Category: Gaming

Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture – Final thoughts

I’m writing this as I watch the ending credits for Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture. I figured I should write this now, before I chat to my Dad and have my own thoughts corrupted on how this game ended.

First off – mini review time! Spoilers lie ahead.

This game is pretty much a walking simulator. Little action happens, but that does not stop it being interesting. Also, it’s a very pretty game.

Overall, you are hunting around for bits of dialogue concerning some of the inhabitants of the village. You start off with Jeremy, the vicar, followed by Wendy, Frank, Lizzie, Stephen and finally, Kate.

I won’t go into full details here to avoid too many spoilers. Stephen and Lizzy both struck me as quite immoral – Stephen in particular. He is married to Kate, but is having an affair with Lizzy (who is also married). That said, Kate ended up being somewhat crazy at the end, though I’m beginning to think that the ending showed her fully taken over by the entity that had ‘disappeared’ the entire village. Wendy was something of an interfering busy body. Frank and Jeremy were probably my favourites to follow around. They seemed to actually care about the people around them, which gives them points in my book.

The most interesting characters to me though, were those who appeared in the various dialogues. Rachel was heartbreaking – a 16 year old girl who just wanted to get out of the village and see the world. Dr Wade, tirelessly wandering around trying to cure people of the ‘flu’.

There is no happy ending in this game. And it brings about the question – if unknowingly, you were living the last day of your life, how would an observer see your actions if only viewed through small snapshots like this? Maybe I judge some of the characters unfairly on the limited amount of information given. We are presented with interesting moral aspects though. The vicar who euthanised Franks wife. Frank, admitting he was too afraid to be with his wife in her last few moments, who hid down the pub instead. Wendy, encouraging her son to have an extra marital affair, but is later seen helping someone overcome a PTSD episode. Kate, who is so enamoured of an experiment that she made no effort to halt it when it became obvious that people were dying as a result.

There is so much more I could write about this game, but this is in danger of turning into an essay as it is. I may make another post when I’ve had more time to think about it.

Pet theory on what I think has gone on here – a lonely alien kidnapped itself some friends. Although spontaneous combustion is hinted at due to infection, I do think that the entity took the people before the nerve gas got them. I may well be wrong, and will probably have a different view on the matter once I start googling this and talking to people about it.

Overall, an entertaining and interesting game, but I’m not sure I’ll be playing it again – the replay value is incredibly low. Definitely worth playing (or walking through) at least once.

Everybody's Gone To The Rapture™_20150919162047
Pretty waterfall!

Role Playing Games – Or how I learnt patience

Role Playing Games were my first love when it came to computer gaming in general.

The first one I really remember was Shining in the Darkness, which I played on the Sega Mega Drive. I wasn’t that great at it back then, though. I didn’t realise that I would have to work to level up my characters and such. In fact, my Dad used to sit up late at night, reading a book after I had been sent to bed, and walk up and down a corridor in the labyrinth, dutifully killing as many enemies as possible for me, so that upon my return to the game the next day I could progress thanks to the extra levels he had gained for me. Thanks, Daddy!

Shining in the Darkness did teach me the value of levelling up. It also taught me how to draw out a map – a map which Dad and I worked on together until he found a book in a local bookshop that contained all the maps. Remember this was back in the days before the internet was a thing, so we all had to rely on gaming magazines or books if we wanted to get answers to things. Of course, working out the secrets for ourselves was way more fun. Even now, I will always complete a game before I even dream of googling it, just to recapture that old feeling of excitement through exploration.

Thanks to Dad’s good example to me, when I got around to playing Shining The Holy Ark, I’d gotten this levelling up gig figured out. I patiently walked around a labyrinth to level up my characters, and loved every second of it. As trite as it sounds, it’s a skill I’ve been able to take forward with me. I can easily fall into this mindset of working at a monotonous task with the aim in mind of getting better at something.

I still love RPGs even now my Dad has progressed to first person shooters, and I can generally be found playing an action based hack and slash game. I would also quite happily argue that we can learn life skills and lessons from computer games, even if they are seen as a leisure activity. Here are the things I feel I learnt through many different RPGS;

  • Patience. It *is* a skill.
  • Never go the obvious route.
  • Exploration is rewarding.
  • If at first you don’t succeed, level up to 100 and blast your way through everything.
  • The Shining series of games is still awesome. Play it.