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Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Path

Now we stray back from the world of movies and into the comfort of video games again. Sort of. This is a review/my thoughts of The Path by Tale of Tales.


I find it very hard to describe this game as a game at all, it's alot more like a work of art. There are no health bars, no real plot so to speak, the items you can collect for points frankly have no use at all in the game, so I would describe this game as a visual novel.

The story is an adaptation of the classic Red Riding Hood tale, you are one of six sisters in the city, and you have to deliver some food to your grandmother who is sick. You can stay on the path, walk there, and complete the game within a matter of minutes. However you could also move off the path into the dangerous woods, and see what lies inside. With every girl having a different wolf that can be encountered, you are never sure what to expect. There is no winning strategy and if you want to experience most of the content, you will have to go out of your way to choose the losing path.

To quote the developers, "We are not story-tellers in the traditional sense of the word. In the sense that we know a story and we want to share it with you. Our work is more about exploring the narrative potential of a situation. We create only the situation. And the actual story emerges from playing, partially in the game, partially in the player’s mind."

The game is very heavy on symbolism, most of the events in the woods mean different things to different people with nothing set in stone. In my view the game is about growing up through different stages of life and the situations we must deal with, the girls range from age 9, whose wolf is a literal wolf, to age 19 whose wolf is her male piano instructor.

I loved playing The Path, I've only completed it with half of the girls but it is still fascinating to see all the different events that lie in the forst. All I can emphasise is do not treat this as a video game, treat it as an experience, I highly recommend everybody to give this game a go. If you don't like it, that is okay too as it is not for everybody, but I guarantee you will have never played anything like it before.

To use a quote from Heather Chaplin from Filmmaker Magazine, "The Path is about what a remarkably fine line it is that seperates childhood from adulthood, innocence from cynicism, and how utterly not black-and-white most things in life are"

7 comments:

itsfranz said...

sounds awesome
where can i get it?

Leon Smith said...

Either from http://tale-of-tales.com/ThePath/buy.html or from http://store.steampowered.com/app/27000/

I got my copy via Steam but either way works fine :)

Rawr said...

creepy vid

Fruffles said...

That looks really creepy, but I don't have a steam account, lol. Does it play out anything like Myth? Like a sandbox kind of game that you can do whatever you want?

Leon Smith said...

Sort of, although I dislike calling it a sandbox game as you can't really "do" much when you leave the path.

It's more experiencing different things, like to name a few; when you find a balloon you might pick it up and carry it with you, or when you find a campfire you might sit down next to it and watch a small cutscene.

Cameron Wyatt said...

Interesting. A sandbox that isnt really a sandbox.

follow: My blog

Aaron The Baron said...

looks interesting, i'll have to try it out when i get some time heheh


anyways, here's my blog if anyone's interested; just random posts that i think/useful will be interesting to my readers :) http://lifeofbaron.blogspot.com

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