Virginia Image
Metascore
74

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

User Score
4.9

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 144 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 25
  2. Negative: 10 out of 25
  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. Sep 27, 2016
    3
    Not a game, not an experience, not really a walking simulator either. Hard to categorize this title, but one thing is for sure - it's awkward.Not a game, not an experience, not really a walking simulator either. Hard to categorize this title, but one thing is for sure - it's awkward.

    There is some story, but Virginia won't allow you to follow it, because it will chaoticaly jump from scene to scene before you could even read half the text written on files. The characters are bland, and not only because they won't say a word, but because it's very hard to follow on who? where? what? why? The visuals are fine, but the world is as lifeless as it could be. You basically wander around empty spaces looking for a next spot to click (which is incredibly easy, considering that the mouse cursor changes after you hit a live spot).

    The only strong point is the score played by the Philharmonic Orchestra from Prague. That's why I'm giving this game a 3. Other than that, I'd tell you to stay away from this one. If you have to, watch it on youtube or something. It takes around two, two-and-a-half hours tops, and you'll be able to rewind the boring parts. For me it was a no-no.
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  6. May 6, 2018
    1
    Not sure where to start with this one!
    I'm generally a big fan of the 'walking simulator' genre; story is important to me in gaming, and this
    Not sure where to start with this one!
    I'm generally a big fan of the 'walking simulator' genre; story is important to me in gaming, and this genre often seems the most effective at communicating a narrative. This is not the case with Virginia.
    Tonally, it's a bit of a mess. Initially it gives the impression of being a procedural investigation where you are inspecting the disappearance of a boy along side an internal investigation of another FBI agent. Then things get a bit weird, a non-linear narrative comes out to play, along with some dream sequences; two things that normally wouldn't cause an issue, but due to Virginia lacking any kind of dialogue at all, it just causes confusion.
    A lack of dialogue isn't necessarily a bad thing, however you're going to need something consistent and reliable to replace this, and Virginia fails to deliver heavily on this front. There are files and items that contain text that you hope will contain clues to help the story make sense, however the game doesn't give you chance to fully read a file before you are forced into the next scene.

    As other people have said, the music is the only saving grace of Virginia, however the score tends to get subconsciously pushed aside as you attempt to work out what is going on, which is a waste,

    The final scene attempts to explain what the game is actually about by somehow combining heavy-handed metaphors with the vague "story" elements.
    I'm still not sure what it is about.
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  7. Dec 9, 2016
    0
    Avoid at all costs if you actually want a 'game'. This is NOTHING even slightly resembling a game.
    And on xbox the controller lag is almost
    Avoid at all costs if you actually want a 'game'. This is NOTHING even slightly resembling a game.
    And on xbox the controller lag is almost a second, and framerate jumping between 10 and 15fps.
    Its a mess, and those idiots and sites drooling over it must either have been paid to gush, or are on some pretty strong acid.
    This is the absolute worse game I've played in years, and I generally like the so-called 'walking simulator' type experiences. This was just pretentious hipster trash!
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See all 25 User Reviews