Time to necro this thread.
Finally got round to playing Thirty Flights of Loving and Gravity Bone last night. Well, I say ‘got round to’, more like ‘remembered to play’. I did Thirty Flights first, not knowing which order they came in, and was caught off guard by it all; it’s so lean and snappy. So many cool bits: the bold cut to the title screen, the introductions to the characters, being able to pick up a gun and ammo and never actually use them (I’ve wanted a game to do this for a long time now), the floating dancers at the wedding reception, the ‘escape’ sequence and the black and pink cop hold-up, the overall sense of place. I then played it again reading the developer’s commentary. Fascinating stuff that left me chewing over the chronology of the events, trying to piece the bits together. (Tom mentioned the Bernoulli principle in his Steep review which I only read a couple of days ago, and it was the first time I’d heard of it, and here I am, a day later, playing a game that weirdly explains it at the end! I’m still trying to work out the significance of it actually…) I also greatly admired the game for not trying to be a game, which is where I came unstuck with Gravity Bone.
The first mission, fine. Loved the tiny bug in the champagne flute. The second mission, oh god. Freezing and smashing not just one padlock per door, but two, then having to snap a photo of an (exploding?) bird while the door closed behind me each time–five times in a row–was just tedious. What’s worse, this was split up by a terrible and totally unnecessary platforming sequence. I died so many times (and I’ve usually no issues with first-person plaforming), and because I hadn’t saved the first time with no autosave in sight, I had to start again and do the doors and birds again. What irritated me more was that the vent to access the last two doors was outside a window and I had a hammer. Apparently hopping on to flagpoles made more sense. Speaking of sense: moments later I’d been shot multiple times and left for dead, then had to chase the shooter, still wielding a loaded gun, who–surprise!–shot me again when I caught her. Nice finale though.
I hate being crotchety about this kind of stuff but I’m realising that I’d rather have ‘no game’ than bad game, and I think Thirty Flights understands that. They’re both incredibly stylish and I love the confidence in their presentation and low-fi aesthetic.
Now I want to play Quadrilateral Cowboy and, kind of related, Jazzpunk and (deep breath) Dr. Langeskov, The Tiger, and The Terribly Cursed Emerald: A Whirlwind Heist. I have The Operative: No One Lives Forever too on my shelf, which I still haven’t played, and that looks a lot more attractive now…