A third person review you say? How would that work? Well, with this thing called the internet and Youtube, a new wave of people are talking about and playing games that have been recorded and posted online. You should know people such as Pewdiepie, Press Heart to Continue, JonTron, KSIOlajidebt, JackSepticEye, LazyGameReviews and many others, one of these Youtubers who I really enjoy is Markiplier. Yesterday he released a video that’s absolutely worth watching; he plays a game called Presentable Liberty; it’s one of those narrative driven games such as the Stanley Parable, Dear Esther and the Portal games. However the amazing thing about this game is that it barely gives you any real control over it, and becomes a lot more of an interactive story, where you’re a prisoner who receives a lot of letters from a group of people caught in a horrible epidemic, and you’re one of a very few who isn’t infected.
Here’s the Youtube video, it’s an hour, but worth watching every bit of it. Otherwise you can play the game by downloading it from here.
Try to either watch the video in whole or play the game to the end before reading the rest of this.
Watching Markiplier play this game shows how a story and narrative can make a game truly amazing, not to mention the fact that the narration in this game is in the form of letters! Typically games such as Stanley Parable and Portal use voice overs, but this game does an amazing job of telling a story with the least amount of technical prowess. Proving that plot and story telling can beat high end graphics and voice overs.
You begin with receiving letters through the hole in the door from a character called Doctor Money who informs you that there’s a virus killing people, and to keep you happy whilst in your cell you receive something called a buddy system. This is simply just a set of Pen pal-like letters from another character in the game who attempts to keep you happy by sending you portable games console and games to go with it. However this character gets upset once Doctor Money sends a letter to you about replacing him with someone else. Crazy things occur such as Buddy System Pen-pal selling his organs to afford more games for you to keep you happy until the truth comes out that he’s not the happiest person out there, and lends his life to afford the final video game that you receive which is incredibly sad and very disturbing!
Another character is Charlotte, a lady who works at a near by pastry shop. She sends you letters and she’s in a similar situation as you, she isn’t infested either. She has locked herself up in her shop in fear of the virus. She gets very lonely inside her shop and wants you to write to her back, but you can’t, causing her to get more depressed as she sees people around her die. She explains to you that the Doctor Money made an antidote for the virus, but it turns out that it destroys organs in the process of killing the virus, so an organ market begins. Remember what I said above about Mr Buddy System Pen-Pal selling his organs? Pretty damn crazy right!? Miss Charlotte does everything she can to keep herself happy, she plays a gramophone that you can only hear once, but seeing as you can’t reply to her she gets very upset that leads to her suicide.
Lastly there’s Salvador, who appears to be your best friend. He sends you letters about a trip that he goes on and makes a table for you sending it piece by piece. Salvador isn’t aware of the epidemic that happening around you and sends you letters being a bit ignorant about it until he gets back home. Being shocked about what’s going on, Salvador tries to rescue you, but when he breaks into the prison he discovers that the elevator, the only way up to higher floors isn’t working. He attempts to break you free by taking out the power generator as he discovers that the prison doors is controlled by electricity. Salvador ends up getting killed by getting electrocuted in the generator room, which sets you free, but the result of your freedom isn’t the nicest thing you want.
The conclusion of the game is that you have four characters for whom you never see, three of which you develop a bond with, who unfortunately die, and you never know what happens to Doctor Money. Now I’m pretty sure that this style of unfortunate events has been written in books countless times, but I can honestly say that I don’t quite recall anything of this level in a game before. Then again calling this a game is a little contradictory seeing as you can barely move during the vast majority of the time, nor can you write back and interact with the characters in the game. You do however collect things that these characters sends you, such as party poppers, that only last a few times, a table, a spider, some posters and a clock. These things are simply distractions you have whilst you wait for the next letter. The game is simply a time waster, a time waster attached to a disturbing and depressing story to it that works. Even though I haven’t even played the game myself, watching Markiplier play this is good enough. This is a game that makes watching someone else play it as good as playing it yourself, seeing as there’s barely any interaction in the game, which in many ways, as I mentioned before, defeats the purpose of it being a game. Yet funny enough there are games inside this so called, non-game. Ultimately, the game asks you if freedom and liberty is worth it, and for this cell mate, it may have not…
Whatever you may call it, a game or not; you have to admit that whatever it might be it’s presentation, detail to story and narrative really brings out the best in this game. Whoever wrote this must be someone who writes books for a living as I never seen this kind of writing before in a game. I truly have to congratulate Wertpol the developer for making a game that has a very deep plot and game play that makes you feel useless until the very end. Sure, in gaming terms this is the most linear game you’ll ever play. But for something that’s so linear, this has a shining crown of game writing on it’s head, and thank you Markiplier for showing us this amazing game!
NOTE: I had to edited this a few times as I found a few dramatical errors and unnecessary sentences. Hopefully if you ever read this again it’ll look better than before! 🙂
What do you think of this? Did you play it? Did you watch it instead? Isn’t the story amazing? Tell me in the comments below!