Classic situation many times shown in the literature, movies and video games: a haunted house. Only in the case of The Novelist it dwells not translucent Casper nifty family, and only one otherworldly entity overseeing tenants infused into objects stealthily penetrating in thought and memory of any unsuspecting people. And you – this is the essence.
Put tools for scared away and hide away destructive habits poltergeist Aydena of Beyond: Two Souls. In The Novelist you really are acting as a spirit living in a house on the shore – in a house that rented for the summer Kaplanov family – Dan, Linda, and their little son Tommy. But this spirit is not hostile to its guests, on the contrary, he wants to help them.
In the family of disorders. Dan wants one, Linda – another first-grader Tommy dreams of the third, and you have to unravel this tangle of doubt, taking a variety of solutions. But note that it does not turn to please everyone, and often the choice is not as simple as it seems. Over time you will begin to understand – you can not achieve happiness for all and nothing. Inevitably have to sacrifice something.
BUT I AM NOT YOUR ENEMY – I’m your friend
You can play mode Story (if you as a true ghost home residents will not notice) or mode Stealth. In the second case a ghost gets some semblance of flesh and he has to hide from prying eyes – but not standard, hiding in the shadows, as is customary in games, and in light sources. While residents went to bed, the house includes all fixtures and chandeliers and you can easily move around the perimeter of the building, having filled in any lamp, waiting. until the desired person turns his back. And then …
Then you will be able to penetrate his memories. That’s right, for the understanding of the Kaplans requires not only a style of classic quest to find the notes, notepads and paper reminders scattered around the house, but also to read the mind of every member of the family.
Memory, as happens in real life, very sketchy: short dialogues, sadness and grief, small disorders. But they, along with records, is usually enough to get a complete picture of the incident. Here Linda is upset by the death of his beloved grandmother – her voice shaking with tears when she wrote a letter to her sister, she should certainly catch the funeral. Here’s Dan, an aspiring writer, on the same day must be on an important presentation. That’s Tommy, lonely child asks his father noticed him and was driving on a fun show … You and only you have to choose in favor of whom the situation is resolved. Compromises are acceptable: for example, both spouses will go to the funeral, and Dan try to somehow settle the matter with the presentation, and, in general, everything goes well. For two family members. Tommy is left alone, will quietly cry into my pillow. Alas, you can not please everyone, whether you’re at least three times a friendly ghost.
That’s it unfolds before us guileless story of one small family (as we learn from the letters casual hints and Linda, before coming to this house a husband and wife were on the verge of divorce, and his son are very behind in school). And we, supernatural being, somehow trying to glue the pieces, build, weld, repair … Why is the game called The Novelist? In honor of Dan constantly knocking on his typewriter? Or in honor of … us? Suddenly an invisible entity, so try to establish the life of the Kaplans, also an author, writing some sort of a novel, and he desperately needed a particular plot device?
Reminiscent of The Stanley Parable, right? And all would be well, and have a great game came out. Yes, only, alas, there is a “but only”. The Novelist wonderful idea, but the implementation is lame. At least two of the four paws.
The main problem is that the Kaplans, though developers and trying to convince us otherwise, do not seem alive. They communicate only typical phrases like “Hi, Mom”, “Hi, honey,” does no longer interact and move around the house at a pre-specified routes a la NPC of Skyrim; Linda mainly paints in his studio, Dan sits at the typewriter Tommy draws or running around the room with a toy rocket. Yes, they have problems, real problems – letters and diaries do not cause feelings of forgery. But it is necessary to observe the Kaplan live as becomes clearly visible all the falsity of what is happening. We should have, as in Gone Home, moved through the empty house, and people are reminded of themselves only scattered things and cluttered rooms.
Most cardboard came seven years, Tommy. He has no fantasy notions, their stories and dreams, but “Dad, come play with me”, which for the first nine chapters of the game you will stuff nauseam. He even draws his family alone in different variations – no tanks, no dragons or knights or-thing.
You just drew as a child my mom and dad? Doubt.
Finally, home. Small, typical, boring house that during the passage of time to pretty bored too. We’re trapped in the building, and free Kaplans – in such conditions is very difficult to remain good, especially when the main characters with empathy somehow not so. Add to this the fact that the memories of any of the family members carry you – right! – In the same house, only in black and white, with frozen in time, as in a web, figures … In general, you need a lot of patience.
In this story, and the idea of tie games, again, very good. Hard everyday solutions, problems small family that its members are more important than any war and revolution on the other side of the world; responsibility for the actions, then, in one short summer will affect the rest of his life three heroes … All this is intriguing. But, unfortunately, the authors could not extend its own concept. We – just a little ghost of a small house, a genie in a bottle, destined to help their owners. Help, even if they really do not like him.