Dec 16, 2010In the end, despite the inkling that the designers had a couple of good ideas rattling around in there somewhere, Winter Voices simply fails to be much fun. Perhaps later iterations in the series will polish the AI, make combat more exciting, and fix the writing… but we doubt it.
Generally favorable reviews- based on 27 Ratings
Jul 27, 2011First off, I'll start by saying I created an account here specifically to counter those "critics" low review scores. If I can take a quickFirst off, I'll start by saying I created an account here specifically to counter those "critics" low review scores. If I can take a quick second to say the representatives of gamezone and games radar wouldn't know a creative game with a well made story if their life depended on it. I'm sure they suffered massive brain damage from childhood so I'll leave them alone for now. I'm angry at them (and myself) for passing on this game at first because those guys made the metacritic score so crappy, I've learned my lesson on passing up games from that arbitrarily pointless score alone.
Alright, on to my actual review. First off, I'll talk about the story. It's amazing. I haven't found myself so interested in an RPG's story in a long time. The protagonist is one of the most relatable characters I've ever played as (I should mention that I'm a guy, so it's not just because she's one of the few female characters in a game world that isn't there just for nerds to fap to). The dialogue is well written for the most part, but occasionally it gets a little wonky. That's to be expected though, it was originally written in French and translated to English, so it's forgivable. Also, some of the characters' dialogue (mostly the enemies) is written sort of like poems, which MAY annoy some of you (I'm certainly no fan of poems, but it didn't detract from my enjoyment of the story one bit).
The gameplay is very original, I can honestly say I've never played an RPG quite like this. Pretty much every aspect, from the battles to the stats and abilities are a means to drive the story forward. For much of the game, you are not able to directly damage your enemies, which means you'll have to run from them while using abilities and accomplishing a goal outlined in the beginning of the battle. The battles, at least for the first few chapters, are mostly metaphorical. You spend the first episode battling your inner demons while later episodes introduce "real" threats. The battles are admittedly slow paced (especially the first few hours. It gets better once you talk to the Volva. I played until right before that part and wasn't sure on whether I enjoyed the gameplay so I put it away for a week or two, but the story was compelling enough to warrant another look) and some of the battles can be a little boring (I'm talking about you, "Survive X amount of turns") but if you have something to read (which I highly recommend for the first few hours, and for a lot of Episode 1) for the more boring battles it's hardly noticeable. Also, once you make it to Episode 2 the more boring battles from the first chapters are practically non-existent. The stats and abilities are impressive in how they tie in with the theme of the game, and actually help to drive home the story simply by existing. The abilities are extremely extensive, there are well over 100 different abilities to choose from to create a character to suit your playstyle. All in all, while not perfect (and occasionally frustratingly difficult), the gameplay is enjoyable. Also I should point out that they're working on a big patch that will most likely fix many of the big complaints regarding the slow pace and the difficulty of certain levels, so some of the negative points I made could become irrelevant in a few weeks. The background art is fairly detailed, it has a nice hand painted feel to it. The soundtrack is fairly extensive, it's a little bit hit and miss on a few tracks but there wasn't any track that was particularly annoying for me, they all fit the theme of the game very well and for the most part they're enjoyable. Also, they add new tracks as you go through the episodes, which is a nice touch. The character models themselves could use just a bit more detail, but they're not half bad either.
Now for the negative bits. It's buggy. Not so buggy as to become unplayable, but it will occasionally crash after playing extensively. Because of auto-save, that's normally not a problem but if it happens during a battle (which it has for me once) it can be annoying to say the least. Also, there's this annoying glitch during the third episode where if you use the ability fairy tale while a Din is on the map, they will randomly kill you with a 100,000 damage attack. Hopefully that will all be fixed with the latest patch. Also, there's no way to change the camera angle. For the most part it's not necessary but on certain levels it can be an annoyance. tl;dr: Winter Voices, while it has it's flaws, is an amazingly fresh take on the RPG genre with original (albeit slow paced) gameplay and a well written and engaging story the likes of which haven't been made in a long time. I applaud beyondthepillars for making such a uniquely original game, and it deserves more love than it gets. Beat the prologue, if you like it try the first 2 episodes(the episodes are shorter and they get better as you go along)… Full Review »
Dec 9, 2010Yes, the Game has Bugs, and yes the Engine is not the best and yes, it's a very slow-paced Game. But the Story and the progress of theYes, the Game has Bugs, and yes the Engine is not the best and yes, it's a very slow-paced Game. But the Story and the progress of the Subconscious of the Character, makes this Game on the one side Special and Innovative and on the other addictive, because you have the Feeling that the Heroine is your own build of a Human. Give the Game a chance, you won't regret it, if you can overlook some shortcomings in Games.… Full Review »
Jun 20, 2013This game is a thoughful and strategic delve into a depressed girl's mind. Basically, her dad's dead and her mother missing or something, andThis game is a thoughful and strategic delve into a depressed girl's mind. Basically, her dad's dead and her mother missing or something, and she is slowly going bonkers.
Right off the bat, the games turns super depresso sad Twin Peaks, and you get a taste of combat: Escape from the blobs. Yes, mostly blobs, that's what the enemies are.
And these blobs are really dumb they harrass you with all of this poetic crap and stand on plot-important squares.
With the newest build of the game, these are not problems so much, and much of the music has been fixed, but sometimes I wish I could kill at least one enemy. But still, it's a psychological and thoughtful "game" with a nice twist on the "control a team of kill everything" trope of the Strategy games. It also taught me what the word "volva" means and that's certainly something.… Full Review »