HURRY ON SUNDOWN
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.