Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Immortall



Well, here we are once again, and observant readers will know that this week I look at a game that sucks. As per usual, I spent my evening frantically searching for something sufficiently awful to rip into. But on my journey into the heart of mediocrity I found something far more intriguing - the second most depressing game I've ever played.

The most depressing game (if you can call it that) was developed by Nifflas and had you take on the role of an executioner killing a man by firing squad. If you shot the man, every time the game loaded you would be presented with his corpse, still blindfolded and tied to a post. The game's message was that all actions had long-lasting consequences and made me examine the fragility and importance of life in a new way. It also left me utterly despondent.

So congratulations to Evan Miller and Armor Games; with Immortall you almost made me feel just as much despair.



Immortall starts off with a pretty simple premise: small alien crash lands on Earth and meets a little girl. The little girl introduces the alien to her big brother who's too cool for school, but not too cool for apple picking. They kind of hang out and walk to their house, where the alien meets the children's parents.



The parents kind of freak out at first, but they're OK after a minute. So everyone is chillaxing and you all decide to just go for a walk. So far, so good; the alien has ingratiated himself to a bunch of cool humans and is getting a taste for Earth and all it has to offer. That's about the time our group walk into a war zone and start getting shot at.



Woah, woah! What the hell just happened!? Did this family not notice the fucking war happening right next to their house? How is that possible? And why are all the soldiers so desperate to kill them? Did the alien befriend the Von Trapp family? Jesus!

With no other way to defend themselves, you have to use your body to shield them. And there's a lot to shield them from! Twenty seconds ago you were strolling through an orchard. Now you're riddled with so many holes you look like Martian Swiss cheese!

You spurt green blood everywhere as soldiers, tanks and bombers blow the crap out of you and the family huddle together, shaking in fear. This is an emotional 180 the likes of which I've rarely seen. It's like watching Big Bird cut himself or Bugs Bunny get the shit kicked out of him by a bunch of rednecks outside a truck stop.



Naturally, the more you get shot, the weaker you become. As you get weaker, you move slower. You move too slowly and members of the family start to die. A shell took out the father and son; the little girl got taken down with machine gun fire. And still you walk on like a retard, knowing that everyone is dead and it's all your fault.



And then you die. And it begins to snow. And the snow covers your corpse as women cry. That is how the game ends. Regardless of how many people you save, you always die at the end. The music slows to a crawl until the player is left watching a scene of death and destruction in total silence. But it's not over yet, because then you get the message, the raison d'etre for this game's existence:



"Live." Live? How am I supposed to live when I stroll into a battleground and no one thinks, "Maybe we shouldn't shoot at the ten foot tall alien?" God damn this game! I know I should make the most of my life - you didn't have to blow children up to tell me that!

I can't complain about the graphics; it looks great. I can't complain about the gameplay or controls; they're perfectly adequate. But such is the soul-crushing despair and hopelessness of the game that I'm left emotionally numb by it. I honestly don't know whether to recommend you play Immortall or avoid it completely. All I do know is, I want a hug.

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