When I first performed Some Distant Memory a few month in the past, I’d have stated it was like a futuristic level and click on model of Gone Home. In it, you play a mech’d-up archaeologist referred to as Zal, who stumbles on an previous home from earlier than The Collapse, an apocalyptic occasion that despatched the world into disarray and left solely tiny pockets of humanity intact. During the course of its two-hour runtime, you poke round the home, uncover previous objects left behind by the household that lived there, and use them to reconstruct reminiscences and occasions from them with the assistance of your AI robotic pal Arora. It’s a candy story, however it didn’t go away a very deep impression on me.
Fast ahead to at present, when your complete nation has virtually gone into lockdown, and it’s taken on fairly a special that means. If somebody found my dwelling 300 years from now, what conclusions would they draw from it? Would they marvel on the mountains of previous graphics playing cards caught in my workplace, or would they do a giant yikes on the equally tall piles of empty Rennie packets we have now strewn about the home? Maybe I ought to begin leaving alternative emails and textual content messages across the place now in order that future archaeologists have some applicable environmental storytelling gadgets to decipher what occurred right here…
I jest, after all, however it does get you pondering, doesn’t it? Indeed, there are moments in Some Distant Memory after I actually did go, “How the hell did that get there?” (see the crocodile skeleton under), and there have been a few retro gaming jokes that additionally made me smile and snort a bit. At one level, for instance, Zal finds an emerald ring in a desk drawer, and when she mentions it to her buddy Commander Ti up on the floor he replies, “Now that you’ve found one emerald, be on the lookout for six more!” (A Sonic gag, reader, if you happen to’re unaware). He additionally mentions a legend about “seven yellow balls” on the identical time , and it made me marvel precisely what, if something, would cross into delusion and legend like this. Would individuals sooner or later actually begin believing three golden triangles, for instance? Or that mushrooms as soon as made you double in measurement? Somehow I doubt it, however you by no means can inform, are you able to?
Now how did this get right here?
Gaming quips apart, I did actually like how Some Distant Memory structured its mild trial of reminiscence breadcrumbs. When you first come upon the home, for instance, you’re fumbling round in full darkness with solely the sunshine out of your Arora lamp to information you. It offers the home a really spooky, foreboding environment, as if something may lurch out of the darkness at any second. Thankfully, Some Distant Memory is jump-scare free, however it does encourage you to select over issues slowly and take your time, as you’re employed towards discovering an influence supply. During this time, you regularly uncover the story of the household that when lived there – a boy whose mom isn’t round very a lot and his loving pair of grandparents who’ve been tasked with taking care of him.
I gained’t spoil the ins and outs of what occurs, however once you lastly attain the basement of the home and the lights come on, the subsequent batch of reminiscences you uncover are all from the boy as a grown-up as he picks by his household historical past and the issues his grandparents left behind after they handed away. As he goes about establishing his circle of relatives dwelling, the impact of lastly having the ability to see the home for what it’s emphasises how the boy himself is lastly in a position to come to phrases with the occasions of his childhood, like the whole lot has lastly been laid naked in stark, unrelenting element.
There’s additionally a very pretty sequence in the direction of the top of the sport the place his grownup reminiscences intersect with the hopes and goals he had as a baby, and I truly felt myself getting a little bit choked up as I watched the crushing defeat of actuality play out towards the wide-eyed optimism of his youth. That bit was actually touching. The precise apocalypse then occurring of their entrance room, much less so. Those previous few minutes of the sport obtained more and more grim as you attempt to discover a manner out of the home, however it did, at the very least, finish on a moderately extra optimistic be aware by the point the top credit rolled.
I’d say it’s most likely value giving it a punt if you happen to’re a selected fan of Gone Home and the like (you possibly can decide it up on Steam), however possibly wait a bit till all these self-isolation measures get lifted, yeah? After all, these Rennie packets aren’t going to clear away themselves, are they?