This is the latest narrative driven adventure from DontNod. It’s certainly similar in terms of design, coming across as a slightly expanded upon episode from the likes of Life is Strange. This is however entirely grounded in the realms of reality, while also diving into the splintered mind of the protagonist Sam Higgs. He’s not really a character you can fully get behind, but it’s an interesting perspective to view.
This is also somewhat of a psychological thriller, but it doesn’t really bring too many gripping moments or even tension. It’s basically this story of an investigative journalist that heads back to his home town after the passing of a best friend that he had left behind a couple years prior. Upon arrival in this small American town he’s dealing with hostile familiar faces, broken hearts and deep mystery as he awakens with no memory of the prior night.
On top of that, his shirt is soaked in blood and you need to figure out what happened. These discovery points are played out in a sort of rewind conclusion, that feels similar to concepts of previous DontNod titles. They really like to play around with memories and time, that’s present here. It’s basically a little detective spot that’s shown a few times. The story itself could have been more interesting, it comes across as rather generic and not necessarily too exciting.
It doesn’t really give you tidbits to figure out what’s going on, so you’re more or less just along for the ride with basic inputs. Even then, it doesn’t really care about your choices as most evident by your old flame staying around despite you being downright dismissive of her. It’s interesting, as you can see what they wanted to do, and they give you a little room to try to wiggle things a bit. It’s just not really that in-depth choice wise, and while there are multiple endings for some replayability I think having a more precise story might have done good for this one. I do think you will be surprised by how it ends though.
This is a third person narrative driven setup that looks very similar to Life is Strange, while providing more of a grim and darkened perspective. It definitely has that artful look, but aims for a mature style that is very different. It presents fairly realistic spaces, and some sense of smaller freedom. I wish the areas had more life to them though, just like the people you come across. It does a good job of setting up the different people, but you never really get to know them and then they just suddenly appear once more right at the end.
It does provide a good sense of atmosphere, and music too. This handled well, I didn’t really have any complaints on the performance or visuals. I particularly liked the whole mindscapes, neat places within the mind of the character. There’s an element of split perspectives, and I won’t dive into that further since it’s more fun to see that revealed as you play it. With that though, the other worldly place you visit was interesting and I’d like to see more of that if they were to do further games of this type.
I think that’s a lot of this one, I enjoy the smaller format. I think this style is worthwhile and needed in gaming, but this take on it left many things to be desired. It would have been better as either a shorter more concise narrative, or one that was expanded further quite honestly. Still, I’d love to see more small games like this as this setup is ripe for unique stories. This one just happens to be rather forgettable.
Twin Mirror is an interesting experiment, I like the idea of a shorter narrative driven adventure but found this largely forgettable. I never really got behind the protagonist, and I wasn’t really into his almost random sense of completeness that developed. It seemed unearned, and that there was something more needed to make his strife dynamic.
It just came across as underdeveloped. I liked the idea of taking what feels familiar with the hub type areas from the recent Life is Strange, and I think this concept could really work well to provide smaller narrative adventures. I don’t think this was the best choice to present the style. It’s a decent straight playthrough, but I’ll likely forget about it over time.
I still think this might be worth checking out if you want a more casual time and just to enjoy an easy going story. I think it’s a miss from what I expect of DontNod, though I want to see them try something like this again. There’s a place in gaming for this type of narrative setup, and I hope they pursue it further in the future. Oh, and there’s a bit of Pac Man in this since it’s published by Bandai Namco which was fun to see.
Read our Tell Me Why Review
View our Life is Strange Hub
Twin Mirror Review on Xbox Series X
Review Code Provided by Xogo Consulting