Virginia Image
Metascore
74

Mixed or average reviews - based on 36 Critics What's this?

User Score
4.9

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 132 Ratings

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  • Summary: Virginia is a single-player first-person thriller set in a small town with a secret. Experience a missing person investigation through the eyes of graduate FBI agent Anne Tarver.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 36
  2. Negative: 3 out of 36
  1. Sep 23, 2016
    100
    There are very few games as emotionally affecting as this. The story is thrilling, powerful and thought-provoking, and the music sends chills straight through your soul.
  2. Oct 5, 2016
    90
    A weird and wonderful game that although short, leaves one hell of a mark.
  3. Sep 27, 2016
    86
    Virginia is a great game for film lovers. The David Lynch universe is really well made.
  4. Games Master UK
    Nov 9, 2016
    79
    An interactive story that blends dreamy police procedural with Lynchian nightmare to intriguing effect [Nov 2016, p.78]
  5. CD-Action
    Jan 12, 2017
    70
    By constantly comparing their game to “Twin Peaks” and “True Detective” the developers set the bar so high that they could not fulfill expectations. Nevertheless Virginia is an interesting experiment worth your time (especially that it only takes two hours to complete). [13/2016, p.58]
  6. Sep 23, 2016
    70
    A disorienting game which delivers a twisted story and a wonderful soundtrack. The gameplay, though, puts the player in a passive role, and the PC version shows some technical flaws. A conceptual project that will be judged as brilliant by some players - but also boring by many others.
  7. LEVEL (Czech Republic)
    Nov 5, 2016
    20
    Calling it a waste is too rude, but I cannot imagine why would someone pay for such a puffy nonsense. Several clever moments cannot save the game, which only tries to look like a piece of art. [Issue #268]

See all 38 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 24
  2. Negative: 10 out of 24
  1. Oct 1, 2016
    10
    Wow, what an experience! I played it at a friends house, have no plans on replaying it, yet went ahead and paid for it to support what theWow, what an experience! I played it at a friends house, have no plans on replaying it, yet went ahead and paid for it to support what the devs have done here.

    If you're a fan of Blendo games (Gravity Bone, Thirty Flights of Loving, Quadrilateral Cowboy), but also like the thoughtfulness and drama of The Chinese Room (Dear Esther, Everybodys Gone to The Rapture) than you will love this game.

    Don't listen to people complaining about the game length, they really need to understand game development more. No good film or piece of music begins by setting out how long it will be. Gamers need to start thinking quality, not quantity. The two hours it takes to complete is paced perfectly, had it lasted much longer than attention would start to fade.

    Since there's a demo available, I'll just end off with a comment on the music. The score is fantastic, unbelievably high levels of production value, and is a step in the right direction for the industry. Play with headphones! The sountrack adds a lot of emotion, and I don't see that as a bad thing at all. You must experience it.
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  2. Sep 24, 2016
    8
    Virginia is a great experience ( not so much a great game )

    It has very good music, produces an amazingly immersive atmosphere with
    Virginia is a great experience ( not so much a great game )

    It has very good music, produces an amazingly immersive atmosphere with stylized, colourful and vibrant colours. It tells a story with images, cinematic cuts instead of walls of text.

    Games that primarily tell a story need to make compromises. If you include quicktime events (telltale games) it can easily break immersion and disrupt the flow of the story. If you include riddles (Myst-like) it often boils down to a journey from one riddle bottleneck to another. If you allow total freedom of movement and investigation - you can only really advance your story in short bits (mission based).

    So if you want to tell a coherend story (kind of like a book) - you have to restrict the players involvement. Which in turn causes the player to go from being a protagonist to a spectator.

    In Virginia - the player is a spectator. You have no real influence on the story. You do not have choices to make that can fundamentally change the course of the story. All you can do is advance the story at your pace - sort of.

    What makes this story stand out is that there is rather little exposition. There is no narrator, no talking. It is all in the images. There is not even an "inner voice" (or a protagonists thoughts) ... so the player can either understand a scene, interpret a scene or not.

    Personally - i found this very artistic and stylish. And i had a lot of fun just "being" there - getting immersed by the atmosphere and the imagery. I can however understand that one might be disappointed. Not only is there little replay value (you may replay it ... just as you may re-watch a movie. But it is not the same as watching it for the first time) - but there simply is not much "to do".

    That is/might be a problem for the developers of this game (such games in general) ...

    When the player becomes such an irrelevant element in the game ... and the story becomes the one and most dominant factor ... why buy the game when you can probably watch someone else play on YouTube.

    Still - for me - it is a clear 8/10 for a beautifully crafted and told story well worth the time. (right before or after i go back to something like Fallout 4 - where the player controls everything)
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  3. Mar 23, 2017
    7
    Story was very interesting and mysterious and had interesting characters even though the characters didn't speak shows how good they got theStory was very interesting and mysterious and had interesting characters even though the characters didn't speak shows how good they got the characters across. But the game is very short as i finished it in about 2 hours and has no replay ability as you know the story. Expand
  4. Sep 24, 2016
    5
    Sorry, I'd love to recommend this game, but it just didn't do it for me.

    I have nothing against mostly narrative 'walkie' experiences - I
    Sorry, I'd love to recommend this game, but it just didn't do it for me.

    I have nothing against mostly narrative 'walkie' experiences - I loved 'Dear Esther' which was like a haunting eulogy/poem, and liked 'Everybody's Gone To The Rapture' with it's small town dramas set against an apocalyptic backdrop. 'Gone Home' was nice too with the house revealing bits and pieces of the characters' past.

    I think the difference here is that there's absolutely no dialogue, text, ANYTHING except animation and music. So it's all left up to your imagination as to what's going on. The problem for me was that the storytelling just wasn't strong or interesting enough to grab me at any point, even though the music kept trying to convince me that I was taking part in 'epic' scenes. When the 'revelations' come at the end, they make little sense, emotionally or intellectually even if you've been following all the 'clues' along the way.

    I've heard some comparisons to 'Twin Peaks' but other than an obvious homage scene in a roadside bar with a sound-alike tune playing, it reminded me more of 'The X Files'. The music especially was very very reminiscent of 'The X Files'. Imagine an episode of 'The X Files' without dialogue. In first person. That jump cuts around. And you're not sure what's present/past/future/hallucinations. Which is the major issue here... other than some basic plot, I was never quite sure what's going on, why, or what meaning it had in the grander scheme of things... so I never got caught up in it.

    It sort of feels like it's going to be playing a detective game... but you don't do any detecting or figure anything out. You just sort of click through scene after scene. If you do happen to walk around... you can occasionally pick up a flower or a feather, which at the beginning you assume there must be some meaning or point to, but the meaning never really comes...

    Overall the experience was a little too willfully vague and arty for my tastes and left me cold. Points for a nice art style, lighting etc. While the music was well orchestrated, again it felt a little heavy handed without knowing exactly what was going on.

    Even for ~$10... it's hard to recommend this game. Emotionally it didn't grab me. Intellectually it was too vague for me to feel like I was figuring anything out. Mechanically there's really nothing to do other than scan for the next hotspot. Narratively the story is pretty slight and doesn't hold much weight because you're perpetually waiting for clarity which never comes.

    Advice for their next game? Steer a little less on the obscure side, just a little, if you want your players to be able to get wrapped up in the tale you're telling.

    2.5/5.
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  5. Oct 5, 2017
    3
    I thought I would like this game a lot as I've liked a lot of similar games. But I just really did not like the way that the story wasI thought I would like this game a lot as I've liked a lot of similar games. But I just really did not like the way that the story was presented in this game. The lack of any dialogue whatsoever seems cool at first, but it ends up becoming a major hindrance because in order to compensate, the game goes really overboard in trying to get you to understand what's going on. This makes a lot of the game feel really cheesy, which really cheapened the experience for me. Also, I thought the art looked great, but I was underwhelmed by it while actually playing. Expand
  6. Sep 28, 2016
    0
    Atari's ET 2600 has more narrative falling down a pixelated well than this mess.

    This is the problem with hipstery creators... they don't
    Atari's ET 2600 has more narrative falling down a pixelated well than this mess.

    This is the problem with hipstery creators... they don't get that they don't get what videogaming is all about.
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  7. Sep 24, 2016
    0
    The game works like this:
    You are in a scene. You walk a bit, click. Game jumps to the next scene.
    This can feel awkward at times but it
    The game works like this:
    You are in a scene. You walk a bit, click. Game jumps to the next scene.
    This can feel awkward at times but it works and so the game starts to tell the story of a young FBI Agent being sent on a case together with a colleague that is under internal investigation... by her.

    So far, so good.
    So we are on this case about a missing boy... and I have no idea what happened to him because suddenly it's all about that internal investigation thing. So our colleague finds out that we are investigating her, she gets pissed, we become friends again... sort of.

    Then we get locked up for absolutely no reason. Like... wtf is happening?
    And from then on the game just spits random scenes at you of a fictional life, then we're back in the cell throwing in an acid trip... why are we even doing this?
    Then more random trippy scenes.... The End

    Bottom line - the game promises to tell a story in a unique way... and then it decides to not tell a story.

    So it's a non-game non-story experience - can't even give 1 star for that because that would mean the game does something right... which it doesn't.
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See all 24 User Reviews