Analogue follows a lot of the same design choices that Digital did. The first person non-communicative protagonist, story which bears exploring, rather than exposition, and some very narratively woven gameplay.
While Digital had an active story that moved along as you played, Analogue plays a little differently. Pretty much all the story has happened sometime before the player turns up, and your job is just to find out what happened.
And that’s accomplished by reading the computer logs from that time with the aid of two AI. Which brings me to my main problem with recommending this game to you…
You need to like reading. About two hours of it. Aside from one twenty minute sequence halfway through (getting to it) it’s just reading and character exploration.
So in essence, it’s a visual novel, a genre of which I’m not overly familiar. The story was interesting and kept me there long enough to finish it in one sitting. While that run only took me two hours, there’s still probably another run or two in there with different endings available.
But none of that is especially new. Exploration and investigation find their ways into a number of games, some of those little quests lasting longer than this one did. The reason I did bring this up, was that twenty minute sequence, and what a twenty minutes that was.
I will not be spoiling, but what it managed to do was incorporate a moral choice, a real moral choice, into gameplay, without me even noticing. It’s a moral choice some people might even miss. And looking back on every game I’ve played, that doesn’t happen very often.
inFamous had one or two, but the vast majority were menu based. Dragon’s Dogma is the only other game that comes to mind that did them exclusively in the realm of gameplay. but of those only one felt like a hidden choice.
Well, I’ve ragged enough on moral choices. Next time, different gameplay systems within a single game.