Gone Home Review

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”Gone

"retro?""go" "fido?""go" "guidance?""go" "control?""go" "telcon?""go" "then we are go for launch. initiating""separate" "i’m a little bit worried about you tom.can you give me a diagnostic of your systems" can machines think? this is anenigma that was posited back in the 1950’s by one of the fathers ofmodern computing but even now as

technology takes quantum leaps forwardand we begin to truly explore the depths of our own solar system, from mars to thegalilean moons, any future space odysseys may lead us to return to this question.and even query our own free will and intelligence (be its artificial orotherwise) in – the turing test "turing tests are tests designedto tell humans and machines apart" taking its name from alan turing’s ai experiment, bulkhead interactive’sfirst-person puzzler immediately feels like familiar ground to anyone who’sever set foot in the testing facilities of aperture science.yep, just like portal you navigate your

way through a series of sterile whiterooms, interconnected by a maze of elaborate physics puzzles. all the timeguided by an omnipresent computer intelligence whose motives and moralityare somewhat questionable "as the instrument of the isa i amthe authority aboard the station" you play as ava turing, an engineer forthe international space agency. awoken from hypersleep by t.o.m., the expedition’sai. and then sent down to the surface of europa to search for her missing crew "welcome to europa" along the way you discover how & why thecrew have disappeared. and why the outpost’s

modules have been converted into thesecurious puzzle chambers. in searching the facility you stumble across journalentries and audio logs from the crew these give you some small insight intowhat has happened on jupiter’s frozen moon but the real story is graduallyrevealed to you in your conversations with tom as you move from room to room "i’ve started to collate information frommy local instance. it seems the crew intentionally cut communicationwith the satellite" "why?""it appears we had a disagreement" now without going into toomany spoilers i will say the narrative

and writing isn’t bad there’s nothing really here that hasn’tbeen told a hundred times before in countless other sci-fi movies, tv showsand books. but it does the job it sets out to do. and it even manages to touch uponsome interesting philosophical themes for the digital age like – free will; evolutionary imperatives; and, in a worldincreasingly more reliant on smart technology, are computers really makingour lives better or are we all just slaves to the machine. that said ratherthan it all being some loving homage to the works of arthur c. clarke or philipk. dick instead the turing test feels

like well a cheap replicant, desperatelytrying to imitate real emotion. there are little subtleties and moments offoreshadowing in the dialogue but the overall plot feels a little generic. theconversations between ava and tom though well perform like any real sparkand make what is meant to be a difficult moral choice at the end of the game feel kindof empty and lackluster. so much so i actually just flipped a coin to decidewhich way i went in the end but the story is only half the equation.it wouldn’t be a puzzle game without a significant focus on the gameplay andproblem solving. and despite some occasional glimmers of potential here,it too feels like a shallow copy of

something else. like it’s just rolled offthe fps puzzling production line a robotic clone of those that have gonebefore. with an energy slinging gun in your hand, light bridges underfoot andweighted cubes ready to be dropped on pressure pads, the turing test clearlyfinds it hard to escape valve’s genre-defining puzzler. though whereas portal relied on momentum tocarry you through the levels, the turing test does feel a little slower moremethodical. with some of the puzzles stretching through several rooms. forcingyou to set up a cascade of triggers or search every tiny little nook and crannyfor those little glowing energy orbs

that unlock the exit. but this is onlywith those larger puzzles. even on some of the later levels you can easilybreeze through some of the chambers with barely any effort or thought. andthis is before you gain the ability to hijack the room cameras which, instead ofadding a new complexity to proceedings, actually makes things a lot easier forthe last third of so the game. the difficulty spike and pacing for the gamejust seems to be wholly inconsistent. and despite feeling a lot slower than othergames of its ilk you will soon find yourself deep beneath the ice of europawatching the credits roll only after about 3-4 hours. and this doesinclude those optional side puzzles that

branch off each of the levels, for anyoneafter neat little in-joke or snagging those last few achievements. that said i do thinkthe game’s length is pretty much spot on it’s long enough to tell the story thedevelopers wanted to tell but not so long as to feel bloated or for any ofthe puzzles to become overly repetitive also as something of a side benefit, atleast to myself, the game’s brevity also means you won’tbe reaching for the dramamine too often too. i don’t particularly suffer frommotion sickness but there was something about those last few levels that made mefeel a little queasy it could have been flipping between thecameras or the slight throbbing of the

screen as you breathe. or it could havejust been me. but it is worth noting if you do get motion sick you may have to take a break every sooften. and you may well be able to negate some of these effects by tweakingthe field-of-view slider or motion blur in the games ample settings. orturning down the mouse sensitivity or switching over to gamepad. though i wouldadvise, if you’re playing on pc, sticking with mouse and keyboard as sometimes youneed that greater precision in order to hit your targets on those timing basepuzzles. one thing i haven’t spoken about though is the way the game looks. theturing test truly is a feast for the

eyes. and despite the odd low-restexture here and there the team at bulkhead have done a phenomenaljob with the game’s visuals and harnessing the power of the unrealengine. even so, a pretty exterior can’t really hide the fact that this is just afairly mediocre game not bad but not really bringing anythingnew or inventive to the genre. it may be worth checking out if you’re a huge fanof games like portal or the talos principle but if you’re making yourfirst tentative steps into the first person puzzling genre then there are ahost of other better titles out there for you to choose from. so for me theturing test picks up an indistinguishably

average – 4 out of 8 bits. with noreal originality this truly is an imitation game. "do you think you’d passedthe turing test?" "i am quite capable of politeconversation. wouldn’t you say" if you enjoyed this review why not let us know by hitting that likebutton and subscribing to see more reviews and first impressions like this.and if you’d like to prove you’re not some hyper-intelligent ai why not starta pleasant conversation with us in the comments below or on any of thesocial medias over @thekillerbits

i’ve been jon.this has been the turing test. and, at least until the robots take over, i will see you next time. bye

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