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2015-9-11-EtherOne

Title: Ether One

Platform: PS4

Personal Trophy Completion: 100% (Platinum)

Rating: 7/10

 

I have never felt so conflicted about a game before. This was a free PS+ download, and it is one of my favorite genres: first person exploration games. I like being able to wander and piece together a story, without worrying about time or enemies or anything. I like puzzles, and I like mysteries. This game was all of that, with a mind blowing attention to detail that you can’t quite appreciate until you’ve finished the entire thing and reflected. However, the game was incredibly buggy. I actually played it AFTER the supposed fix, and still had trouble. At one point I thought I couldn’t load my auto-save and had lost most of my progress, but then I read online that the loading takes extremely long and just wait it out. Eventually, it worked (pro tip: NEVER fast travel between locations). Some of the puzzles were a little buggy as well. At one point I had to restart a section because a box wouldn’t open once I had solved the puzzle, and therefore I couldn’t access a piece I needed. Once I started over I did the exact thing over again and it worked. So that was frustrating. Additionally, the puzzles were extremely complicated and difficult. They are not necessary to finish the game, but I’m a completionist, so….. At the time I played it, there were very few full complete and *accurate* walkthroughs out there (even for the computer version), so I was forced to cobble together guides to find solutions that worked. There was a lot of trial and error and frustration.

BUT THE STORY, MAN. You are employed as a “Restorer” who is tasked with restoring memories of a patient with dementia in order to cure her. You physically enter the memories and can interact with almost everything in the environment. You can bring items back to the home base area to save for later, and explore tons of buildings and houses. The locations to explore include a mine, an extensive village area, and an industrial center. The only progression requirement is to collect 8 memory fragments in each area, but if you want you can also complete the aforementioned puzzles to gain even more background. There were so many things in the environment that I was like “why is this even here?”, but as I got to the end, everything makes sense and means something, and it was so damn ingenious that I can’t even describe it without giving away the main plot twist. The whole concept is just ridiculously clever, and I really enjoyed that aspect. It would’ve gotten a higher rating if it hadn’t been so buggy. This is absolutely a unique game that you will enjoy if you can put up with the technical issues.

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