The health crisis has inspired many content creators. Among the three Lyonnais from the young Burning Sunset studio, the current context has matured the idea of a full-motion video adventure: The World After. A science fiction production produced by moviegoers regulars during the 2020 pandemic.
FMV, what does that mean?
FMV, or Full Motion Video, is a technical process that consists of inserting recorded video files into a game. This can include sequences from cartoons as well as Dragon’s Lair, which was released on Arcade in 1983, as well as sequences with real actors such as the memorable Gabriel Knight: The Beast Within or the more recent Her Story and Telling Lies.
Originally from Paris, Vincent fled the noise of the city in hopes of finding inspiration for his next book in a more rural setting. Since then, the pandemic has raged and France is completely restricted. But our protagonist seems less concerned about the health crisis than about his unusual nightmares and the strange letter he received under his door. “We cannot run away from what does not existCan we read on a piece of paper signed “Third Eye”? One trace remains: that of an old castle in which Vincent will discover the means to turn day into night; a new force that will obviously not be harmless. With The World After, Burning Sunset developers decided to play with the news by pigmenting it with a huge dose of science fiction and mystery. On our side, the recipe is of course fascinating.
Containment in the countryside
Eclectic, the three minds at the Lyon-based studio have been involved in both developing the game and taking on the roles of the characters, while still counting on the help of a handful of additional actors. Very fast, The world after takes on the taste of a small production without large resources, made with great care by film enthusiasts who try their hand at acting and incarnation. In front of the camera, the performance is sometimes feverish, sometimes very correct. The casting relies on the strong presence of Jean-Claude Dreyfus (The city of lost children, delicatessen), an undeniable support that brings a certain presence. And then it’s nice to be able to enjoy a completely French interactive film that is also dubbed in English for international players. Supported by the enchanting backdrop of the Auvergne, the title often benefits from fairly wide settings and a very pleasant yellowed image. We’ll especially like the sound work which, being truly imposing, flawlessly envelops the story; The attention that is paid to it is underlined by a few details : the sound of the wooden clock in the country house or that of the birds in the early morning.
If the game is one of those herds of productions that are using the current health crisis to shape their intrigue, this primarily serves as a pretext for a much more flamboyant and nebulous mystery. So much so that we are guided by a c onstant desire to learn more. The adventures like the element of resolution will never surprise normal science fiction, but we remain curious. Let’s not say more about the script, the story only lasts about an hour. If the lifespan looks pale, it still stretches into three different ends, and only one of them answers all of the questions.
If, as already mentioned, the choices offered to the player are too limited, the course from point A to point B is similarly linear. A map might have helped to make the trip more open and thus avoid some intermediate routes between two key points. Useful detail: the ability to press the space bar to skip transitions that have already been seen. Side game mechanics, The world after works as a very classic and sophisticated point’n click : You will be asked to click on items, add them to your inventory, and combine them into new ones. The dubbing is meticulous, Vincent has his little commentary on every item you click. And then it will be necessary to argue with a handful of residents between a mechanic friend, his wife or the farmer of the corner; Not really a subplot in the meetings menu. The discussions are mainly used to provide the answer to a puzzle or the tools you need to make progress.
The game is based on a concept that gives the gameplay a little substance: the hero quickly places his hand on a switch that changes day to night and whose origins he must understand. The latter can be used for almost any place. The sets can then reveal new objects or characters to interact with. For example, if someone refuses to lend you an important item during the day, it can very well be restored after dark once the field is clear. In their entirety, the puzzles do not present any particular challenge and might have deserved more difficulty. However, you have the advantage of staying consistent in writing. Overall, the title stands for very accessible and mainstream entertainment.
- Nice plans
- Overall very pleasant sound work
- The day / night cycle that condenses the gameplay
- The idea of ”logs” to speed up the story
- A French production in French / English
– –Negative points
- Very short
- Sometimes not very stimulating puzzles
- Too limited options
- A very linear course
How pleasant it is to be able to enjoy a French FMV production highlighting the Auvergne rural landscapes that we would love to see more. The sets and the developer’s appetite for the cinema sometimes enliven pretty pictures, dressed in a rather pleasant soundtrack. Add to that a handful of good ideas: an intrigue between current affairs and science fiction that inevitably makes you curious, a day / night change that adds a lot to the content and video recordings to uncover important tools for understanding the story. Sci-fi enthusiasts, however, won’t be disoriented by writing that doesn’t surprise much but still benefits from a correct rhythm – for a very short experience anyway – and never boring. But still: it’s a shame that the game opens up to the narrative of choice by finally offering such an easy field of action. With The World After, Burning Sunset is definitely signing an encouraging production for a studio just beginning its video game journey.
May 23, 2021 at 6:48:00 pm
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