Tacoma | Chilled Out Game Review [REUPLOAD]

Welcome to Chilled-Out Game reviews, where
I review my favourite games to unwind with.
Tacoma is a narrative driven exploration game
and a welcome shake up to the ‘walking simulator’
genre. The game opens as you arrive at the
Tacoma Space Station. Something has taken
place there and you need to investigate what
has happened. You do this by exploring the
space station, examining items and watching
recording of the crew. The way that Tacoma
stands out from other similar games, or even
the developers previous game ‘Gone Home’,
is the presentation of these recordings.
Each recording is a few minutes long, but
is shown to you in augmented reality, placing
the crew in the space around you. You have
full control of the playback and can pause,
fast-forward and rewind to your heart’s
content. It’s like watching a play, but
you are up on the stage, walking amongst the
actors, unseen. This is a fantastic new format
for story-telling. It’s something that couldn’t
be achieved in any other medium.
What makes Tacoma a brilliant experience isn’t
just the concept of the recordings; the story
is engaging and the characters are interesting,
relatable and complex. For example, Very,
very mild spoilers here, but when you explore
Sareh’s office, you come across some anxiety
medication. She is the doctor so you may think
little of it. Later on in the story you witness
her having a panic attack. As an anxiety sufferer,
this was a little difficult to watch and all
I wanted to do was give her a hug. I really
connected with all of the characters, especially
Sareh, Nat and Bert. Not forgetting the cat
of course!
I wouldn’t say that Tacoma has a particular
art style, but it definitely has a sense of
scale. Everytime you pass a window you can’t
help but stop and stare out at the rest of
the space station rotating past, or the Earth
and Moon just hanging there in space. I love
the decision to only have artificial gravity
in the rotating arms of the station. Moving
around in Zero-G took a little while to get
used to but once I did it was so much fun.
I do really like the design of the AR representations
of the crew. We get to see their faces in
photographs around the station, but the characters
themselves are very simple and surprisingly expressive
I really love this game. I was so invested
in the story and found myself becoming more
and more excited about the potential of narrative
video games. This is a fantastic experience
and although you will definitely get some
2001: A Space Odyssey vibes at the start,
there are no jump scares or horror moments
to worry about. And the story definitely doesn’t
go in the direction you expect. So I have
to give Tacoma a Chill-Out Rating of 5 out of 5.
Thank you so much for watching. If you enjoyed
this review then check out the playlist of
previous Chilled-Out Game Reviews or take
a look at some of my other videos.

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