Three weeks have passed since the release of Fullbright , the Portland-based studio in charge of the solid and unforgettable ‘Gone Home’, was released . A little more than 21 days since I had a narrative experience as outstanding as it was precipitous that not only reaffirms the quality of a 2017 for history, but also covers the needs of an over-exploited genre.
Luckily or unfortunately, my experience as a player and spectator has made me a deep, dedicated and demanding science fiction lover set beyond the exosphere . Laser swords, hostile planets, unknown species. Everything works, pass the time that passes and fail the times that fail.
576 Earth hours after the space station ‘Tacoma’ opened the floodgates for exploration through Xbox One and PC, it’s time to celebrate it as it deserves with a thoughtful spoiler-free analysis . It may have taken longer than we should to offer an assessment of the proposal directed by Fullbright, but it is better late.
From VidaExtra we dissect its virtues and defects to convince you that ‘Tacoma’ , far from being the paradigm of games with Hollywood budget, gives away the handful of closest and immersive space hours of recent years . A more than serious candidate for the prize “unknown jewel that deserved more attention.”
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Houston, we have argument
Year 2088. After discarding the Disney apocalypse that many feared at the beginning of the century, macro companies have finally landed in society to take over both basic needs and the most impossible dreams . Space travel, lunar chalets, robots with which to have a beer, artificial super entities with the greatest existing knowledge, millionaire university enrollments. The future in all its splendor.
On this imaginable tomorrow the Earth has changed, and with it all of us. Spike Jonze already anticipated it with ‘Her’ . Now it is no longer Betis or Real Madrid. Now the impact of Justin Bieber or Gemeliers is as small as it is nostalgic. It is corporatism that goes one step further and defines us, above all, as slaves hungry for lashes . Work as life. Life without identity.
It is right there, in the close worker-employment union where Venturis , one of the largest space holdings of the decade focuses its efforts. Creating orbital stations around the Earth is not an easy task, but if you have pseudo-incarcerated employees in their positions, the thing changes. Especially while negotiations with unions remain in conflict over their rejection of automation . Losing employment by a robot is the biggest drama to face in 2088, folks. Luckily he will catch us in the other neighborhood.
In such a political context, a crew of contractors is responsible for safeguarding the Human Supervision Agreement working at the Tacoma lunar station ; transfer point between the Earth and the vacation resort / cemetery of elephants called Zenith.
Everything goes as it should until a space object impacts with the ship of our protagonists unleashing pressure, approaching death by leaps and bounds and demonstrating that no matter how much technology advances, we will remain extremely weak in the hands of the interests of large companies.
An explosion of intimate narrative
If there is something that I am passionate about, well-worked science fiction is that it uses immense contexts to focus on developing custom stories. As in ‘Solaris’ or ‘Arrival’ (outstanding examples of pampering for detail), the spatial framework only serves to make the characters expand their daily lives, forgetting, in the key moments, the drama so infinite that surrounds them.
In ‘Tacoma’ we find a lot of that narrative engine. Personal relationships, furtive love, homosexuality treated with the normality it deserves, sex, fear of not living up to it or the existence of a superior being (€, $, ¥) are just some of the ingredients that They make ‘Tacoma’ the most recommended intimate experience of the year .
Tacoma is the precious review of space through seven life-filled characters
As in any story, the protagonists are the main engine to connect, and here they overflow a background so deep that seeing them as virtual holograms makes them even more palatable. Because yes, in ‘Tacoma’ we will be placed in a context where the crew members have disappeared and thanks to the rewind of the recordings made by ODIN, the AI of the station, we will be able to witness the experiences of their crew in the key hours of the accident .
As if it were a VR function , our role will be to collect all possible information from these “living” holograms to clarify what happened at the station. All this by the hand of ODIN, the conductor of comprehensive, cold and distant orchestra that will keep us with alarms activated throughout the adventure.
The administrator EV James, the specialist Clive Siddiqi, the head of networks Natali Kuroshenko, the engineer Bert Williams, the doctor Sareh Hasmadi and the botanist Andrew Dagyab offer an arsenal of situations written in an outstanding way and interpreted with a dubbing that would well deserve some of the prizes that will be unfairly distributed to the big fish in the industry at the end of the year.
‘Tacoma’ is much more than a walking simulator . It is the beautiful review of space through seven characters full of life. But let’s continue, there is still much more.
The imbalance is also the protagonist
Unfortunately, not everything offered by Fullbright’s proposal reaches the levels of brilliance that amassed with ‘Gone Home’ . As for his narrative is a wonder, but it is in his gameplay where he ends up challenging more than he should .
In addition to the rewind of scenes and the inspection of classic elements of the studio, our experience will be limited to tiptoe through a story that cries out for more participation. Forget about interacting, getting lost or solving puzzles, everything in ‘Tacoma’ is said and we are just passing through.
Tacoma Preview 4
Missing difficulty? Maybe lack of darkness? Well, as with ‘Gone Home’ or the recent ‘Firewatch’ the goal is not to find solutions to unnamed questions. We limit ourselves to detectives with the sole purpose of extending a story that undoubtedly deserves all the hours we spend more.
It is in the duration where ‘Tacoma’ is punished by critics less patient in the industry. Stopping in every corner, researching the profiles of each crew member, gossiping in their drawers, resting each item and getting their fun achievements the adventure does not pass 5 hours. So you can do accounts now. In what the snack lasts you can finish ‘Tacoma’ , you are right. But you will leave by the way so many outstanding details that its revision is more than obligatory.
Quality ingredients have to give and give. Its creators drink from wonderful sources and their talent is inexhaustible. I am convinced that more than one triple A project would pay for long figures for such a universe , although I would have no doubt that they would stretch the experience a couple of tens of hours.
In short, and to get closer to the final analysis, ‘Tacoma’ is everything that the space fan needs in its catalog . And despite the unevenness of a proposal designed to surprise, the affection of the study with the motivations, needs and dramas of its protagonists is of such caliber that the deficiencies end up irremediably makeup.
Yes, from Vidaextra I take the opportunity to make the collective appeal. Recommend a walking simulator ends up being dangerous these days, but something tells me you will know how to value it as it deserves . Without weapons and with the simple motivation of our curiosity you will discover an adventure that will soon take the leap to the small screen. Or the big one, if Villeneuve finds out what the mess is about.
‘Tacoma’ shapes the concerns of an upward study and with all the ballots to become what they want. There is, of course, raw material, and with such respectable examples to see who is the brave one who dares with the ninguneo.
You know, if you have dreamed of space since childhood, with playing basketball in zero gravity or inhabiting a station with a view of the planet, the proposal of ‘Tacoma’ becomes something more than an essential purchase . It will become the necessary recess in time to understand the sinuous political, social and economic future that awaits us just around the corner.