      I hope it doesn’t wrap up everything in a neat parcel. For me, KRZ is like David Lynch: you don’t go in expecting a structure of clockwork precision. It’s a bunch of extraordinary ideas and images.

      With a show like Lost, I think you can reasonably expect some kind of narrative closure (I didn’t stick around for the end). But KRZ is … special.

      • captain nemo says:

        This

      • The Sombrero Kid says:

        Yeah I agree with this, although, I’d prefer less Erazorhead and more Twin Peaks personally.

      • Muppetizer says:

        So much of the narrative is left for the player to define and contextualise that I think it would be a pretty big problem if they DID try to neatly wrap it up all up. Like you’re saying, it would definitely lose something special in the process.

      • The Random One says:

        I was actually sad when I heard the devs describing the game as a “ghost story”, because it meant the first act made TOO much sense. For instance, Weaver Marquéz comment about how she and her cousin “were the same age, or at least used to” I found fantastic the first time, but recontextualized as a ghost story it’s just “oh she died and stopped aging”. I’m glad Act II stepped up the weird and restored my faith. BEARS.

  2. perrypanic says:

    Kentucky Route Zero has always tempted me, but never enough to lure me into a purchase. Now it seems so far in that I may as well wait for it to be finished.

  3. Ostymandias says:

    I have only played up to the beginning of the second act, but is indeed so far great. Bureau of Reclaimed Spaces… the devs must at some point have been architects, students of architecture or at least in close proximity to that environment. It is so full of references to contemporary architectural discourse that I almost think you have to be a student of it to enjoy it to its fullest.

    • clever nickname says:

      These two articles (containing spoilers) talk about the art, themes, and inspiration for the first two acts. I hope the author is planning to one for III. Act I Act II

      • Jambe says:

        Wow, those are excellent; thanks for the links.

        I wish the comments had spoiler tags so I could ramble about some cool stuff in Act III.

  4. Diziet Sma says:

    Wonderful news, thank you for the heads up. I shall be doing the same soon, if not tonight. Thoroughly enjoyed a lot of aspects of the first two parts even if I can’t piece it together just yet.

  5. DrollRemark says:

    Yay!

  6. caff says:

    Stonking news! I think I might have to play acts I and II again to pick it up again though.

  7. faelnor says:

    This was a wonderful act but it certainly wasn’t ‘*significantly* more involved than the first two acts’. Or maybe they meant from a developer perspective? In that case, yes it must have been, definitely. Anyway I’m just being anal. Go play it now.

    • Canadave says:

      I think they meant from a dev perspective, yeah. Some of the locations and set pieces in this act must have been tough to get right.

  8. The Sombrero Kid says:

    Fuck, it’s really good.

  9. DrollRemark says:

    Well, that was quite something.

  10. realmenhuntinpacks says:

    As ever, I await completion. I flippin bloody ruddy love the old calculator-games, me, but imagine if Monkey Island had made you wait six months every other hour. This is truly the creative renaissance of games wot are good and that, but I’m almost entirely fed up with early access and general un-finished-ness. This has always looked absolutely beautiful and I will certainly get involved once it’s done, and undoubtedly a whole slew of stuff exists only because of this sort of model, but as a decadent late-capitalist consumer – ontologically separate from a dude-wot-buys-games – I’m farage-ically incensed by this piecemeal game drip-feed euro-centric ah to be honest I’m a bit pissed and have forgotten my point

    • Urthman says:

      My plan is to go back and replay all the previous chapters each time a new one comes out.

      • DrollRemark says:

        See, I thought that would be a good idea, but then I also wanted to power through to the end in one night. Which I did, but I found towards the end of Act 3 I was getting tired, and just wanted to complete the game, instead of meander around, exploring. Which is pretty much the biggest sin you can commit when playing KRZ.