Life is Strange was a series of episodic graphic adventure games that became relatively popular throughout this past decade. With their penchant for combining nice visuals, good writing, and unique subject matter, Dontnod Entertainment has pretty much inherited the crown of mature, narrative-driven games that Telltale Games once held.
With their newest effort, Twin Mirrors, Dontnod has left the episodic approach behind for one larger cinematic detective mystery. In it, you’ll play as Sam Riggs, an angst-filled investigative journalist who has returned to his hometown of Basswood (he hasn’t been there in a while) just after the tragic death of his former best friend, Nick.
The official reason for Nick’s death is described as a car accident, but Sam quickly discovers that there is a lot more to the story than initially meets the eye.
The early part of the game does a relatively good job of introducing the town’s various characters, although there were a lot fewer than in Dontnod’s previous games. That’s fine though because it gives the run-down town a more isolated—almost downtrodden vibe. It sort of reminded me of some of the small, left-behind towns I’ve been through in real life, that seem more like semi-ghost towns than anything.
As you guide Sam around Basswood, you’ll come across various interactive objects in its environs. These can help you to not only explore the town more but also find potential clues that can help you find out what really happened to your dearly (and recently) departed buddy, Nick.
The other major gameplay aspects of Twin Mirrors revolves around your many interactions with Basswood’s denizens. If you thought that any of the Life is Strange titles were dialogue-heavy, you’ll probably think again once you try this one—there’s so much of it that it’ll make your head spin.
Luckily, the game’s voice acting is well-handled and seems a lot more professionally done than Dontnod’s previous efforts. The only knock would be that the characters sometimes come off as a little flat.
There’s one unique twist, gameplay-wise, that I don’t quite know how I feel about. As you attempt to get to the bottom of Nick’s death, you’ll see that Sam has an imaginary version of himself that joins him in his investigations.
This doppelganger-esque “friend” offers advice to Sam at certain junctures throughout his journey. While this was an interesting idea (probably on paper, at least), I felt that it was rather jarring more than anything else.
The storyline reminds me more of an indie film than some world-shaking blockbuster. You’ll soon discover that Sam was originally kicked out of his hometown because of his coverage of some illicit activities going down at a local mine.
Overall, I found Twin Mirrors to be an interesting puzzle-solving and detective-adventure game. Although some of its characters came off as a little under-developed, it does have a creepy setting and wicked plot-twists that fans of narrative-driven adventure games will probably like.
Twin Mirrors has some pretty good looking graphics that make its detective-adventure gameplay truly shine. However, you want to have a pretty beefy gaming PC or gaming laptop in order to play it at a decent framerate. So, you may just want to invest in a decent gaming rig:
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