Complimenti, Bella Atmosfera: Forgive Me

I’m firing blind to some degree here, as 1) the trailer’s in Italian 2) the website’s poorly translated and 3) the demo they sent me a) isn’t made public yet and b) doesn’t include much more than going for a walk.

However 1) That and the cheesy music reminds me of Inspector Montalbano 2) well, this one’s no bastion of English grammar either 3) a) most of it’s in the below video b) I like going for a walk.

While Dear Esther, Proteus and Gone Home comparisons are likely unavoidable, Forgive Me is more precisely a semi-open world adventure game about suicide, mystery and a spooky, possibly mystical tower in some very pretty but bleak countryside that reminds me a little of Morrowind.

And that probably makes it sound as though I understand what the game is about. I don’t! This is all I know:

“Forgive Me focuses on the story of five suicides that have made ??the ultimate gesture of love, to despair, to racial prejudice, for heroism and ask for forgiveness. Every suicide, lived at different times, however, has a feature that is common to others. But to discover this mystery, the player will have to break down the boundaries of Death and really know what lies beyond the light. A journey that will change the fate of your own soul.

The game, an adventure open world will be based on the solution of a single quest to solve to enter the interior of the immense tower that dominates the game’s world. This precluded the souls who had just arrived, will be opened thanks to the awareness of the player to discover why his soul is tied to that of five other suicides that preceded it. Forgive Me has been in development for several months and will be available for both PC and Mac platform, at the beginning of 2014.”

Um. K.

I have played the aforementioned demo, which should be made public soon, but it didn’t further illuminate me much and there isn’t much more to it than nosing at some nicely-realised terrain, with rain and plains and trees and hills and some scraps of semi-incomprehensible plot. A lot like this, in fact:

The first YouTube comment on that is “Complimenti, bella atmosfera”, which is a truly wonderful phrase. The language of romance indeed. I shall be appropriating that myself for future usage.

The demo is a lovely if currently almost pointless experience, rich in the tranquillity of nature-gazing and technically proficient enough to have me interested in this game despite the language barrier issue.

Forgive Me is the first game from the anachronistically-named Gangster Games, based out of Bologna in Northern Italy. Speaking of Italy, here’s that Montalbano-evoking story trailer too:


  1. Prolar Bear says:

    I thought Montalbano was only known here in Italy.

    • Thurgret says:

      The BBC showed an English language version of the TV series.

    • Shuck says:

      I’ve seen the Italian television show, subtitled, on American public television as well. (And the prequel spin-off show, too.) The books have sold, I understand, extremely well in eight different languages, so it’s not surprising the television show is getting around.

      • Prolar Bear says:

        Well yeah Camilleri should be a pretty good writer. Glad the series got some visibility, didn’t expect that.

    • Darth Gangrel says:

      In Sweden, we subtitle every foreign show and Montalbano has been on TV on several occasions. It’s one of many of its kind that now and then airs on Swedish television. We really like those kind of programmes.

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      keithzg says:

      Most of the books have been translated into English, and I picked up the first one (The Shape Of Water) some time ago in a local bookstore.

  2. pollosaurus rex says:

    Just registered to say this: I am Italian and that “story trailer” is naff as hell.

  3. Cheese Wold says:

    I bet at the end you find out that you were dead all along, then you wish you were really dead; in real life, for real.

    • Kitsunin says:

      Um, it sounds like you were dead all along, but that’s the premise right from the very beginning.

  4. Pich says:

    Basic rundown of the stroy trailer: Guy gets drunk and run over a homeless man but doesn’t remember it, then he does and becomes suicidal.

    • Ergates_Antius says:

      Damn right too. Bloody drink drivers.

    • CookPassBabtridge says:

      Dear Esther was about a drunk driver killing an extremely sympathetic character also. Interesting. Depending on the playthrough, I could never tell if the narrator finally admits to himself it was him who was the drunk driver, and not his friend Paul, or if it was indeed Paul behind the wheel. I liked the idea of a psychotically induced denial aspect.

      Still, suicide is also the end point of Dear Esther. Maybe this is a new genre – SuiSims?

      • Ergates_Antius says:

        Maybe it’s a subtle attempt to normalise the idea that drink drivers should commit suicide.

  5. Talesdreamer says:

    As an Italian, I’m a bit ashamed by this. I mean, it’s really so difficult to properly translate a trailer and a website? The game may be neat, but this sort of presentation completely ruins it.

    About the plot, the trailer tells (in an incredibly corny italian) the story of a writer. One night he went to a pub to see an old friend, walked off completely drunk, and did something he doesn’t really remember the morning after.
    He’s tormented by nightmares during the following months, until he finally understands: that night, he accidentally ran over a man, killing him.
    He decides to kill himself, full of shame and regrets. But since he’s the one telling the story, it’s clear he’s not really dead.

    • Velko says:

      I’m a non-native English speaker myself, and I have to wonder how this sort of thing (extremely poor translation) can even happen nowadays. Especially in the gaming world, we tend to have some kind of internet friends all over the globe, and there’s always someone who is either an English native or speaks good English. So why don’t people let someone else check their translations? It’s terrible marketing! That quote in this article is basically a sales pitch. How the hell do you think it’s going to help when it doesn’t make any sense to most people?

      Now, I’m not saying that everyone should speak perfect English (I know I don’t!), but when you try to market something in English for real, you just have to do better. And it shouldn’t be that difficult; hell, even here in these comments we already have a bunch of Italians whose English clearly is a lot better than the dev’s.

      • Tafano says:

        Indeed, this description is quite embarassing.
        It’s a shame because the trailer does look interesting.

        Italian devs, if you’re reading this, next time you need a translation give me a shout, I volunteer to give you an hand.
        Davvero, sembra fatta con Google Translate, non ci facciamo bella figura! :)

        • CookPassBabtridge says:

          Well, we’ve been murdering your food for the last three decades, so its only fair if you want to maul our language

  6. Pich says:

    Also, damn. I didn’t know there were so many italians on RPS.

  7. Hanamigi says:

    Let’s see how many ashamed italians will start popping out of nowhere.

    • Prolar Bear says:

      So far it’s four, including me. Plus I know my cousin is lurking around here. No doubt he’s ashamed too.

    • Arcanon says:

      And five! Reporting for duty…

      But really this is embarassing. That’s what happens when schools schedule a mere 2-3 hours a week for English lessons.

      I’m having a hard time understanding that website, broken English and all…he didn’t even bother to implement the Italian localization -_-

      If it’s another pretentious Dear Esther thinghy, I’d rather watch Ashley Bitch do it!! link to

    • 0positivo says:

      Italian? Yes

      Ashamed? Hell no
      These guys are making something that just got picked up by a renowned international gaming news outlet. And managed to interest them
      Not many around here can say they succeded in that, despite mountains of money spent on scriptwriters and English Majors

      • Prolar Bear says:

        I’m not really ashamed, to be honest. More like a bit disappointed.
        The “story trailer” really does look (and sound) hammy and corny and clichè ridden. I hope the dev team manages to improve under that aspect; no point in criticizing a game before it’s out, it’s just that it doesn’t give the best first impression.

        • Dorga says:

          It’s always nice to see a game from Italy. Besides Anna, The Town of Lights and Assetto Corsa, this is the only one to get a bit of attention in quite a while.

          • Prolar Bear says:

            I agree, since there’s not much of a games industry here. But still, I do hope this game doesn’t end up garnering attention for the wrong reasons.

    • Fenix says:

      I am not Italian but I spent the first 15 years of my life in Italy. Does that count?

    • Tuco says:

      You can count me in.

  8. Dickling says:

    I’m italian and I lurked this project on IV since its inception. It seemed to be interesting at first, but then its mantainers showed lack of competence as well as of common sense, denaturalizing the project as they believed they found better ways to be under the reflectors (like that laughable “this project is not a game but the collection of feedbacks we get as we develop it” or the dozen changes in direction, including some side brand comic, vacant as the game itself). The arrogance of some in the team in not accepting the feedbacks they asked for themselves, and the childish excuses for poor writing/translation honestly made me quit taking a look at the project long before i even hored about bad stories from bad commenters in their thread. I don’t know if to be ashamed or disappointed, but I honestly hope this goes down the drain, ’cause I feel some chunky Unity demo filled with bought artworks is not representative for Italian Indie scene.

  9. Tuco says:

    Let’s stress that the problem here is not just poor translation.
    The writing is genuinely cringe-inducing and comically bad even in the Italian version.