A stunning, melancholy work of art. Probably the most understated act so far, Act IV is rather slow-paced and more text-heavy than other acts, so you really need to buy into and appreciate the KRZ mythology; if you didn't like previous acts this one will definitely not win you over. However, if you're already in love with the world of the game, you'll love exploring the settings (there are some beautiful ones here) and learning more about the characters and their backgrounds. This act is also designed to be replayed at least once, as you have to make choices that affect which scenes you end up playing (i.e. whether to stay on the boat or get off at various stops). Kentucky Route Zero continues to be possibly the most profound and beautiful games I've ever played.
In a narrative sense, Act IV is most likely the calm before the storm in Act V, and falls perfectly in line with the five-act structure often used to analyze Shakespeare (the section of falling action). The best adventures are ones where the location — physically and mentally — one begins and where one ends up are shockingly, violently different. Kentucky Route Zero embodies this notion as the characters (and the player) disappear into the night.
As you journey down the Echo, the ancestral darkness of River Lethe, you remember. Kentucky Route Zero has now transcended the video game medium and has become an incredibly strong argument for video games as a pure art form.
From the room of VHS tapes, to the security footage, to the bat sanctuary, to the theremin performance, to the camera’s final, extended retreat up the rickety helix of a spiral staircase; Act IV confronts us with scenarios that test and limit our perception. Like Snow’s Wavelength, it gives us just enough to trick us into feeling like we’ve glimpsed something real.
Nice minimalistic art style but my god is this game boring. I relatively liked episodes 1-3, even though there was too much flow walking, obtuse puzzles, and just stuff that was too weird. This episode was just mind numbingly boring. The set and music is good, but the gameplay is unexciting.
These episodes are just nonsense. I waited so long for ACT 5 to come out, but I couldn't tell you anything that's happened thinking back in 1-4 barely and I have no desire to play 1-4 again, nor 5 in isolation. It's not a good game.