Arise Review: A Simple Story - A game to piss you off first, then make you happy

Author: Julia Dragović
Date: 2019-12-13 14:43:00
The review was based on the PC version.

Do you know what "instant gratification" is? This is more or less what we experience on Facebook or Instagram - we publish something and we immediately have a prize in the form of hearts or thumbs up. Or when we want to buy something and we can do it right away - everything is within our reach. The downside of this phenomenon, however, is that it deepens our lack of patience and reluctance to long-term planning. Something requires more work? Fulfillment of more conditions? The reward will come in 5 years, not 5 minutes? The brain activates the reaction: I don't feel like it, it's not worth it, it's a waste of time. It is a very popular pattern among millennials and Gen Z.

I confess. This is also my scheme of action, and that's because I'm a typical millennial. So I would give up Arise: A Simple Story myself. I would give up like nothing - because initially it is a game that does not reward in any way, but only experiences .

This will make a large part of you also want to leave Arise after the first several minutes. So I'm here to stop you and tell you that it's worth a while. That it is worth the wait.

Annoyingly simple story ... not

Arise: A Simple Story is an independent platform adventure game from Piccolo Studio creators published by Techland Publishing.

Here you are witnessing a funeral. At the stake there is a man of good build. This is your protagonist - he has just finished his life. He's about to make his way to the limbo, and what you'll experience in a few hours of gameplay (and maybe even ten if you're perfectionists) will turn out to be a story about his life. As you move through the chapters, you will collect his memories, which merge into a complete picture. And at the end of the road ... You'll see for yourself. Is it really the simple story as its title suggests? It is as simple as it is familiar. It is a journey through nostalgia, suffering, loss, love ... It is a story about a universal path in life. At the end of it, you will begin to wonder how much one person can bear and still see the world in full color. It's not that unusual - anyone, if you looked at their life (in full!), Would be full of admiration.

Okay, let's get it straight - the beginning is boring. But only if it takes too long. But I'm afraid it will take too long for most of it. That is the problem. The first chapter whipped me incredibly. I had to take breaks, force myself to continue (and you have to know that it can be done in about 10 minutes; go ahead - laugh). Fortunately, duty won. The location was boring as tripe with oil, everything looked the same, it was uncomplicated and merged into one whole. In addition, out of habit, I wanted to play the keyboard. When I was trying to jump onto the cursed board for the eighth time, to fall ill again, I thought: how about a pad ... Definitely play the pad. It won't be perfect, but it will get better.

Objectively, the location of the first story is flawless - despite the negligible impact on visual controls throughout the game (if you like exploring, you can get furious) it's always clear where to go. It seems to me (and I may be wrong) that I understood the intention of the creators to make the beginning so tedious and simple. With this rough start, the concept of the game comes to the fore. You learn it and you already know what mechanics work here. And they work simply, intuitively, flawlessly and interestingly. You are visiting locations close to the protagonist - symbolic and (with time) absolutely magical. Representing the stages of his life. Some are immensely happy, others devastatingly sad. Still others totally hammering you into your armchair. The crossing is also symbolic. The effort, both intellectual and physical (going through most of the level with your fingers stubbornly on the controller LT and RT is no joke) shows how hard this time must have been.

Crushing ice

So we come to mechanics. And the mechanics, let me tell you, this is the feature that distinguishes Arise . This is where the challenge and the reward are. Time control is the most important factor in the game. By moving it towards the day or night, or stopping it completely, we constantly gain new elements of the world. Ebb and flow, falling rocks, creatures encountered, bizarre cell-like objects in an environment resembling the interior of ... a bearing? Sure. They all help you reach your destination - the next chapter in the story. Thanks to the control of time, we will run away from fire and destructive dark elements, but we will also slide through the air on a silvery streak, accompanied by perfectly composed and blended music. Its author is David García. The soundtrack accounts for at least half the charm of the entire production.

Despite its more or less unequivocal advantages, Arise has a few disadvantages - fortunately, these are not disadvantages that would cancel this title . I've already replaced the camera - you can only look up and down, and it's barely. Physically, there is no way to - in this way we shift back or speed up time. There are also wounds. From totally harmless, like crossing a rock to another location, to those that make us die. It happens. However, there was one where I had to go to the main menu, losing progress (little because little, but still). There were four in total. Perhaps there would be more - I didn't collect all the collectibles.

We come to the "nail of the program", that is, the multiplayer mode. In my opinion, it doesn't make any sense. It might not be there at all, because - to be honest - he made me hope to spice up the gameplay, then took it and squashed it. It consists in the fact that the first player walks our hero, and the second one controls the time. That's all. It is problematic for two reasons: it turns out to be hellishly boring for player 2 (I know, I experienced it), and to top it all, it's backbreaking.