Twin Mirror is a nice game and that seventy at the bottom of the page is just a number that I almost regret assigning it. I want to clarify immediately because otherwise you would not read anything and this review I would have written it just for me. I would also like to go quickly on the stale introductions from "we left Dontnod here", "we found him there" ... If you don't know the path of the French developers - already authors of the fascinating Life is Strange - I certainly won't be the one to indoctrinate you. soup.
Conversely, if you've gotten bored with Life is Strange 2's pixel hunting (our photo gallery here) or snorted over Tell Me Why's uninspiring storytelling, Twin Mirror will pay you back with seven hours of good writing, a scripted intrigue with the right realism and credible characters. Ah, oh: before leaving you to the trailer, it is good to know that Dontnod has finally abandoned the frustrating episodic structure and that he has studied a system of semi-automatic vignettes to overcome the too many and useless hotspots of which, frankly, I was tired and tired. .
Twin Mirror is a linear graphic adventure that embodies an even more simplified formula than the one proposed by the Franco team in recent years, especially by virtue of its being a non-episodic title, with no dead points to justify waiting for the new chapter. On the one hand, it was a forced choice: after four IPs in constant decline they must have realized that users had grown tired of the “buy today but play one bite at a time” trick; on the other hand, it was undoubtedly a courageous choice: selling the complete package - without being able to alter it during construction - meant clearly explaining the walking simulator nature of this type of production. Why then did I write that Twin Mirror is a good game? Well, primarily because it offers a very precise insight into American provincial life hit by the economic depression.
Why then did I write that Twin Mirror is a good game?
Without the presumption of writing a sociology essay, the developers have sketched the outlines of a West Virginia mining town where unemployment reigns supreme, with key figures such as the pharmacist, the teenager, the chief of police or the former worker who has been entrusted with secondary roles but harbingers of a narrative plot capable of supporting the story of the protagonist. Secondly, why accompany Sam "Muley" Higgs to discover the killers of his best friend, without knowing which of the five / six possible endings would have concluded the story, it's captivating.
Twin Mirror in fact rests all its gameplay on duality, with an alter ego that acts as a counterpoint to Sam's will and who is entrusted with the final decision on the way to go. There's no backtracking, no Detroit: Become Human-style choice trees: Twin Mirror pulls straight for six / seven hours without making us look back while making us aware that we have taken a crossroads instead of the other. The fact remains that it takes little to identify with an investigative journalist who returns to his hometown for the funeral of his best friend and is not satisfied with the official version - full of gaps - about the accident that caused his death. Of course we are not talking about something that leaves emotions to tell to posterity, but for that there are already Max and Chloe: let's be satisfied.
Se storytelling proceeds by bifurcations, its flow remains very linear, that is, you never have the feeling of missing something or wanting to load a previous save to know what would have happened "if". This sensation is perceptible only in the final, but it is possible to repeat the last scenes to remove any curiosity. In my opinion it is a great added value because it does not create tears in the narrative. Tears that in Dontnod's other works - ie Life is Strange 2 - were accentuated by a proliferation of hotspots and collectibles for their own sake that distracted from the plot. In Twin Mirror the number of searchable objects is reduced to the bone and it is not necessary to interact to know the details. Just look at them to activate small windows in which to read the description; if they are not key elements to continue, you do not even need to click on them. It was also added a menu dedicated to the characters met, which summarizes everything that has been done with them and any particular memories associated with that person.
you never get the feeling that you have missed something
It may seem like a trivial thing and instead, especially in the first run, I felt particularly involved in being able to read this sort of constantly evolving "diary", either because the pharmacist had told me something about my best friend's ex-wife and his file presented an in-depth section about it, partly because I discovered some objects that revealed old memories associated with this or that secondary character. The developers wanted to give the theme of "remembrance" an even deeper connotation, allowing Sam to access that Palazzo della Memoria that recalls the Technique of the loci described by Cicero in his De Oratore (54 BC).
In summary, interacting with some objects it is possible to take refuge in an abstract space to relive some past moments. The Palazzo della Memoria has two functions: to create a bridge between the present and past narration, enriching the game experience, and to allow the protagonist to analyze the field tests so as to reconstruct the facts as they really went. For example, Sam gets drunk on the night of the funeral. When he wakes up he no longer remembers anything other than having participated in a fight. Back in the bar he manages to abstract himself to highlight the signs of the struggle and reconstruct the sequence. I'm not here to specify why it is necessary to do all this (otherwise they would be spoilers as if it were raining), but I repeat the concept: Twin Mirror runs smoothly, it never repeats itself and is fun get to the credits.
Twin Mirror however, it is not a perfect game. Net of the narrative qualities already described, some secondary characters intervene almost suddenly. The father of the co-star, just to name one, would have deserved a dedicated gameplay session. On the contrary, the effective characterization of her is "burned" in a couple of occasions and nothing more. The same goes for the bartender Ethan and his sister, participating in a parallel storyline just mentioned. Could Dontnod have avoided these possible side quests so as not to water down the plot? I can't tell. The fact is that I would have liked some more marked thrusts.
on PlayStation 4 smooth uploads between locations are exhausting
From a technical point of view, on PlayStation 4 smooth uploads between locations are exhausting. I could also understand it for particularly complex game engines but ... hey: this is theU on which they have developed all their IPs. How is it possible? Even the modeling and animations smell of old gen that not even a few years ago would have been more than enough, so all the more reason one should expect an unblemished fluidity (and instead). The aspect, however, that bothered me most of all is related to the speed of execution, which is that towards the middle of the game the events started to chase each other too quickly. If up to that point the unraveling of the story proceeded step by step, allowing me to savor every aspect at the right pace, I then found myself at the end credits almost without realizing that I had arrived there. Some might also criticize the mechanics of the Palazzo della Memoria, when functional to relive brief moments past, because in the end it is an accessory element without gameplay ... but I found it an original method to guarantee greater identification.USEFUL INFO
I played Twin Mirror thanks to a publisher-provided code on my smooth PlayStation 4 (bought in 2014, still fully functional) and suffered from really grueling uploads between locations.Duration
- There are several possibilities and I've only tried two. The first run, taken with Olympic calm, stole seven hours of sleep from me. This is not a game that is too long-lived.
- Twin Mirror is a graphic adventure in pure Dontnod style, but this time without episodes. You know Life is Strange? Here, like that but in one package.
- Almost every character carries with him a series of memories; memories that can be easily found just by exploring - without going crazy - the game world.
- Game Name: Twin Mirror
- Release date: December 1 2020
- Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
- Dubbing language: English
- Texts language: Italian
Let's sum it up for a moment: on the one hand we have a captivating story, credible characters, a refined context and a simple but rather pleasant gameplay. On the other hand, there is a markedly old product, both in the game engine and in the level design. There are some new features (ie the Palazzo della Memoria) that I found delicious but also a plot without emotional peaks in the Life is Strange style. I like Sam "Muley" Higgs, but if we compare him to Max or Chloe he comes out with broken bones with no chance of revenge. So what do you do? Do you buy this Twin Mirror or not? Well: if you are a gamer who likes to be distracted with light productions of the caliber of Until Dawn, Heavy Rain & co., But also with the new series of The Dark Pictures Anthology, the answer is clearly "yes". The budget price of 29 euros also suggests future reductions, therefore, out of the way, for 19 euros I would recommend a ride with closed eyes. It is true that if you hate Dontnod's work, it will certainly not be Twin Mirror that will make you change your mind.
The Twin Mirror review helps support scientific research on Rett syndrome. Find the details of the initiative at this link.Review by Roberto Turrini
We are in the "more of the same" area, especially for those who have played Tell Me Why. The faces of some characters seem to have enjoyed a more refined workmanship but ... here: no miracles. I also found photography to be ineffective, when on the contrary in Life is Strange 2 it had been, in my opinion, one of the most successful elements.
SOUNDTRACK AND DOUBLE ROOM
I have nothing to say about dubbing in English. It works well and if for the other Dontnod IPs I have always recorded a sort of false "detachment" in the exchange between two characters, here it seemed to me a normal flow of jokes between the interlocutors. Marca visits, instead, the soundtrack, one of the most appreciated features by the fans of this development team. Which then, in reality, in the introductory sequence seemed to get off to a great start and even the co-star would have had to sell and spend ... but she stops there. I counted on it: too bad.
If you have followed me this far you should already know that, in its being an intriguing walking simulator disguised as a graphic adventure, the gameplay of Twin Mirror is indeed quite elementary. This does not mean that it is bad, quite the contrary. For those looking for a light but captivating experience I highly recommend it.