I’ve never been one for Twin Peaks, I’m afraid, and I know Virginia gets compared to that a lot. It’s a small town with a cast of small town people. Weird stuff is happening. You’re an FBI agent. You drink coffee in the diner. You get it. And none of that is really what I like about Virginia.
Virginia is the only game I’ve played that really made me feel like I was playing a TV show (albeit one from a first person camera perspective, which is what TV shows and films do when they’re pretending to be a video game). It was jarring at first. I was toddling along towards a staircase, which lead to my new basement office, when suddenly the screen cut to me walking along the basement hallway to the office door. What? That’s not meant to happen! In games I’m meant to see a staircase and then walk up or down it! Transitions happen with loading screens! Silly Virginia.
Once you twig what it’s doing, though, it becomes the coolest part of the game. You can read it, analyse it, much more like you would a film or episode of an HBO TV series. Why did it cut there? What choices are they making in showing me this particular thing? You have less control in the game, but more freedom to over think.
One of my most favouritest bits is a drunken night out, cutting through different stages of the night and ending on top of a water tower. Lovely stuff.