Meh.

User Rating: 5.5 | Resonance PC
I adored Gemini Rue so I thought I'd play Resonance. Same developer and all. I finished it no less than 10 minutes ago and feel thoroughly underwhelmed.

I found the interface to be clunky and . For example when I tried to drag environmental objects to a character to instigate a related conversation, if the target character was on the left side of the screen, my short term memory drop down would open, forcing me to store the reference to short term memory and drag it in again. It also generally felt unnecessarily clunky and unusable. Maybe there's a tiny niche of veteran adventure games who appreciate the homage, but I found it pretty irritating. Why ignore the vast array of knowledge relating to UI design for self-indulgent homage.

The puzzles were fairly hit and miss. The middle portion of the game leaves you with 4 characters and many locations. I never felt hugely engaged with the plot and characters to feel particularly motivated or interested in committing huge amounts of time scanning location after location with my mouse cursor for tiny details. I almost rage quit when I swiped a credit card to open the door to the tech room in the police admin hq. I had tried this on several doors previously and the character refused to try on 'you can't use this with that' grounds.

I thought the dialogue option puzzles were pretty heinous too. Conversations can swing one way or the other and responses change based on tone, mood and basically dependent on a character's whim. This is certainly how they are played out in Resonance. There is some logical progression in conversation but essentially you are guessing the writer's arbitrary decisions, and having to click through the same conversation several times over, because you said two barely related things in a slightly different order at the beginning of the conversation. It's not even a puzzle. It's pure trial and error and it destroys the pace of the game. On the other hand, there were some very challenging and interesting puzzles that were very satisfying to complete.

The story was decent yet inconsistent. Some parts were very well thought out. Others glazed over. I found the Eleven Corporation to be the weakest point of the story. Supposedly an Englishman and a Japanese woman with a child have managed to acquire and are capable of analyzing the vast majority of digital exchanges and have a database of (everyone's?) DNA, as well as replicating and harnessing absolute cutting edge, complex technology before it has the left the hands and minds of a single founder and his assistant.

Artistically it was nice, though lacked a more distinct style that Gemini Rue exhibited. The music was interesting too. Voice acting was reasonable and all the characters were interesting enough, albeit some poorly developed. The background story of the female character, as shown in playable flashbacks and dreams took up a lot of time, was poorly executed and fell flat in provoking any kind of visceral reaction or empathy. It could have easily been condensed.

Although it's possible I wasn't in the best frame of mind to play a game within this genre (sleepy and lacking patience), I feel like this game was a little too convoluted and inconsistent to recommend.