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    jp's Here They Lie (PS4)

    [October 31, 2017 11:22:59 AM]
    I picked this up the last time I was in Europe - I don't think I've seen a retail copy here in the US.

    I played the first two "chapters" using the PSVR and I had to take a break after the first chapter...and a longer break after the second one. I was just getting incredibly nauseated. It's a tricky sensation because combining VR with an unsettling creepy horror experience sounds like a recipe for disaster.
    Fortunately I was able to finish the game a week later without the VR. The experience is quite diminished, but at least for me, still interesting and engaging enough that I wanted to see how it would wrap up. Overall, it was an unsettling experience with some amazing world design and visuals that I should perhaps experience in VR, but were still breathtaking even on the single flat screen. Here's a couple of additional disconnected thoughts though...

    a. I'm not really sure what it "all meant" - I might have to ask the team or spend some time googling. It's more confusing to me because there's a temporal disconnectedness that confuses me. I'm guessing that might be the point...but here goes.. The game is (mostly) in black and white and the characters and initial places look very 1920's - but you have a flashlight and answer payphones that are much later than that. Also, every now and then you find photographs where you hear a voice-over - and these feel very current (in fact one mentions EVE online? or some other video game?). So, I was very confused by WHEN the game takes place.

    b. There's a scene with a giant businessman who is...made of fire(?) that was absolutely amazing - you're riding a subway train and he's walking along and towering over the city. Towards the end there's a few other scenes - including a canoe ride into a sort of kaleidoscopic experience of architecture unfolding in front of you that was truly magnificent.

    c. The game pulls a few unsettling architecture/spatial tricks every now and then that are really effective in unsettling and confusing you. For example you might turn around and now there's a wall behind you - or you might decide to double back to take another path but still end up in the same place. Or there's a few moments where a hallway "breathes" and looks like it's waving and pulsating. Neat stuff that I'd seen earlier, but used quite effectively and sparingly.

    d. There's lots of collectibles - notes and pictures. But also spare batteries. I never "ran out" and there's no inventory - so I wonder why these were even put in there in the first place? It was extra creepy when you were running in the dark and were trying to turn on the flashlight only to have to wait for the "replacing the batteries" animation - but the collecting seemed superfluous.

    e. The ending was bizarre - I first chose "save", and it's like everyone is an extraterrestrial? The "mirror you" goes back to earth? What? The "not save" is perhaps less interesting since the screen goes black and you get credits... So, I have no idea what that was all about.

    f. I'm amazed by how small the team was and how long the credits where...so many publisher-side people...
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    Status

    jp's Here They Lie (PS4)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Monday 23 October, 2017

    GameLog closed on: Tuesday 31 October, 2017

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    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

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