GHOST ON THE SHORE
The so-called "Walking Simulators" are more commonly known is a genre with a well-established presence for at least a decade. It is now clear what they can offer as experiences and they have a corresponding audience that knows what to expect from environment exploration games.
It is to be expected for a game of this kind that the narrative and the development of the story will result from the tour of the places and the examination of objects such as notebooks, cassettes, material evidence of human presence. in a verbal or non-verbal way. There may be some limited puzzle solving but it is usually completely absent.
This is exactly the genre pattern that Ghost On The Shore follows. The character through whose senses we will explore his world is Riley, a young woman disillusioned with her life who decides to buy a boat and venture into the unknown. A sudden storm and her non-existent seamanship skills, she is swept away to a cluster of islands and the only thing that saves her from being shipwrecked on the rocks is the voice of a man, Josh, suddenly ringing in her head as she nears the shore.
After overcoming the initial horror and managing to dock the ship with his help, she lands on land, on the largest of the three islands in The Rogues cluster, and begins to explore, trying to understand the nature of the voice in her head. Is it a ghost haunting the human-abandoned islands, or has she simply lost her mind?
Since all the inhabitants seem to have left the island, all Riley finds is the physical evidence of their passage through the place, among the once vibrantly alive reeds. Her findings are commented on by Josh, who keeps her company on the tour and - conveniently - suffers from amnesia that is cured as Riley learns about the island's past. We thus engage in dialogues with him through a dial of 2-4 possible responses that influence future dialogues accordingly and may ultimately lead to one of 4 possible ends of the story.
The game focuses more on Riley's interlocutor, healing his memory loss, looking into his relationship with the island, what brought about his end and the haunting of the place by his ghost, and whether or not he's a credible narrator. This work helps the voice acting. Josh's voice is gentle and calm and during our wanderings he ponders or jokes playfully. Occasionally, however, he becomes uncomfortable, either with a joke or the old-fashioned nature of his speech, contributing to the somewhat claustrophobic feeling of having a voice in your head.
Riley's reactions are generally unpredictable. A finding may have just upset her and immediately afterwards she may make a joke or the volume from her voice may drop. This may be explained by the fact that she herself is not at peace of mind, having just left her life in the city due to stress and a complete lack of sense of purpose. However, her character is not sufficiently developed to fully explain her intense moodiness, although there is her diary in which she captures some of her thoughts.
Όλη η περιπέτεια εξελίσσεται σε τρία μικρά νησιά με τρόπο γραμμικό –ελάχιστα ξεστρατίζουμε από το μονοπάτι για να βρούμε κάποιο προαιρετικό στοιχείο. Η ιστορία των νησιών απλώνεται από τον 19. αιώνα και την εγκατάσταση μιας αριστοκρατικής οικογένειας -που πρακτικά κατείχε τα νησιά- και φτάνει έως τα 70’s, όταν και έφυγαν και οι τελευταίοι κάτοικοι. Σε αυτό το εύρος προσπαθούμε να τοποθετήσουμε χρονικά τον Josh και τους κατοίκους, τα ίχνη των οποίων εντοπίζουμε.
Despite the linearity of the exploration, which is done in an old-fashioned way, confined within paths, the places and finds - which glimmer faintly - are characterized by a high quality of design. The diaries, newspaper cuttings, books and landscape drawings that Riley makes in her own diary are all aesthetically sound, lending an air of the period to which they refer. The interiors of the buildings and the 3D models of the objects are of equally high quality. Where the visual performance falters is in the exterior landscapes which are not flattered by the limited FOV and the color tones of the vegetation that make it look fake and lifeless.
The duration of the game is 3-4 hours, but the pacing of the narrative is uneven and somewhat tedious, so it failed to make me dedicate myself to one or two sessions or care enough about the characters. What is beautifully rendered is the sense of the passage of time, the passage of human habitation in a place and the apparent change in the psyche of the inhabitants through the changing centuries. To a certain extent there are (a few) notable moments that bring upheaval and cosmic horror by playing with visions and the unreliability of the interlocutor in our heads however overall the script fails to stand out as a whole but rather as smaller stories of the island characters. Recommended for fans of the genre at a good discount, non-genre fans will not be moved.
RATING - 75%
Strong moments, weaker set
A game of narrative exploration that will appeal to fans of the genre and the Victorian aesthetic.
Στην 3η παράγραφο γιατί γράφει Ghost in the fog; Πρέπει να είναι λάθος, αν δεν αναφέρεται σε άλλο παιχνίδι.
Πράγματι από το εν λόγω άσμα του Ντάνι προκλήθηκε η σύγχιση. Μάλιστα κάθε φορά που το ξεκιναγα μου κολλαγε η μουσική της εισαγωγής στο κεφάλι