Ta­coma

Pub­lisher/de­vel­oper The Full­bright Com­pany For­mat PC, Xbox One Re­lease 2017

EDGE - - DISPATCHES PERSPECTIVE -

Ta­coma has come on a long way since we first played a rather bare­bones build last year, but its core has re­mained un­changed. Set on the tit­u­lar lu­nar trans­fer space sta­tion, you play pri­vate con­trac­tor Amy Fer­rier, who has been sent by Ta­coma owner Ven­turis Cor­po­ra­tion to re­trieve sen­si­tive in­for­ma­tion and the sta­tion’s AI, ODIN, fol­low­ing an as-yet-un­spec­i­fied emer­gency. Ta­coma’s crew are ab­sent and, if pro­to­col was fol­lowed, should’ve evac­u­ated, but ODIN tells you that their where­abouts is clas­si­fied in­for­ma­tion.

What­ever the truth, you’ll be able to wit­ness the events that took place in the hours lead­ing up to the emer­gency thanks to ODIN’s rather in­tru­sive log­ging of key crew in­ter­ac­tions. These can be played back as holo­graphic record­ings, each mem­ber of the crew dif­fer­en­ti­ated by the va­ri­ety of body shapes and the dif­fer­ent colour as­signed to each per­son.

The Full­bright Com­pany has spent the past year re­build­ing the Ta­coma sta­tion to en­sure that it’s a more con­vinc­ingly hab­it­able space, and the ef­fort shows. The sta­tion’s new cen­trifu­gal de­sign still al­lows for tran­si­tions be­tween zero G and stan­dard grav­ity ( man­aged by nifty ‘ver­ti­cal’ foot lifts that zip down the long arms which ex­tend from the sta­tion’s cen­tre), but the crew’s liv­ing quar­ters feel more func­tional than the spa­ces de­signed around the sur­face-trans­fer me­chanic we saw last year, which saw Fer­rier dis­en­gag­ing her mag­netic boots to leap be­tween walls, floors and ceil­ings solv­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal puz­zles.

But Full­bright has si­mul­ta­ne­ously deep­ened your in­ter­ac­tions with AR crew record­ings and the en­vi­ron­ment. Rather than sim­ply de­cid­ing which thread of con­ver­sa­tion to eaves­drop on, now you have the power to pause, rewind and fast-for­ward play­back to ex­ca­vate every de­tail and in­ter­ac­tion. Scenes take place over much larger spa­ces, too, so a cou­ple of char­ac­ters might pair off and head into an­other room at one point – per­haps to dis­cuss other char­ac­ters be­hind their backs. You’re also granted ac­cess to ev­ery­one’s desk­top, an AR HUD where you can pore over pri­vate emails, in­for­ma­tion about the en­vi­ron­ment and other things they might not choose to vo­calise. Full­bright sug­gests the or­der in which you hear con­ver­sa­tions, and the ad­di­tional con­text pro­vided by these snip­pets of in­for­ma­tion, should pro­foundly al­ter how you per­ceive each char­ac­ter.

The setup em­pow­ers you as a voyeur to these stricken peo­ple’s lives, piec­ing to­gether the story as you ex­ca­vate each thread and slowly make sense of what’s go­ing on, and their predica­ment is leant fur­ther cred­i­bil­ity by some sharp writ­ing and ef­fec­tive vo­cal per­for­mances.

Now you have the power to pause, rewind and fast­for­ward play­back to ex­ca­vate every de­tail

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