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For the past week I’ve been playing a game about authoritarianism in which you play as a gatekeeper and deny access to people to the simple pleasures of life. No I’m not playing the 2013 sleeper hit, Papers, Please.
TAYers, I present you, Not Tonight, a game set in an alternate (?) post-Brexit UK. And how do I say this... I don’t like this game. I didn’t like it since the first day I saw it, but the donk in me said, well maybe this game will be a satirical critique of the separatist move going on in the UK. Satire this is not... and neither is Not Tonight an original game.
Right from the get-go the game is trying to make a statement of UK’s current situation as its reveal trailer opens up with archived footage from the moment when the sovereign country separated from the European Union in 2016. It feels like a cheap move from the marketing (and devs... maybe?) to create buzz about their game through sensationalism.
But leaving the whole current world controversy on the side: Just what is Not Tonight? The game starts with you receiving your eviction papers despite being born in the UK, the reason? Your parents are not British. And so, you’re given the order to make enough money through an assigned job as a bouncer or else your permit will be revoked.
Your first few jobs are simple, you check identification cards for discrepancies to let people inside night clubs, bars and other night venues across the southern provinces of the UK.
As the game progresses so does the difficulty and the tension in the country regarding the situation with the immigrants of European origin. More parameters to check, an ever-growing list of blacklisted countries and even sub-story in which you join the resistance and help them move towards their goal, which is to take down those responsible of the separation from Europe.
It is a stressful game, not because of the difficulty (all of goals are under strict time limits and at times there’s just too much multitasking), but also because of how the writing is so crass and tries to go for a black/white approach, you’re either taken pity from the NPCs in the game who acknowledge that the current situation is unfair but are powerless (or just don’t care enough) to do anything about it or are treated as a parasite.
It’s difficult to recommend this game, and yet... I don’t completely hate it. Maybe what I wanted is just more of that Papers, Please gameplay...
Today’s topic and questions are defenitely not a copy of a previous OF:
- Which 2018 title has disappointed you so far? Do you have hopes that the game can turn the tables and win your heart?
- What’s your favorite piece of video game trivia?
- When was the last time you stepped out of your comfort zone?
- Has anyone ever recommended a music genre that you’ve never heard of? How did it go?
Today’s jam is na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-naaaa...
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