If you have a new account but are having problems posting or verifying your account, please email us on [email protected] for help. Thanks :)

Kentucky Route Zero

  • 29-01-2020 1:43am
    Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 28,002 CMod ✭✭✭✭ johnny_ultimate

    It's finally done! Seven years after Act 1, the whole thing is out - and has broken free from PC and is now also on consoles. And it's very special indeed.

    I don't want to say too much about the game, because it's quite hard to describe. It's a straightforward point and click game on the surface, where you poke around at environments and converse with characters. No puzzles really, although you do need to do some basic navigation down the titular Route Zero (and more routes beside as the game progresses). But it's special because of the atmosphere: all surreal setpieces, stunning art design, beautifully diverse soundtrack, and large doses of magical realism. The substance is there - it's a game very keen to poke at and challenge and reflect aspects of modern society, something that's baked right into its offbeat Americana visual design (the iconic 'Equus Oils' opening setting is like a long-lost Great American Painting). But really above all you want to get lost in its hazy, enigmatic atmosphere.

    I also don't want to say too much because it's been a long time since I played the first couple of acts - somewhat appropriately, it's the unique vibes of playing it that I remember more than all the individual details (some incredible locations and moments aside). But playing through Act V today after a lengthy wait ('last played 2016') was hugely rewarding.
    It's around an hour long, and surprises from the off in terms of mere mechanics as you start circling around a village map moving time gradually forward as you see events unfold

    It builds slowly towards one of the most rewarding endings in all of gaming - this beautiful, sad thing that caught me off guard in a way that was impressive even for a game that has lots of striking moments scattered over its previous acts. I was, to be honest, rather shaken by it in the best way:
    these mesmerising, melancholic final moments with these lost souls... as the music hits, the sun sets and these ghostly apparitions slowly drift into view

    I don't think Kentucky Route Zero is for everyone. It is slow; it goes for mood above obvious, tangible meaning; and plot-wise it drifts and meanders relentlessly. But equally I'm of the camp who thinks that's what makes it so special - a game that reaches for the intangible and the mysterious, and more importantly (for me anyway) manages to grasp that. Plus, you just gotta love that art design.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,894 ✭✭✭ Canis Lupus

    I thought it was a load of pretentious ****.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,876 ✭✭✭ OptimusTractor

    There are 2 types of game reviews ^^^^

  • Registered Users Posts: 28,662 ✭✭✭✭ Zero-Cool

    Bollox, i was just looking this up yesterday to see what it was out and the first link i found said 'sometime in 2020' so didn't think they're was a date. Definitely gonna give this a try.

  • Registered Users Posts: 28,662 ✭✭✭✭ Zero-Cool

    Only started Act 1, Scene 3 and already hooked. Really bad idea to start this so late, could easily just stay up playing it.

    Also, the multiplayer instructions are amazing.

  • Registered Users Posts: 28,662 ✭✭✭✭ Zero-Cool

    Well episode 2 dragged a bit for me and lost my attention that the 1st ep grabbed. Will see how ep 3 is but a bit deflated after 2.

  • Advertisement
  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 28,002 CMod ✭✭✭✭ johnny_ultimate

    The game is slow, and do not expect anything like a straightforward or traditional style of video game storytelling - it does though IMO offer immense rewards for patience! That said, having played a good chunk of the episodes with years-long gaps, I couldn't tell you how the pacing works for playing them all together.

    It's been so long since I've played them I can't remember how all the scenes break down in the first three acts. But rest assured I do recall many of the best moments being in 3 and 4 (the latter being by far the longest of the acts IIRC). And 5 is just all-round fantastic. The mini-episodes are also great for helping break up the main story and introducing some of the key themes, characters and ideas in bitesize chunks.