HURRY ON SUN­DOWN

EDGE - - PLAY -

This is Tale Of Tales’ most tech­ni­cally de­mand­ing game to date. The ge­om­e­try is rel­a­tively sim­ple, but an abun­dance of re­flec­tive sur­faces and light sources means you’ll need a half-de­cent rig for it to run smoothly at high de­tail. It’s al­ready a hand­some set­ting, but the light­ing is out­stand­ing: shad­ows and tones sub­tly change through­out the magic hour you spend in Ortega’s place, and as the sea­sons pass you’ll no­tice it’s a lit­tle darker as you ar­rive for your shift. Ortega – and if not that, then at least you can give his home a per­sonal touch. This is a space that changes through ac­tions both within and be­yond your con­trol, leav­ing you aware you have in­flu­ence but not do­main.

You’re made to feel lib­er­ated and dis­em­pow­ered by turns. A first act that sees the worker-em­ployer dy­namic blos­som into a re­la­tion­ship – the more earthy ex­changes of­fer a heady fris­son not dis­sim­i­lar to an In­ter­net flir­ta­tion – segues into a lan­guid sec­ond, be­fore the con­flict en­croaches in dis­com­fit­ing fash­ion. One jolt leaves you feel­ing hor­ri­bly vul­ner­a­ble, and just as Burnes finds com­fort in her rou­tines amid the chaos, there’s a mo­ment of petty cal­lous­ness that prompts first de­spon­dency, then anger. As a haven be­comes a fortress, our hor­ror is mir­rored in a star­tling im­age of Burnes’ re­flec­tion as she catches sight of a head­line on a news ticker and clasps her hands to her mouth.

With most key events hap­pen­ing off­screen, we’re left to ex­pe­ri­ence the phys­i­cal and emo­tional af­ter­math, lit­er­ally and fig­u­ra­tively pick­ing up the pieces. The re­sult is an enor­mously af­fect­ing ex­am­i­na­tion of the im­pact of war. Not on sol­diers or politi­cians, but on ev­ery­one else – those who can only watch from the side­lines. Sun­set is the work of a some­times in­scrutable stu­dio at its most ac­ces­si­ble, and its best. At once con­tem­pla­tive and in­cen­di­ary, this is a quiet game within which burns a fierce rev­o­lu­tion­ary spirit.

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