August 6, 2016

Kentucky Route Zero Act IV Sc. I | Let's Play and Thoughts

So, this marks the very first installment of my Let's Play series! In my greatest effort not to be a complete noob, I decided to skip my mic and not even think about a camera so that Kentucky Route Zero's well-awaited fourth act could be appreciated without interruption.

As you all know, I've been bouncing off the walls in excitement for Kentucky Route Zero. With each teaser or side bit given to us from Cardboard Computer, the hype for the next episode was at a maximum when it was announced, and unfortunately, I was on campus at UC Berkeley desperately trying to get some work done. Now that I have some time at midnight between a Friday and Saturday, I've been able to at least start Act IV.

One big change I immediately noticed was sound. There was a ton of contrast to the Bureau in the previous episode when it came to the mammoth on the ship. However, the sound was immersive and gave off the vibe of a slightly off, but slightly endearing ship on a haunted, mysterious river. As well, the sound changing from inside to outside of the ship's various rooms was seamless and natural to contrast the oddness of Conway's and Junebug's walking styles. Lastly, the guitar augmenting the narration as the Mucky Mammoth drifted down the Echo river was eerie but beautiful, a touch I really appreciated. In matters of sound, of course not forgetting the cat sounds that Ezra recorded, Cardboard Computer's Here and There Along the Echo is proving to be a worthwhile companion. (If you don't know what I'm talking about, grab a phone and dial ...)

Act IV so far features visual aspects both new and old. The mammoth, though obviously mechanical, showed extremely honed-in-on physical flow, portraying character nicely. Though it made my head spin some, the effect of the atmosphere tipping back and forth as the boat rocked added to the immersion of the scene, which is something I find difficult to do in games where everything is incredibly low-poly and unrealistic. That's a thing Kentucky does extremely well - Immersion. Seeing the wire-frame of the Zero was a welcome sight and something I've always loved, and the addition of the boat and rocking waves was easily interpreted and a nice change to what I'm used to seeing back on the Zero.

Lots of important plot in this chapter. Conway gets very personal about himself, and I decided not to get any more emotional by touching on his future plans. I appreciate how in-depth his story with Lysette, Ira, and Charlie is, though I'd love to know more about Shannon, Ezra, and the rest. Three new characters - Will. Cate, and Clara - add a lot of flavor to the act, and I'm excited to see if Clara gives us a performance later on, or if we miss it, that Ezra records it...

So far, I'm head over heels. I'm hoping there isn't a lot of dilly-dally like there was in the Xanadu portion of one of the past acts; While intriguing, it droned on way too long. I appreciate the extremely gorgeous quality Cardboard Computer has put out for such a long wait, and it's felt worth it for every second so far.

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