Lake is a truly beautiful narrative adventure. The sound design is excellent and the story progresses in a delicate way, with feeling. An oasis of relaxation in a chaotic world that is always in a hurry.
A fantastic feat of storytelling and character building in relatively short time, Lake demands to be played. Compelling narratives and characters unfold beautifully and organically in an adventure game that lets the player cobble together their own tales of Providence Oaks.
Personal grievances aside, I think Lake succeeds in its aims, and that’s the important thing. It set out to be a slice of small-town life, and that’s what it is. I think there’s a rather narrow audience for that kind of thing, but it will be perfect for those who know what they’re getting into. If you think you’d be into a narrative about escaping the city life, then here it is. The writing is solid, the production values are decent for its asking price, so it’s worthwhile to check out of that’s your thing. As for me, I’m just eager to get back to the city.
Between the walking simulator, and the video game experience, Lake is a contemplative title that takes advantage of rather well-written characters, and a system of dialogues enough impacting for us to think about the meaning of life and its priorities. No choice is better than the other, which means that the title really lets us choose what we want, without it having a positive or negative impact on the gaming experience. The sublime artistic direction, the incredible landscapes, and the chill soundtrack are a perfect setting for such a reflection. Lake could almost be reimbursed by social security because its soothing virtues are numerous. Unfortunately, a few bugs tarnish the picture, while we admit to having trouble releasing the 20 € requested for 6 hours of play, with very low replayability. In short, hop on Lake in a few months, after a few patches, and during a promo.
Lake is an extremely charming story-driven title where you can accidentally be so nice to everyone that you end up forgetting to live for yourself. For the right kind of person, that in and of itself can be a much-needed wake up call; for everyone else, it’s in the very least a soothing little mail-carrying simulator that allows you to set the pace. If you’re looking for some slice-of-life goodness that provides some chill and calming ambiance, taking it easy with Lake is a no-brainer.
In the end, Lake delivers on producing a "slice of life" experience but with some issues that keep it from being excellent. The characters are interesting to talk to, even if only a few of them break out from being one-dimensional. The vocal performances are good, but the stiff facial and body animations and rushed story don't give it a chance to connect with players. If you can forgive these shortcomings and don't find the mail delivery mechanic to be tedious, Lake is relaxing and different enough from other offerings to warrant a glance.
An interesting idea marred by a subpar execution, Lake is more tedious than it is relaxing and immersive. The atmosphere is neat, and the whole process of taking it easy and just enjoying the simple act of delivering the mail is surprisingly cathartic, but it's not enough to keep you here for more than an hour. There is some talking to be done with a number of characters as well, but this is sadly the least exciting thing here. The townsfolk are so boring that driving the empty roads and simply delivering the mail is more preferable.
This game is a visual stunner! I mean, seriously, the graphics are so atmospheric that you'll feel like you're really there. But don't get too comfortable, because the story and characters are about as exciting as watching paint dry.
The game centers around Meredith, a postal worker who spends her days delivering letters to the ungrateful residents of her town. And let me tell you, these people are a piece of work. They're rude, self-centered, and couldn't care less about Meredith's well-being. They only like her when she's doing something for them. Talk about fair-weather friends.
One of the game's main features is the dialogue choices, but unfortunately, they often miss the mark. For example, when an NPC tells Meredith they got a new refrigerator, her response options would be like "OMG! I don't like cats" and "You might not want to keep a cat. It's not good." Wait, what? How is that even related to the conversation? And neither option is any good anyway.
Overall, the game is a mixed bag. The visuals are breathtaking, but the characters are insufferable. Unless you enjoy spending your time with narcissistic NPCs, you might want to give this one a pass.
Summary It's 1986 - Meredith Weiss takes a break from her career in the big city to deliver mail in her hometown. How will she experience two weeks in beautiful Providence Oaks, with its iconic lake and quirky community? And what will she do next? It's up to you.