This is a game which is all about supernatural adventure. It revolves around some teenagers who get to disturb a mysterious and ancient thing within a remote island. It also has a relationship to horror films as we see on video. This is a game that is all about relationships, growing up and people and it uses that horror movie kind of set up so as to create something that is even greater.
The game play
You can play as Alex. Alex is a teenager with blue hair and she comes to the island, Edwards, with some of her friends as well as a step brother so as to explore, hangout and drink. There is a local myth here that says that if the radio is tuned to some frequencies while on the island, one can be able to pick up some messages which are ghostly. This is a legend that they want to investigate. The game is story driven and you will be able to unravel so many mysteries as things start taking a very dark turn.
The group separates in the island and it is up to Alex to locate her friends in this empty and eerily quiet island. You will be able to learn about the past of the island as you wonder all across it. There are signs that come with icons and when you tune the radio to some frequency, the islands history is revealed to you. This includes the story about a tragedy that happened during World War II.
There are lots of things you will discover in this town and they include an uninhabited town, a forest, a campsite and a military base that has been abandoned. The place isn’t that big but there are lots of buildings here and there.
Exploring the island can be done quite freely and sometimes you can actually choose the order in which objectives are tackled. When you separate from your friends, you can actually choose who you want to find first. This important decision determines the way the whole story will playout in the long run. All things that you do or say will greatly influence what your friends will think but you won’t get any warnings. It is important that you gauge what they will think based on their dialogue and actions.
The design is opaque and it simulates how subtle relationships are in the real world. If you see a thought bubble appear above the head of one of the characters, it means that there is some information that they are retaining about the face that appears in there.
Along with this whole relationship system that you see in the game, there is a dialogue system which is so natural than in any other game that you may have played. Most conversations in games we have played only sounds like there are two people who are taking turns so as to read out the lines. However, this is not soin Oxenfree. The lines seem to have an amazing flow and you can choose an answer as provided. Characters can even react if you do not answer it when you ignore them or walk away.
Voice acting and writing has been done in such a fantastic way and this makes the game a great virtual recreation of the real humans as they talk to one another. This is a great thing because there is a lot of dialogue in the game.
There are five characters in the game and they all have distinct and well-rounded personalities. Before the game takes the supernatural turn, the characters engage in a game called truth or slap. This is a scene that reveals so much regarding the cast and hat it is that actually makes them who they are. It is also a very interactive segment where one can play in different ways. There is Ren who likes Nona but asks that you do not say a word. This is one of the things you may choose to reveal or keep a secret. What you chose to do with this information will totally shape his opinion about you. Some achievements can mean that all your friends hate you by the time the game is concluding.
Other things about the game
Apart from the relationships between the characters, there isn’t so much more to look forward to in the game. It is really a game based on adventure kind of style and you won’t find real puzzles that you can talk about. It is a game about story and exploration. The story is very close to the history of the island as well as Alex’s past. The journey on Alex’s part is very emotional as she has to come face to face with some things that are very difficult. The story isn’t that long and you will have concluded it in around 6 hours or sometimes more if you choose to look doe some letters scattered in the island.
This is a game that is written and paced in a superb way and you may want to go at it a second tome so as to try out other paths and see where they lead.
Oxenfree can be touching and funny but not so much scary even though it is a horror game. The game is quite tame even though the characters and the story will leave you entranced. The atmosphere ad setting allows the game to tell a heartfelt and intriguing story instead of creating those cheap scares that you see in horrors as characters get picked one by one by an evil force.
Most recently, there are games that have risen which are very thoughtful and totally engaging with titles. The perception of what really constitutes a great game has been changed in us forever. These new games have been able to highlight some plays that were not so obvious in the past series regardless of how great the gameplay was. Oxenfree is one such game.
Even having said that, Oxenfree is not a game that everyone will be able to enjoy. When it comes to gameplay, you have a lot of limits since interactivity is kept very low. The characters are the most important part of the game and you will find yourself following the game play very obediently.
On the parallel fronts, Oxenfree is able to run two narratives at the same time. One narrative is situational while the other is social. The social one revolves around Alex and a past that is really deep and moving, her relationships, her friends and how it is all tied back to the past. At this moment as the adolescence issues and personal identity notions set in, the story stands at its very finest. All these things work so well together.
These are the moments that create the strongest features within the game and the limitations of the perspective and distanced style. The game is an emotional journey, thoughtful and totally clever. There are riles of every character that are complex and greatly interconnected.
When the game begins, the main focus is on social aspects where a clear sighted self-sense is revealed. However, the narrative switches its focus towards the island and the grander scheme and this is when the story starts getting a little complex. This actually makes it so engrossing and intriguing.
When we go back to the social aspect again, we can see where the narrative focus really lies. This is where one may get disappointed with the game since the two narratives do not seem to interact as we would expect them to. They feel distanced and separated in a way.
Regardless of the shortfalls of the game, it is a great success and this is perhaps what is most important. Characters together with voice acting and amazing scripts are so sincere and memorable which is a very laudable thing considering how short the game really is. The style of the game is quite distanced and this makes it superb in its own way. The technique making this game so beautiful and you feel an instant interaction with the paintings. This game remains a very memorable and engaging experience.
This game is rather short but despite this, the game has got that greatness element that really stands out. It is a great example of a storytelling video game. It is also an intriguing and beautiful game which draws you in from the beginning and you want to see just how far things will go. The end is rather confusing but it is a game that is worth playing.