Finally got around to finishing this! Wow, I’m really surprised how much this game grew on me. I started out liking it a good bit, but by the end it had shifted into one of my favorites of the year!
I really loved the writing, and the subjects explored throughout were timely while feeling very much a part of the game’s world. The characters and voice-work were phenomenal, as Rob says in the review. All fairly dynamic, and layered.
Finally, I loved how things started opening up in the final third. The moment when you are given an option (finally) to go off the Eliza script, felt amazing as was so well earned. Up to that point I had already gotten into the groove of rolling as a proxy. The first couple sessions in the game was where I was expecting there to be more of the deviation options to jump out and for where the main tension of the game would be, but we end up getting way deeper into the main character’s history with the program and get to dive into so many other conflicts or potential conflicts. All of which really sucked me into this world and these characters. So when we get to empower Maya and nudge her to shift her perspective on things, I was so there for that. At that point I knew not only Maya better, but also the Eliza program (it’s strengths and weaknesses) and Evelyn’s character as well. The things I had been saying in my head a little, were given a voice.
I also appreciated all the ending options. Not just who you work with/share ideology with/have a relationship with, but also the many, many therapy options for what your character wants out of all this: This was another moment that felt very earned and where I was moved the most I think. If I had been given a choice I would’ve avoided having a session with Eliza, but it ended up having the best moment in the game. Evelyn finally giving voice to what she wanted in all this, when it had been people talking with her (or her as a Proxy) about what they wanted up until that point.
For my ending I choose to work with Nora. I really loved that character even though they, like all the others, were a bit too into their own technical world, they truly wanted to share the freedom of self they had found with Evelyn, and personally I resonated with the idea of creating something truly for myself to share with the world without outside pressures or influences. There was a weird moment with this ending where you get e-mailed an anonymous harassment note that didn’t get addressed at all, which felt frustrating and triggering, but otherwise it really was the ending I wanted. If there was a be with/support Nora option, while becoming a therapist, I’d probably would’ve been down for that, but Rae’s loyalty to Skandha was unsettling to me.
Anyone else have thoughts on their ending? I tried looking up other published thoughts online, but only found a click-bait type piece about a “shocking” ending that wasn’t the one I chose, and was a even bit a dismissive of my route, so that was a bummer.