Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.
I don’t want to say too much – the power of offbeat road trip adventure Kentucky Route Zero is in discovering its twisting tale and flabbergasting sights for yourself. Instead, I wish to make a plea.
KRZ is episodic, and at the time of writing ‘only’ four of its five Acts have been released, trickled out over a period of three years. Because of this, I have seen a number of people observe that they refuse to play the game until it is complete.
I do understand. We’ve been burned by episodic games that are not finished, and we’ve all known the frustration of cliffhangers that take years to be resolved. There is satisfaction in playing something from start to finish, rather than returning infrequently, confused or even less invested.
But KRZ is not like that. It has a story – indeed, it is a story – but not the kind of story that necessitates conclusion, or even answers. If anything, it’s too dense and overpowering to even be suited to playing in bulk. It works when it is a few hours every few months – letting those hours soak in, unwind in the brain, let their implications and their glorious environments really sink into memory. I remember so many scenes from KRZ because I have played it that way, whereas they would have fluttered away like leaves on the wind if I’d played even all we have to date in one surge.
Please. don’t avoid playing it because it isn’t ‘finished.’ Please, play it anyway, play it now. It is structured this way for a reason, and the structure suits it. I am not sat here awaiting Act VI because I thirst for resolution, but simply because I desire more Kentucky Route Zero. There will be such sadness once no more of it can be anticipated.