Here we are again: the thread where we discuss the games we are playing in 2024

I think I’m liking 1000xRESIST a little more than @Magnanimous, but I also have only played about two hours. And finding it really interesting might be more accurate to say at this point. I don’t know that it’s wholly successful in the things it does so far, but it has a lens so widely outside of “typical white man video game” (even in the typically less white man indie space) and it’s taking so many swings that I’m really enjoying poking at it

I don’t really get the NieR comparisons I keep seeing – I guess you’ve got your questions of human/human replica identity, but that’s such a worn sci-fi road that it’s not what’s defining 1000x for me as yet. This feels way more like the wildest episode of art school gen Z Star Trek vis a vis Killer7, but the storytelling and concept is so lateral, that it feels more of its own identity. I knew we’d be getting an abstract, possibly pretentious, identity-drained clone society story, but gesturing at immigrant diaspora, Hong Kong, pandemics and more menstruation talk than I’ve ever seen in a video game’s first hour has me really kind of into it

Again, I’m just breaking the seal. When I first broke it, I thought, “I don’t know about this” while wandering around chapter one, but it’s been a real grower for me. So far I can only describe the highly obstructed/abstracted narrative as “what if tiny alien pandemic-apocalypse driven clone cult society sprang from the deity of an awful North American teenage girl fixated on a potentially queer and highly toxic high school relationship with a bullied Chinese immigrant.”

The tone is mostly what doesn’t quite get there, but even the not getting there isn’t bad. The extremely low-key voice acting feels really driven by young creators moving away from the stylized voice acting that now sounds “natural” to us by sheer force of ubiquity, and that mostly works really well, except the budget can’t ensure that every performance is on-point, so that gets odd. That oddness means that the contrast between techno-religious future speak and regular ol’ high schooler talk isn’t really as clear as it wants to be – but even then you get wonderful touches like your AI companion being voiced by a very realistic sounding child, which makes every exchange kind of fascinating. The abstraction generally dodges pomposity, but then you’ve got a few overly on-the-nose moments of being “in” a memory about music being represented by big floating instruments. And that’ll float you into some genuinely visually striking moments that not only keep coming, but keep changing (shades of El Shaddai being fresh on my mind). So the swings that it’s taking don’t always connect and I have no clue how it’ll stick the landing – or how much I’ll care about the landing so long as it remains interesting enough to fumble – but I’m having what I’d call an extremely worthwhile time so far