Twin Mirror is the latest game from Paris-based studio DONTNOD, who bought us the amazing Life is Strange and Vampyr. This time, instead of going into supernatural territory, the story is a psychological journey. Learn more in our Twin Mirror review!
Embark on a twisting, psychological journey through the struggles of homecoming and heartbreak, in narrative-driven branching adventure Twin Mirror.
Dive into the compelling emotional story of Sam, a 33-year old man recovering from a recent break-up, as he returns to his hometown of Basswood in West Virginia for the funeral of his best friend.
I was really looking forward to playing Twin Mirror as I’m a fan of DONTNOD’s games. A few years ago, I played and loved Life is Strange. I haven’t finished Vampyr yet, but it’s on my to-do list for this year’s holiday break.
Twin Mirror follows Samuel Higgs, a journalist returning to his hometown of Basswood in West Virginia after leaving a few years ago for a reason I’ll let you discover for yourself. Sam is on his way to his best friend’s funeral, but for many reasons, he decides to go into a small park on the city outskirts in order to spend some time there reflecting on things.
This is where you’ll be introduced to the core gameplay mechanics of this new release, namely how to move and interact with the world around you. You’ll also be introduced to the Mind Palace, a place set deep in Sam’s memories where he goes to when he wants to think and analyze the information at hand. At first, he’ll go there to reminisce about the past, but as the game progresses, he’ll go there after having collected enough clues in order to determine the sequence of the events for some specific scenes.
As was the case with Life is Strange, I noticed how you – the player – are really close to Sam, as the camera is presented from an over the shoulder view. I like how this point of view since it helped me connect with Sam and live the events from his point of view. I recall Life is Strange also had this close overhead view of Maxine, which made it easier to connect with that experience. Other games from DONTNOD have made great use of their soundtracks, and Twin Mirror is not the exception since the music will be used to convey the main character’s emotions.
As the game progresses, I also liked how many secondary characters get their time to shine, and we get more background information on the relationship they had with Sam before he left town. Many times you’ll have to interact with other citizens of Basswood, and you’ll often have to select answers and, of course, the consequences of your actions will have a direct impact on any future interactions you’ll have with them. Once story points are completed, you can see how your friends and the other players acted in the different choices you had. Acting differently can open up different paths in future playthroughs.
As for the presentation, Twin Mirror is built on Unreal Engine 4, and the final game is amazingly good-looking. The character models are very well designed, and the facial expressions are impressive. The voice acting, however, is a mixed bag: Sam’s voice actor gives a stellar performance and is definitively the best of the game. As for the secondary characters, the voice acting was good, but the overall sound quality was either low or nearly inaudible. This could be a side-effect of recording while being in a global pandemic. Also, with this game being released so late in the PlayStation 4 cycle, the fan on my standard PlayStation 4 kicked into overdrive most of the time I was playing Twin Mirror.
Most of the trophies are awarded for progressing through the game’s story chapters, as well as for finding the different mementos and memories you can collect in each section. A couple of trophies are obtained for specific choices made at specific times. There are also good and bad endings to unlock, which are also going to be tied to trophies.
DONTNOD has delivered a great game in Twin Mirror. The graphics are amazing, and I liked how the story branches at some points depending on how you act with other characters. This is an easy one to recommend on PlayStation 4, especially if you’re a fan of the other games from this studio.
This Twin Mirror review is based on a PlayStation 4 code provided by BANDAI NAMCO.