The independent factory continues to enjoy excellent health. After its explosion back in 2009, the banner of creative freedom continues to rouse – and increasingly – in those studies that decide to enter this challenge by their own means. Thanks to the rise of various collective funding portals, today we can enjoy titles of the likes of Pillars of Eternity , Wasteland 2 or Star Citizen – among many others. The work that we will discuss in the next lines has followed the same path of the previously mentioned ones, finally reaching the shore after months and months of hard work.
Parabole , a small Canadian studio, leaves behind the long period of early access on Steam that has passed his project to finally put all the cards on the table. We are facing a somewhat atypical narrative adventure , because although its main intention is
to develop the different plot threads through the interaction of the user with the environment, the product poses a series of facets that allow building a complex experience compared to the rest of direct competitors – or at least try. In this way, Kona lands in our homes.
Before beginning we would like to emphasize that the text is free of plot revelations.
October 1970. We will play Carl Faubert , a famous private detective who goes to a remote village in northern Quebec, Canada , in order to investigate the wave of vandalism suffered by the contracting party. Our arrival seems to be marked by bad fortune, and after a long journey we end up crashing a few kilometers from our destination.
The snow suddenly invades the virgin forests around Lake Atamipek , a strange event that will not go unnoticed. The first steps through the world of Kona will be marked by the confusion that is to find ourselves in an inhospitable place, helpless before the blizzard that hits the place.
We will soon discover that our actions will be accompanied by the voice of a third-person narrator , who will act as a guide throughout the development.
Thanks to his interventions, we will keep a better order of what is happening on the screen, providing useful tips and curiosities for the adventure -designed within our
journal-. After some events that we will not reveal, the investigation will give a turn of one hundred and eighty degrees. What is happening in this town? Why has everyone disappeared? The unknowns around its inhabitants arise as we delve into the mystery.
Most of the town and its surroundings will be available to explore with complete freedom on foot or by vehicle, although the advance of the plot will be established mainly within most homes. Beyond them, we will have the opportunity to extend our stay with the
search of the different collectibles, but they are only optional tasks that do not interfere with the bulk of the plot. Our efforts to bring the truth
to light will focus on discovering the four retrospective scenes located in the area while our knowledge of the background increases.
However, the title lives too much of his first impressions. After the initial surprise, the different researches that we will discover on our own will be confusing, lacking real value in its majority. The company’s efforts to form a narrative based on tiny literary
pieces discovered by the player’s making are praiseworthy, but we do not feel that it is well constructed; becoming separate stories with gaps that do not end up finding a reference site in the main arch. This directly affects the rhythm of the game,
being irregular as the hours pass. Unfortunately the sensations do not improve in their outcome, where we will find ourselves involved in an event that clashes with everything we have experienced before. The abruptness that results leaves a bitter feeling.
To the heat of the fire of my bonfire
In terms of playability, as previously mentioned, Kona tries to stand out from the others by proposing several mechanics that allow to offer greater depth to the crossing. Carl will have three status bars that we will monitor at all times: health , body heat
and concentration . The last two will be the most susceptible to changes, affecting the gameplay when they descend to certain points. If we do
not take care of our temperature we will end up dying of cold, like the mental state of the researcher; the lower it is, the less actions we can perform, also decreasing the visual field.
To survive, we will seek shelter around the different bonfires found in our path , which will serve as storage points. To light them we must gather several concrete objects in our inventory-in this case some matches and some wood.
The management of the backpack will be one of our responsibilities within Kona . Its limit is somewhat scarce, and depending on the item it will occupy a
greater or lesser space. In addition, we will have at our disposal the trunk of Carl’s personal vehicle to relieve our load.
The good intentions at the time of raising this series of facets end up staying precisely in that, intentions . Soon we will discover that surviving in
the steppe becomes a trivial task . The study gives too many concessions to the player, so we will see very rarely threatened by climate hazards. Besides the cold, the wolves will be our biggest adversaries . In some moments we will run into a herd of them if we are far from the inhabited spots.