Creatures Such as We Impressions and Reflections

Creatures Such as We Pic

Basic Premise: Guide a gaggle of video game developers during their tourist trip on the moon. Prod your own expectations and beliefs about art, character development, agency, inequality, suffering, personal responsibility, and death.

Positives

  • Lynnea Glasser can write.  The alien yet mundane setting, the lovely symmetry between the “real” events and the “game” events, and the little interactions between characters when they are not in “philosophizing mode” make me happy she’s exploring new projects.
  • The characters feel like believable types of people even if they do not act like believable individuals.
  • The friendship paths are just as viable as the romantic ones.
  • Whether your personal answer appears on the selection screen or not, you must inspect your positions and beliefs on many issues.

Negatives

  • During the first scene, it’s quite possible to select options that makes you miss that your character’s avatar is supposed to be romantically involved with Elegy. I assumed we were friends or relatives. This made Jason’s later conversation and examination of Elegy and a NPC’s ability and right to say “no” feel like it came out of nowhere.
  • While we’re on the issue of NPC consent: that topic, the first conversation focused on art belonging to the artist vs. the audience, and the ones focused on death all left me wishing for more.
  • About NPC consent: I view the MC in a visual novel (such as Speakeasy Tonight) or the PC in a video game (such as Mass Effect, Dragon Age, Fallout: New Vegas, etc.) as his/her own distinct character – not me. I’m curious to see how their stories and relationships (both platonic and romantic) will play out, but I’m happy to watch it not quite work or crash and burn spectacularly. I cannot express that in game though.  :/
  • About art belonging to the artist vs. the audience: Where’s the “it’s totally the artists’ choice; I just wish they hadn’t chosen to make such a **** ending” option? XD
  • About death: This discussion felt the most restricted. I tried all six character paths and different dialog selections. Never once did the subject of spirituality, an organized philosophy, or religion appear. Particularly after having played Dragon Age: Inquisition, this feels like a huge, gaping hole. :/

Bottom Line: Go play it now. While some of the opinion selections are limited and some characters at times come across as ideological mouthpieces rather than people, Glasser’s focused writing raises interesting, pertinent questions for anyone who creates and/or consumes media.

Choice of Games’ Creatures Such as We is available on iOS, Android, and Kindle.

Find out more about Creatures Such as We and Lynnea Glasser’s other work here.

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