"my god, we live in the 80s. pop culture can be political. just think about..."
an eco-thriller, huh? let's take the eco out of this. the eco may not be enjoyable for everyone. I'm not a total cynic, and I'm not an energy waster, but the eco wasn't for me. a new beginning really wants you to think about climate change. in a plain respect, it's a very unique topic for a video game, or for anything really. climate change has really fallen off the mainstream radar. though who can say for sure when it'll reappear again, it's still a mainstream focus. green products are a definite industry and there is a monsterous environmentalist culture where I live, so I'm very much aware of these views.
they're just not mine.
I make a big deal out of this right off the bat because the game also makes a big deal of this. it needs to be swallowed to be played and man are the game's hands heavy. they are very heavy. if the science doesn't check out for you, you may have a very hard time enjoying the game. which, in some respects, is a shame. the controversial focus is the personality of the game so my next suggestion is nonsense: if the time travel plot was about stopping a war, a new beginning would have universal impact. there would be no debate on the merits of the story and how it develops. it would be effective. so no matter how you feel, to enjoy this game, please take climate change seriously...
a new beginning is full of itself but it's also full-headed. I did not like the female lead fey at all. slowly but surely that changed, especially as the chemistry between the leads became ever so apparent. bent svensson, however, is extremely charismatic. to claim that he carries the game's narrative is valid, because for me he sure did. any part with bent as the lead I enjoyed immensely. as bent influenced fey I started to enjoy the whole game. the plot develops at an unsure pace matching the main character's expectations and it's a dang brilliant job with the pacing. it's too bad that any other supporting characters are so generic. bent's relationship with his son duve really serves as more development for bent, with his son ending up a poor foil instead of a dynamic character. really, all supporting characters serve to flesh out the main characters, which is kind of dissapointing considering how much overarching idea was going on.
these blanket statements about the story is as much as I really can say. a new beginning is about time travel to stop climate change. despite how the story seems not to fit at first, it is truly shaping the whole while. I did not expect to enjoy the game as much as I did. the gameplay is reminiscent of latter lucasarts titles in that you need to combine items constantly. sometimes you need to combine items with combined items. if you're not already thinking out of the box you're going to face a challenge. there are puzzle sections that require you to operate machinery by blind experimentation. they're real interesting with sensible solutions, but do kind of break up the pacing. they're right on the fence of being forced, however, you are allowed to skip them, so if something non-essential is becoming frusterating it can be bypassed. although I didn't skip anything, I still think it was a great feature. the interface is extremely intuitive. I'm not knowledgeable of modern point and clicks, but I hope they work like this one. click and hold is such a simple innovation yet makes older systems look rediculously archiac.
some chapters of the game consist of very few screens while other chapters are much more complex in what you end up doing. it seems they were designed more with story in mind than synching gameplay balance or progression, which is a very minor complaint depending on how you look at it. the graphics are absolutely gorgeous, though no full screen is a dissapointment. fey's character design still bugs me a slight bit - seriously nobody's posture is like that - but other character design, notably any antagonist, is good. music is soothing, although not entirely fitting. the ambient classical is very well done regardless if every piece matches up with the situation. now the voice acting is particularly odd. apparently german voice actors read english lines and it shows. some lines made me laugh out loud. whether or not that's a good thing can be debated. in my opinion the leads and the villians were enjoyably and convincingly voiced, so while it is jarring that other voices are so palpably terrible, it didn't impact my enjoyment of the game. bad acting is okay if it's endearing.
"it's a very cynical ending."
"haha, yes, it is. seriously. the important question you should ask is this: how can you encourage seven billion people to act? two people alone can't save the world."
a new beginning might break new ground but that's because it covers ground not everyone believes in. it's effective and enjoyable but it isn't fun to play through its entirety as it's very hit and miss. the gameplay isn't always comfortable and the writing isn't totally convincing. however, the two leads really are great characters and the game is impactful no matter the flaws.
"steam. not smoke."