We analyze the new Tequila Works, Gylt. The first great exclusive of Google Stadia opens with an adventure of strong message and lack of ambition.
Tequila Works has accustomed us to take us through experiences that go beyond the pure essence of the video game. Projects like Deadlight, RiME and the present GYLT have in common their reading between the lines. Because there are times that playable components serve as a transport vehicle for the message, the reason why we are involved in unconventional narratives. Of the subtle its sharpest weapon.
His latest work comes from an unusual profile. Being the exclusive header for a launch like Google Stadia has made it acquire a much more attractive tone. "The reason why the platform was released," some said. And the truth is that it is difficult to avoid the figure of GYLT being part of the founding wave. We do not say it because it is a production of our land, but because from the barrier it sells as few what it wants to offer to its public.
The form of terror
Following our impressions last November, we felt from the outset the basis on which the plot network is wrapped. The company has wanted to deal with bullying from a tremendously creative prism. How do your fears appear? As indivisible beings, we all have our own fears, as well as a unique way of confronting them. In the case of the small protagonist, Sally, she enters a parallel version of her town to find her missing cousin.
In that fantastic universe all around us writhes. There is no light, there is no life; the shadows wrap a seemingly captivating place. That parallelism between real life and fantasy serves as an allegory of Emily's vision, a vision that is nothing more than the representation of a mind that sees in the next desk a shadow that pursues it relentlessly. There is no happiness in classrooms that gradually become a prison that suffocates.
Entering this kind of mind will take us through a campus that will show its less friendly version. The narrative weight is found in small cinematic cuts with vignette aesthetics. As if it were a comic, the most important events will not occur in real time, which introduces certain characters that will mark the path we must follow to save it.
Although there is a common thread present, we believe that the story of GYLT is told through the images, the countenance of the stage and how certain issues happen that we will not enter. The study gives us the hand to take us on a tour that serves as a balm for those who have been in the spotlight during some point of the school framework. That type of narrative that we mentioned at the beginning is transmitted by mannequins, and it is that with just its placement it is easy to empathize. It is difficult to explain without entering into certain revelations; It is an experience that wins many integers without knowing in detail what happens between these four walls.
Little can we reproach in this regard. The touch of Tequila is clear when faced with certain interior “fears”. The way they do it is to take off their hat. Special mention of the visual aspect, his artistic work extols the whole by giving him personality. As soon as you see an image, you know it is him. Nor do we have anything to say on the technical level; The Reviews was performed using the Stadia compatible chromecast. It is one of the games that works best of all the service so far. We would have loved to share the captures we have made; At the moment the service does not allow it.
Behind the desk
As for what is on the playable level, we are certainly facing an adventure that takes similarities in survival horror, while betting on the simplicity of mechanics. Avoiding elaborating a deeper structure responds, perhaps, to the design with which the proposal has been conceived. At no time there are barriers that slow down a good pace plot, quite the opposite: it is very easy to digest in every way.
During the first bars we move Sally's fragility, which will feature two objects of vital playable relevance during the integrity of the adventure: a flashlight and a fire extinguisher. While the two mainly serve to solve puzzles and stop certain types of enemies, the second changes (in part) the way in which we face certain elements of the stage. We explain ourselves: for most of the time both fires and electrocuted puddles are an inevitable obstacle away from the main road. It is not until we unlock it when we can access certain secondary content that expands its offer, although not in the way we would like. Except for the documents, which expand the background with truly interesting stories.
The problems at the design level are encountered when colliding with an invisible wall. When it seems that the scenario gains in depth by introducing backtracking and items that make us otherwise face the threats around us, the reality is that it does not go beyond. And never does. There is not much freedom to interpret the use of the tools, any secondary path or alternative ways of accessing the objective. Speaking in silver, apparent freedom is an illusion, a disguise that hides a linear advance.
It is annoying to think what could have been and was not. The company has used the classic elements of the genre in an unambitious way. Everything necessary is there, but there is no elaboration. That simplicity affects stealth, its main mechanic. It works in a basic way in the most literal sense of the word. Being crouched we will go unnoticed in front of the enemy cast, where on some occasions we will have different resources available to be able to circumvent them, such as soda cans. Dodge and hide, nothing more. Not even the sound level affects, since they only perceive whether we are running (standing) or sneaking (crouching), the only two control methods.
Nor are the final bosses that fall into the recurring topic (if it has fire, water is your ally). In general, it seems that there is a need to maintain a constant line of moments and additions. Sections like the Arcade are the best that leaves us, but others, like the gym, fall into the error of incorporating a large number of enemies in the same space. More variety is lacking in this regard, and the few added archetypes take time to curdle. In fact, some do not even take action until almost entering the final stretch. We cannot forget the puzzles, which follow the same line as the rest of the sections. Despite this, at least some serve to add nuances to development.
Final straight that can be reached in a margin of 4 to 6 hours, depending on the way you play. There is not much room to challenge, the difficulty is quite low and in a few moments we have needed to use healing objects. This considerably reduces the time it takes us to complete it, although the road, as we said, becomes enjoyable.
GYLT is an enjoyable, simple, easy to play adventure. After the brightness of his message, a game with lights and shadows is hidden. Their mechanics are represented in the way they did two generations ago. Lack of ambition in the design of levels. At times it seems to rebound, but the false sense of exploration hides a tremendously linear title. It's a shame, since it brings together all the ingredients to be able to have been bigger. The meetings become monotonous as we go. Missing variety, more enemy archetypes. When it happens, we are almost within the final stretch, so there is no time to savor it. In general, it is an experience worth living for the creative way of dealing with a scourge such as bullying; for the personality that denotes his excellent visual direction. It lasts what has to last (enter 4 and 6 hours), neither more nor less.
- Excellent visual design
- The way you treat your message.
- Nice to play, hook from beginning to end.
- Lack of ambition in the design of levels.
- Overly simple mechanics.
- Monotony of situations against stealth.
It meets the expectations of what a good game is, it has quality and does not present serious failures, although it lacks elements that could have led to higher levels.