[PlayStation 4] Anamorphine Review

by the_nmac

Struggling with how to deal with his feelings, Tyler revisits old memories leading to a tragic event. Learn more about this one in Anamorphine review!

Anamorphine Official Trailer

Tyler, a young man in post-traumatic denial, revisits a succession of milestones that define his relationship with his wife Elena. She falls victim to an accident that robs her of her livelihood and emotional outlet. Tyler’s mental turmoil warps his past as he struggles to come to terms with his guilt. Told with no dialogue or action button, Anamorphine’s narrative comes together in Tyler’s dream-like memories.

Content Advisory: this game explores themes of mental health, depression, and loss.

Anamorphine is the first game from Artifact 5, a studio out of Montreal Canada. It is a walking simulator, and like other entries in this genre, the journey and narrative are the focal parts of the game. If you have played Gone Home, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, or Firewatch, then you know what you are getting yourself into. Oh, and if you somehow haven’t played those games, please go and buy them along with Anamorphine!

The game follows Tyler as he takes some time going through memories of his wife, Elena. The memories will form into different levels around you, and the game will discuss how he and Elena dealt with themes such as depression, drinking, drugs… and even suicide. It’s really a tour of him struggling to deal with his wife’s issues. The game’s focus is on the narrative, so I’m not going to delve any deeper into it since I don’t want to ruin things for you.

Like most walking simulators, the game itself is about walking from point A to B, but unlike other games in the genre, which still give you some exploration and offer a bit more liberty to walk around its environments, this one seems almost more like a tunnel walking simulator, taking you through the narrative as quickly as possible – all killer and no filler.

The game looks great, especially for a small indie studio. It does, however, have some minor hiccups in terms of framerate, slowing down or pausing occasionally… on my PS4 pro. Depending upon your pace with the game you will wrap up the story in a couple of hours or so. To me, the game almost felt like an interactive movie of sorts due to its total runtime and the way the game guided me through its guided story – not that it’s a bad thing!

Final Thoughts

Besides some small technical glitches in the games causing some slowdown here and there, I really liked Anamorphine. It touches on some tough topics and avoids doing it in a cliche way. The world it paints is interesting, and the story can really home for some. If you are a fan of walking sims, then I think there is a lot to like here. If you don’t love walking Sims, then this one certainly won’t change your mind.

This Anamorphine review is based on a PlayStation 4 copy provided by Artifact 5, Inc.

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