Virginia Image
Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 13 Critic Reviews What's this?

User Score
5.8

Mixed or average reviews- based on 38 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’s investigation through the eyes of graduate FBI agent Anne Tarver.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 13
  2. Negative: 1 out of 13
  1. Sep 22, 2016
    93
    Virginia is a taut thriller that strikes a fine balance between storytelling and interactivity in a way that narrative-driven first-person adventure games have not accomplished since their inception, thanks to its blend of classic cinema and exploration. It should not be missed.
  2. Sep 22, 2016
    90
    Virginia trades that sort of clarity for another: that of the subjective, ever-precarious moment...And what gorgeous, reverberant moments there are in this game, empowered by its absent words and explanations. As David Lynch put it, answering a question about Lost Highway, “There’s things that have to happen, information that has to be given, for the thing to go. To say with words any more, would not be good.”
  3. Sep 28, 2016
    90
    The story is human, relatable, enabling you to build an empathetic bond with Anne with ease. And even when events go all mind-bendingly crazy as you reach the final stretch, you still care.
  4. Oct 3, 2016
    80
    Throughout much of its length, Virginia manages to steer its story in surprising and unexpected detours, giving us moments and images that defy the intellect and yet still resonate deeply. While its abstracted art style and ambiguity might be a barrier to some, Virginia is suffused with humanity and a few memorable mysteries.
  5. Oct 4, 2016
    80
    On one hand I loved Virginia — it was quirky and weird; and on the other, I just felt frustrated that I still didn't know what it was all about by the end of multiple plays. There isn't even much to say negatively about it -- it plays fine, if not the camera by default is a little over-sensitive, but this is easily remedied.
  6. Official Xbox Magazine UK
    Oct 3, 2016
    80
    It may frustrate, but within its boundaries this is a riveting, intelligent mystery. [Nov 2016, p.90]
  7. Sep 28, 2016
    40
    I’d question whether Virginia can be described as a game at all and for that reason it is unlikely to appeal to the majority of gamers. There’s not enough gameplay, even for a walking simulator, to be called a game and the whole thing might have functioned better as a two-hour animation, rather than trying to package in the limited player interactions which serve only to distract from the story’s immersion.

See all 13 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 8
  2. Negative: 2 out of 8
  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 23, 2016
    10
    This game is amazing! I defy anyone to explain this game in a few paragraphs. It first of all has a spectacular soundtrack of stunninglyThis game is amazing! I defy anyone to explain this game in a few paragraphs. It first of all has a spectacular soundtrack of stunningly beautiful music. No one speaks and that is awesome! It is visually unique and quite beautiful. It is obviously channeling Twin Peaks and Deadly Premonition and some of the music and environments really bring back strong memories of these influences. I have played through it several times and each time I understand it a little more and a little less which is a wonderful thing. The achievements are really clever and I still don't understand what I did to get some of them. Just the most interesting and unique gaming experience to come along in quite some time. I am a huge fan of this game. Absolutely love it! Expand
  3. Oct 11, 2016
    8
    Once in a while a game comes along like Virgina, one that challenges you to look at things in a very different way, to fire up part of yourOnce in a while a game comes along like Virgina, one that challenges you to look at things in a very different way, to fire up part of your brain that delights (or is repulsed) by conundrums, puzzles, mysteries and good old fashioned detective tales. I got a chance to take a look at this one, inspired by the likes of the X-Files, Fargo, Twin Peaks, and other bizarre tales - what I found was a narrative-driven, suspenseful, tightly-wound thriller that will likely be just as polarising as the latter shows. Expand
  4. Jan 9, 2020
    5
    Virginia is very much a game designed for the auteur, rather than a broader spectrum of the gaming audience. On the one hand, I totallyVirginia is very much a game designed for the auteur, rather than a broader spectrum of the gaming audience. On the one hand, I totally respect this and even admire it as large chunks of the games industry have all but shunned auteurism in gaming, instead opting to create the most bland, homogenized, inoffensive experience as possible. On the other hand though, these sorts of gaming experiences are largely lost on me, coming across as overly pretentious or too obscure. Sadly Virginia is the latter, not the former in this case.

    Don't expect much in the way of traditional game play. Even by walking sim/interactive storytelling standards, Virginia features barely any game play apart from use left stick to move around and press A to progress the plot. Don't expect to influence the story in anyway and don't expect much in the way of exploration. The game effectively railroads you down a linear story path with not much room for deviation.

    The game's plot was tough to nail down at times. From what I loosely gathered, you play as a recent graduate FBI agent Anne Tarver who gets partnered with a more senior agent in Maria Halperin. You're both tasked with solving a missing persons case involving a priest's son Lucas Fairfax. On top of this, the head of the FBI is conducting an internal affairs investigation regarding Maria Halperin and he tasks Anne to keep a close eye on her. As you both travel from one location to another to progress the plot, Anne and Maria begin to develop a stronger, more personal relationship with each other.

    Eventually Maria finds out that you're investigating her and she leaves you at a gas station by the side of the road. You attempt to reconcile with her by destroying her case file, but it ultimately lands the both of you in jail and then... This is where the plot really loses me. It proceeds to go off on a bunch of tangential, "trippy" dream sequences that are made all the more confusing by the fact that there's barely, if any form of exposition in the game. No voice acting, no dialogue, no text dumps. After a series of these "trippy" artistic dream sequences, the game ends with both of you finding Lucas Fairfax walking down the side of the road somewhere and then the scene just cuts to black. I was really hoping these dream sequences would coalesce into something significant, but it seem to come across as a bunch of pseudo-artistic scenes.

    The games musical score and sound design is where Virginia really shines. The creators knew damn well that if you're not going to give the player any exposition, you better be able to communicate tones and emotions in some other way. The musical score absolutely nails this aspect.

    I do wonder if Virginia would've been better served as 90 minute animated movie, rather than being shoe-horned into a game. Between to minimal game play and the artistic expressions the game gives off, I think it would've been much better received as a movie.

    Ultimately, Virginia is a game that I can barely recommend. If you're into auteur game design, than go for it. I got it super cheap for a $1.99 CAD, so at that price, I think I can recommend it. In any other case, however, Virginia is not the game for me.
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  5. Jun 16, 2018
    5
    Press A to advance the plot point. Cue the TV show music. Press A to do something illegal. Cue the dream sequence. Press A to trip out. JumpPress A to advance the plot point. Cue the TV show music. Press A to do something illegal. Cue the dream sequence. Press A to trip out. Jump randomly to a new location. Find something around the room to press A on and then press A.

    A slog through 2 hours of dull "gameplay" to reach what matters, a final 20 minutes of senseless, pretentiously artistic confusion. If you try to interpret this as being an inspired game, then you can find a way. The lack of words or narration hinders it, although to its credit, the pseudo-artistic mystifying plot development style isn't seen very often.
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  6. Sep 28, 2016
    0
    Speaking as a movie lover, Virginia is a pretty fascinating story. Imagine if David Lynch directed the pilot episode of The X-Files. It hasSpeaking as a movie lover, Virginia is a pretty fascinating story. Imagine if David Lynch directed the pilot episode of The X-Files. It has some great visuals and a soild score. It's worth it to at least watch a stream if you're into this kind of story.

    As a gamer, and as someone who loves "walking sims" and artistic games, there is no reason that this should have been told as a game instead of movie. You have no agency, there is no sense of exploration, you can't affect any outcome, and you never have any option to choose. You pretty much walk through a series of very linear levels with usually only one object to interact with at any given time.
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  7. 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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See all 8 User Reviews