4 months ago
ATRI is a visual novel about a boy with a traumatic past in an apocalyptic world setting who has no will to live his life. ATRI is produced by Frontwing and Makura with both studios being very well known for their exceptional works in the visual novel industry. With many big names in the production staffs behind the game, ATRI is a visual novel that excels in both art and plot.
ATRI sets in a near future in which the world experiences an unexpected sea rise and causes most of human civilisation to be sunk under the sea including our main character, Ikaruga Natsuki's hometown. Not only does Natsuki lost his hometown, he is also has lost his mother and leg in an accident and inherited debt from his grandmother. Natsuki feels despair and has no hope left for the dying world until he meets ATRI, a humanoid robot who constantly brings brightness in to Natsuki's gloomy life.
The story itself is a masterpiece. Although it may present the classic theme of robots having emotions and human traits, it couldn't feel more unique. There are many plot twists in the game, some surprised me and some even makes me feel heartbroken that I went depressed for the rest of the day. Reading this has been a roller coaster of emotions for me, every line in the game felt very deep and meaningful that it is very obvious when something is being foreshadowed. But still, in the end, even coming in prepared, it still got me.
I have never seen any visual novel this beautiful before, every CG scenes are worthy of being my desktop wallpaper, the art is very high quality that it really feels that they clearly invested a lot into their art budget making the game's high price tag not questionable at all. Regardless of the apocalyptic state of the world the art still makes it beautiful anyway.
ATRI's soundtrack is very expressive, it greatly enhances the storytelling in the game, it does it job to fit the mood in every theme. Varying from its playful tone during its slice of life moments, its peaceful soothing melody when it is sad, or even intense and fast paced sounds when the situation is uneasy or in trouble. ATRI's opening is also one of the best openings I have ever heard, it really feels nostalgic for some reason.
Every character in ATRI is very unique in both characteristics and personalities. Our main character, Natsuki, has a traumatic childhood background that changes his world view entirely and causing him to be pessimistic. It is very rare to see a character disabled and pessimistic as we normally see them as being enviable and lucky all the time. ATRI's character is also very complexed, with many plot twists I have been having the wrong impression of her all the time but nevertheless, she is still lovely and adorable at the end of the day. Surprisingly, the sides character are also built very detailed, every single one of them has a different backstory of what they used to be and what they have lost during the incident.
ATRI has made me laugh and smile at many of its wholesome and cute moments, it also has made me cry and felt depressed at shocking heart breaking scenes. I never have felt so happy merely just by reading texts and looking at pictures, nor have I felt so sad in my life. ATRI has made me able to experience both at the same time, it will always be a game that I hold dear to my heart.
Overall, I highly recommend this to everyone especially those who are new to visual novels as this kind of feels like a bridge linking anime and visual novels together providing both anime and visual novel vibes throughout the game.