Tell Me Why, is it nothing but a heartache?
I’ll go ahead and say that I knew nothing about this game when it came out. I didn’t even know it got released, in fact, because my attention was actually on the game Twin Mirror. The only reason I found out about it was because my friend complained about how crappy the characters were and how it was slow and not worth the money and not worth taking the time to play it.
So, of course, I was curious to know if he was right or not.
He does tend to get more excited with shooters and action games, but he does love the Life is Strange series, so he’s a gamer with mixed likes and dislikes.
And now here I am, wondering if I’ll regret the decision this game offers me or not.
This game is very similar to the Life is Strange series, with the fact that you have choices you can make and that…should matter when you choose them, but sometimes I wonder if they really do matter, because it doesn’t always seem like that’s the case. Like, some of them do and some of them don’t, I guess, which makes sense because there were some heavy-hitters in Life is Strange and then the minor ones that were your own.
Another factor of Life is Strange is our “twin powers.” We can basically access our memories and sort of share them through our minds. So we both remember things and see them play out.
Definitely helpful in times where we need to know where things are.
As a narrative adventure, you do have the environment you’re placed in where you can explore, and I urge you to explore what you can before progressing, because typically if you find what you want, you’re locked out of areas that you could’ve looked before. An example would be the “nope, not here” areas of your bedroom, for instance, in the beginning.
Obviously, if you stray too far, your character or someone else will remind you to come back.
But since there are collectibles, it’s worth exploring and listening to what everyone has to say.
This isn’t an open world game. We are placed in a specific area with invisible walls, but in a large enough location where we typically have room enough to explore–unless we’re actually just in a room.
So our navigation is going to be based on where we can walk, honestly.
And if we can’t walk somewhere, either someone is going to tell us that we can’t continue, or the passage is going to be blocked by something to signify that we can’t progress forward yet.
I think the soundtrack was probably the best part of the game, honestly.
Sure, there were some parts where it seemed a bit obnoxious and overbearing before it was able to tone itself down to a more relaxing degree, given the situation, but man, there’s barely a time where you’re not at least a little observant of the background soundtrack.
The only place where it lacks is when you’re going into the goblin journal to read some of the stories.
It’s pure silence there.
And while I appreciate some quiet time in order to read, I would’ve liked some kind of whimsical low-key melody in the background to listen to instead of absolutely nothing, because when you’re playing the game, you’re always hearing something. Even if you’re not paying attention to the music, or even if the music isn’t even there, there’s still the ambiance. There’s nature, there’s the characters talking, there’s the environment and its subtle shifts and sounds and your character’s own movements.
Unless it’s a moment that demands silence…there should always be something.
There are some graphical glitches in the game, I won’t lie. There weren’t a lot of them, and for the most part, they were character-specific. Take Alyson’s hair, for instance. Sometimes it would jump around, because physics can be a scary thing. Other times there were clipping problems, like with, again, hair, but also clothing when they turned their head or something along those lines.
Maybe when they picked something up as well.
But aside from that, the graphics were fine. They were far from realistic, mind you. Perhaps borderline realism, but I wouldn’t call them realistic. Half-assed realism, let’s say, if we were going to have an argument about it. But we’re not.
The environmental detail was lovely to look at.
The inside of buildings looked like the inside of buildings, even when we had to crawl under our old house in order to get inside. Nobody really thinks to do that anymore, but kids will find those nooks and crannies and stash things in places you wouldn’t believe.
This game has got a lot of flack, and not really because of the whole playing as a trans character, because that’s not even what the game centers itself around. Which is great. It’s what makes Tell Me Why stand out, honestly, for doing something out of the ordinary like this.
But it does have a lot of issues regarding character development, the choices not really meaning anything–there not being much of a “Oh, I wish I could’ve chosen the other one instead,”–and overall pacing of the game itself being sluggish. Certainly at chapter one, which I’ve played several games that had a slow burn before it started to build tension and intrigue and the urge to find out more.
The Medium, for example.
I can’t say I’m a huge fan of the game. I’m not. But I don’t hate it.
I like reading things. I liked the soundtrack and I liked watching the small flashbacks and learning bits of their past. The lack of characterization is frustrating but…some people in life are boring. Doesn’t mean their stories are.
Have you created a critique for Tell Me Why?
Not yet, but we’ll be creating it soon.
Are there any achievements?
30 of them.
How long does it take to beat Tell Me Why?
Around 10 hours on average, but you can get more details on How Long to Beat.