Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Night in the Woods review: Life sucks, so solve a mystery

Night in the Woods starts on a sour note. Then it piles on more of that bitter flavor day after in-game day of modern malaise and hopelessness. Such is life in the small, supposedly quiet town of Possum Springs. Such is life in thousands of forgotten towns across the United States.

We sense all this through Mae Borowski—a protagonist that should feel familiar even to those players who can't identify with the desperation of her rural hometown. She's a charismatic-enough 20-year-old with no job and zero interest in finding one. She dropped out of college—which was seemingly her one chance to escape the literal and figurative abyss swallowing Possum Springs—and has come home to live with her parents while telling her estranged friends how to live.

To put it simply, she's a jerk. To put it less simply, Mae comes across as a vessel for Night in the Woods' developer's/writer's musings on what's wrong with today's "entitled youth." At times, especially early on, Mae is so indefensible and so undefended by the game's plot and characters that she seems like the walking embodiment of a "Why Millennials Are Ruining America" article.

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from Night in the Woods review: Life sucks, so solve a mystery

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