Videogames aren’t much for quiet. They trend towards spectacle, to grandiose statements of scale, and the intense catharsis of violence. And sometimes that means we won’t hear a message unless its shouted at us, unless it roars above the noise ever present in this space. We prefer meaning to be blunt and dramatic.
So it’s easy to see how Even The Ocean, the second game from the creators of Anodyne, became lost at sea. The game’s core is in the subtle ways it reinforces its story with its puzzles, without a moment of combat in sight. But being free of combat doesn’t mean it’s free of violence. Here the violence is structural, rather than physical. It’s a story about who we harm on our climb up society’s ladder, and the ways we reinforce harmful structures to support ourselves. It’s a far cry from the cheeky surrealism of Anodyne, and a more measured story from a more mature team. Read the rest of this entry »