Sunday, January 29, 2012

To The Moon

Can a video game make you cry?
I would have never dreamed I would be saying this but yes, do keep tissues handy while playing this one.
To the Moon is an indie game which does not have awesome graphics, epic action sequences, fast paced combat or mind bogging puzzles but what it does have is a lovely, touching and emotional story which will make you think about life.

I always like to read reviews of games before I play them and a certain review I read spoke of how emotional and moving it is and it touches your heart. I really wondered how it was possible for a game to do so and decided to give this game a shot.

What was the result? I played it non stop for about 4 and a half hours from the starting till the end. A little after halfway through the game, I felt nothing as I read in all those review and started thinking 'Maybe I have a heart of stone'. Precisely 10 minutes later, here I was sitting in front of my computer screen sobbing like a child.

To the moon is more like an interactive story, which revolves around the life of Johnny, an old man on his death bed who has one last wish : to go to the moon. The game is based on a sci-fi technology where one can access the memories of others, and alter these memories to change the course of a person's life as they perceive it. The player is a scientist working in an organisation called the Sigmund Corporation which lets dying people fulfil their life long wish through accessing their memories. The game starts off with Dr. Eva Rosalind and Dr. Neil Watts are assigned to Johnny, a widowed man living through his final moments, tasked with infiltrating his mind and replacing existing memories with artificial ones, thus granting their client a realistic illusion and providing him the ability to see out his dying wish, a trip to the moon. who have been contacted by John and  embark on fulfilling his wish.

With no knowledge of why your client wished to visit the moon, the game makes you travel slowly back through his life, by accessing his memories and unravelling his life's story in reverse. As John's story is told in reverse the game impresses you with creator Kan Gao's excellence in story telling and music composition. Moreover, the game's beautifully composed original soundtrack is present at every shift in tone to help keep you engaged in the story. From the melody that greets you in the game's opening moments to the thoughtful, now familiar notes that bring the story to its conclusion, the hauntingly beautiful soundtrack fits in perfectly with the story and is a strong factor in helping the game create an impact on the player's mind.

To conclude, 'To the Moon' is a masterpiece of a story that allows you to travel through the life of an elderly man and I gives you the privilege to relive all the joy, trials, and tragedies that were hidden deep within his memories. It explores a human concept -- the dying wish -- and invites you to come along. All I can say is, don't miss this one.