The subtitle The World Before for the fourth game in this adventure game series is representative not just of the setting of this particular game; for me it is also representative of an entire genre of games that I used to enjoy before.
There was a golden period of adventure games for me. The Longest Journey, the first two Syberia games hold precious memories. Still Life and Heavy Rain were also special experiences. Narrative in games meant so much more to us back then. The worlds these adventure games created were fascinating to learn about and play through. A world away from the continuous live service games of today.
Though I don't have data to back it up I have a strong conviction that the number of gamers playing these games is far less than two decades ago. There is just too much to compete for our attention these days. Do we just not care about stories in games anymore? Considering how many games are multiplayer live service type games it’s a miracle that games like Syberia even get made these days.
A product with a singular driving force, in this case the late Benoit Sokal who unfortunately passed away before this latest iteration could see the light of day. It was brought to light by the fantastic team at Microids who spared no expense to bring the latest adventures of protagonist Kate Walker to life.
The locations that the game takes place are beautifully moody and were a joy to traverse. The voice acting was top notch as it always was in the series and really helps you feel the emotional journey that she was going through. It also lets you switch between characters and time periods to great effect without ever losing track of the epic scope of the journey.
I have extremely fond memories of the Syberia games and playing this one felt like I met a friend after a long time, and she was just catching me up on everything that happened since I last saw her. Completing the game left me with immense joy. It’s a shame these kinds of games don’t compete with the mainstream like they used to a long time ago.
I know many are happy to spend hours binge watching a streaming series but when it comes to gaming most gravitate to the Battle Royale giants for thousands of hours. This is obviously great for the studios making these games, but they come at the expense of shunting out people’s time for trying anything else. I only hope that there will be enough of us left to play games like these, so they remain viable creations for the studios that choose to do them.