Backed by an undisputed success in the radical-chic salons, the guys at Fullbright, a tiny software house based in Portland, have decided to grant an encore with a “spatial” version of their narrative experience.In Tacoma (nothing to do with the Toyota pickup)
we wear the suit of Amy Ferreira, a Californian researcher sent to the lunar station from which the name of the game. Three days before his arrival there was an accident and there are no more traces of the crew, composed of six people: the Administrator EV St. James, the special operations manager Clive,
the mechanical engineer Bert, the programmer Nat , the doctor Sareh and the botanist Andrew. Entered the structure and made the knowledge of ODIN, the virtual assistant who will teach us how to operate augmented reality, we will have to explore the three rings that make up the base: biomedical center, engineering center and staff quarters. In the first few minutes, salt a little
THE THEATER OF HEROES
The only figures with which to interact are the holograms of the disappeared astronauts, whose last memories have been preserved by the artificial intelligence of the station.
Approaching these ethereal silhouettes you start a sort of theatrical curtain in which each plays his part, but, to get an overview of what is happening, it is necessary to repeat the animated sequences several times moving to the shoulders of the actors.
An example helps to make the idea better: the first memory is started in the control room of EV St. James. On the side you can hear the notes that dictates to ODIN and some reflections made aloud. At a certain point she is called by her colleagues in the hall where a party is taking place: we follow her and witness the toast.
Of course, having focused our attention on her, we lost the dialogues of the remaining five crew members: we must then rewind the tape and position ourselves in the vicinity of the other actors to better understand what is happening.
So we find out that during the feast of obsolescence a meteorite hits Tacoma and in a very short time the oxygen supply is drastically reduced.
The six, aware that aid from the Earth would not arrive in time, plan a desperate plan. Impossible to continue in the story of the plot without the risk of ruining the experience to those who want to try it, especially in relation to the very short duration of the game. But we can say that in this race against time emotional tension grows as you approach the last module
, even if the convenience of wrapping the memory tape allows you to know more about the astronauts, maybe rummaging through their personal objects or browsing through e-mails, at least those that ODIN has managed to preserve from deletion.
Wandering around in the lunar station you come across many objects, mostly useless, but telling stories of life lived, just as happened in Gone Home. In two or three circumstances there will be some hidden key that provides access to documents that may be important, but if you want you can also ignore these basic puzzles.
FOUR YEARS FOR THREE HOURS ARE NOT TOO MANY?
The Fullbrights confirm themselves to be good at shaping protagonists with well-defined personalities, not forgetting topical issues such as homosexual relationships or the ruthlessness of capitalism. The impression, however, is that the narrative plot from which they started to embark Tacoma is too compressed and that it would have been necessary at
least twice the work to investigate properly the characters that in practice reflect a bit ‘too much sitecotypes stereotypes new Yorker.In the small melting pot that has formed within the spatial structure, more or less explicit love stories intertwine, such as the one between St. James and Siddiqi, which are the least successful figures, as they emerge from the scene almost immediately. The real superstar is the little Nat, an expert in communications,
who does not hide her rebellious character and lives with the carefree of the younger ones who would seem to be the last moments of her life.
The companion Bert acts instead as a supporting actor and did not seem overly convincing, unlike Andrew, the botanist involved in spite of himself in the desperate attempt to rescue the team and that shows with an excellent stage presence the doubts of those who are aware of going meeting at death.