Probably everyone heard this expression: "The game is a work of art." The possibilities of modern graphics and design allow you to create projects that are not much inferior to the more familiar forms of this very art - books and films, and thanks to interactivity developers can reach and altogether inaccessible to filmmakers and writers. Unfortunately, at times many people understand the phrase about "work of art" too literally and forget about that very interactivity. So there are games that can boast of beautiful graphics and exciting storyline, but they represent, in fact, the same film, the gift that one or more characters can be controlled - there is at least some way to influence the course of events. Fullbright
Studio, which four years ago has already pleased all fans of adventure quests gorgeous Gone Home , never concealed that their new game will be another similar "walk simulator." However, this genre, despite all the simplicity of the gameplay, is not at all deprived of examples that can be called real masterpieces. Tacoma at least waved at the laurels of the very Gone Home . Did it work out?
The near future. Humanity with all its might live in the Solar system - flights beyond our planet have long become commonplace, in space people work and rest. "Tacoma" - a small logistic station, located in the orbit of the Moon. The crew, or rather, the service staff, is six people and one artificial intelligence. Work in interplanetary space differs little from the modern office routine - meetings, reports, plans for the future, Friday, marking the end of the working week ...
So it was on "Tacoma" - for the time being. For unknown reasons, the station is out of order (and any malfunction on the orbit, despite the routine work that has become routine, still remains an emergency) - and there was no trace of the former serenity.
However, at the time the game began, it was all over. The main heroine is a hired employee of Venturis Corporation, owner of Tacoma, arrives at the station a few days after the crew last contacted. Its task is to extract information about the last days of work, recorded by the airborne AI "Tacoma" and transmit it to their employers. It is clear that something has happened in the near-moon orbit - either an accident or sabotage, but we do not know anything about this yet. Actually, the goal of the game is to find out exactly what happened to the station and its crew.
Contemplative-research activity assumes that it will not be possible to change the history that has already become history. The forces of the main character can only figure out what happened a few days earlier. We are assisted in this by local AI with the uncomplicated name "One" and the automatic information storage system operating at the station. Numerous sensors and cameras not only transmit the readings of devices and devices, but also allow recording the movements and conversations of the crew. Then these records can be reproduced - the actions of people in the form of holograms are projected in the same place where they moved and communicated in the past.
This allows the main heroine to study the available recordings to trivia - in any saved place and time, with the possibility of pause and rewind. In addition, if someone from the crew at some point of the record connected to a personal communicator, it is possible to read this data. And there are a lot of useful things - logs of chats, letters, articles on the Net and other such trifles. A lot of information can be obtained from ordinary conversations, and if something is not clear, then it is not a problem to rewind the recording and listen (and also view) the desired piece again. Finally, the study of things left on the station - notes, letters (this time quite traditional, paper), and even some trinkets, can also provide food for thought, and sometimes it is a source of very specific and valuable information.
To wander around the station, listen, read, solve unpretentious puzzles (as a rule, this is a selection of the code number on locks or terminals) - that's all that a player can do here.
It is clear that in this genre in the first place will be two factors: the design of locations and, of course, the plot, as well as the ability to correctly present it. With the unearthly (we are in the lunar orbit) beauty in Tacoma everything is not as good as we would like. From the seen the spirit is not exactly capturing - and the reason is not only a fairly average technological level of graphics. In front of us is just an ordinary base in space with an ordinary crew. Neither you have any amazing designs, nor magnificent kinds of space or the Moon - if you do not notice the starry emptiness behind the windows in the rooms and the lack of gravity in the central module, then we have the typical office of a small firm. If exactly this kind of effect of everyday life the developers wanted to achieve, then honor to them and praise, they achieved their goal. The conquest of the cosmos is not perceived as a feat, but as an ordinary work.
On the other hand, there are small things that the eye clings to and which make the world of the game completely unlike our present reality. The design of some simple things, like a roll of an unusual triangular shape, or dry official data about the protagonists (the passport of a citizen of a certain California Republic, the one with the "bearish" flag, how do you?) Create a picture of the world of the future in which you begin believe. Most importantly, this is done unobtrusively, as in a good science fiction book, where the author manages to do without huge references explaining every detail of the work. Separately it is worth noting quite working QR-codes - a trifle, but nice.
The world of the game turned out to be whole and looks quite reliable. And this is not a pure "sai-fi" - cyberpunk here also found a place. Powerful corporations, automation of everything and everything, information as the main value - all this on the spot. Finally, the future shown in the game will obviously appeal to the fans of SJW - the fact that developers are unevenly breathing to all sorts of minorities, we also know from Gone Home . Here and here: the blurred boundaries between "gender", same-sex marriages, the crew of "Tacoma", as if consisting of representatives of almost all races on purpose, everything as we like it (or not). For fans of exoticism, the movement for the rights of the AI was reserved - so that in the tolerant future it was for the sake of what to fight against the opinion of the majority.
But as for the plot itself, things are far from being the best. History is trivial, there is not enough drama or depth. It even "zaspoylerit" does not work, if you would like - there is nothing to tell, so everything is simple.
The ending turned out predictable and very fresh, the characters, despite all their diversity, can not surprise, either. Family problems, greed, throwing between a sense of duty and fear for one's life, ambition and sorrow for the lost loved ones - the standard presentation of the usual dramas, which is unlikely to surprise a modern player.
In the end, this kind of primitivity and all the spoils - until the very end waiting for some unpredictable plot twist, but the events unfold exactly as you expect. The denouement, if desired, can be unraveled almost in the middle of the passage, which, by the way, takes a few hours. And this is even if you do not miss a single dialogue and try to learn all the available items and records.
The only bad thing is that the game is short :) that's why it's not a 10 imo.