Oct 11, 2020Despite having one of the most morbid titles I have ever heard, I Am Dead is the latest example of game publisher Annapurna Interactive emphasis on heartfelt storytelling. Our story focuses on Morris Lupton, curator of the Shelmerston Museum, a small island off the North Atlantic and like the name suggests, he is no longer with us. But that doesn’t stop him from talking and moreDespite having one of the most morbid titles I have ever heard, I Am Dead is the latest example of game publisher Annapurna Interactive emphasis on heartfelt storytelling. Our story focuses on Morris Lupton, curator of the Shelmerston Museum, a small island off the North Atlantic and like the name suggests, he is no longer with us. But that doesn’t stop him from talking and more importantly, slicing through everything, and that’s the main feature of the game, being able to pick pretty much anything and explore into its very core.
Morris is reunited with his deceased dog Sparky, who has gained the ability to speak to him as well apparently all animals can talk we just can’t understand them. But Sparky comes with a warning, Shelmerston’s volcano which has remained dormant for centuries has suddenly stopped being dormant and will wipe out the town, its citizens and even worse, all the tourists and their selfie sticks.
The volcano is threatening to erupt because the custodian of the volcano is slowly fading away and it is up to Morris and Sparky to find a new spirit and ask them to take over. They have several people in mind, citizens of the island who have also passed away over the last few years and to converse with their spirits they need to find mementos from when they were alive. The mementos are introduced from the memories of the people who knew them well.
In the several areas we explore with Morris and Sparky, we find people with thought bubbles popping out of their heads. This gives us a little trippy slideshow of this person’s memories with the recently deceased and the memento that we need to find, thankfully you won’t have to look under every nook and cranny in the area to find it as they are in the same vicinity. After finding five of them, we play as a flying Sparky who rounds parts of their spirit like an ecto-sheep dog, rinse and repeat until the credits.
There isn’t much challenge or strategy with I Am Dead and honestly, there really doesn’t need to be. It’s more about the sights and the people we meet along the way, it goes to show that even after we’ve passed on we are never truly gone, our stories, our legacies will be remembered by the people around us, sometimes even for centuries. The design of the world is incredibly basic, with a simplistic vector style that doesn’t even have any shadows, but honestly, I don’t hold that against the game. Because the main spect of the game is to slice into all kinds of objects you are going to be seeing the inside of anything from watermelon to a walkie talkie, so pretty much all the objects in the world were created with a full inside as opposed to just an object layer with a texture on top. There is an added layer to at all with hidden secrets known as Grenkins, little hand-drawn creatures that pop up when you slice a certain object in a particular way
I Am Dead will only last you a few hours, but every moment is a heartfelt affair with some very interesting personalities living on the island like a Yoga Assistant Robot, a Glove Loving Fox or a Fishperson with a fondness for toast. For a game focused primarily on death and the afterlife, I Am Dead is simply brimming with life and much like the memories in the game, I won’t soon forget it.… Expand
Dec 18, 2020Игра очень прикольная. Геймплей очень интересный из-за своей механики, саундтрек обычный, сюжет интересный, сложности есть только в нахождении предметов на время. Управление сначала было непривычное, но стало удобным спустя время. Длительность средняя, и игра не затянута. Геймплей - самая лучшая часть игры со своей механикой проникания в предметы. Сюжет интересный, хоть и не раскрывает всеИгра очень прикольная. Геймплей очень интересный из-за своей механики, саундтрек обычный, сюжет интересный, сложности есть только в нахождении предметов на время. Управление сначала было непривычное, но стало удобным спустя время. Длительность средняя, и игра не затянута. Геймплей - самая лучшая часть игры со своей механикой проникания в предметы. Сюжет интересный, хоть и не раскрывает все вопросы. Мне игра очень понравилась, и я надеюсь, что следующий проект Hollow Ponds будет на том же или высшем уровне.… Expand
Jan 17, 2021Since Pac-Man and Donkey Kong, the first principle of video games has been don’t die. So when you find yourself dead before a game even starts, you know you’re in for a different, gentler experience. I Am Dead opens with a walk along the beach so languid I wondered if my controller was broken. But within minutes, its invitation to slow down and smell the roses had drawn me in. It took meSince Pac-Man and Donkey Kong, the first principle of video games has been don’t die. So when you find yourself dead before a game even starts, you know you’re in for a different, gentler experience. I Am Dead opens with a walk along the beach so languid I wondered if my controller was broken. But within minutes, its invitation to slow down and smell the roses had drawn me in. It took me five evenings to complete the game, and I didn’t need my Headspace app that whole week.
More than a game, I Am Dead is a meditation on life and love. In a medium not famed for nuanced depictions of relationships, it feels genuinely novel to see such a broad exploration of what love means. Yes, there are examples of romantic love, but also of love between friends, and of parents for children. There is love for fish and foul, love of land and of sea, love of art, and love of tribe. We witness love that is difficult and reserved, and love big enough to endure pain and sacrifice, along with happy and straightforward love. And then there is a sort of fourth wall love: the love that the makers of this game clearly poured into it, which you can’t help but be conscious of every time you notice another thoughtful detail. It’s these details that make I Am Dead brim with life. One room, filled with plants, each one individually realized and fondly labelled, made me gasp with the exuberance, with the aliveness of it all. Similarly, the lovely specifics of the seaside town filled me with a childish joy. Through the lead character, Morris, we are shown the truth of his namesake William Morris’ assertion that “the true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life.”
With the game’s core ‘slicing’ mechanic, its creators have come up with something that is both pleasing and profound. By holding down a shoulder button, you can zoom not just into but progressively through almost any object of the game, to reveal its inner structure or hidden contents. Not only is this endlessly fun to do (a good thing too, since you’ll be doing it hundreds of times), it brings the game’s big themes alive at a tangible level. When you zoom in to reveal a radio’s transistors, or the bubbles inside a can of drink, or the toppings on a pizza inside a box, you swoon at how rich our world is, how much unnoticed daily wonder permeates our lives. It is great to see the third dimension put to more interesting gaming use than normal: not for outer realism but inner truth.
This richness is heightened by the other elements of the game. The script-writing is honest and cliché-free. The voice acting is touching and evocative. The music is simply beautiful, and perfectly fits the mood: slow, thoughtful, melancholy, yet warm. I particularly liked the way the game takes a quaint seaside town packed with enough English nostalgia to be a Brexiter’s dream, but populates it like a Remainer’s utopia: a happy and diverse collection of pan-sexual and even trans-species locals, immigrants and visitors. It is almost as if the slicing device, with its stark reminder that we are all just collections of atoms, renders our factional differences ridiculous and untenable. At the same time, its insistence that all objects have an inner life gives the game an Animist vibe in which everything has a spirit and everything is worthy of respect. As a result, it feels effortlessly inclusive and equalizing of men and women, straight and gay, human and animal, modern and ancient, animate and inanimate, vegetable and mineral, living and dead. All are part of the energy of the cosmos, and all have their role to play.
If you’ve ever yearned for a video game that will move you to ponder the fundamental interconnectedness of all things, I Am Dead awaits you.… Expand
Feb 8, 2021If you don’t mind the narration and you’re able to get into the narrative, then you’ll probably delight in uncovering all the neat objects and stories this island and its inhabitants are hiding. For me, though? It never quite hits the mark. I Am Dead has some interesting ideas, and it executes on a lot of them, but taken as a whole, it’s just not as good as it could be.