I initially played this game back in 2018 and only got about 30 minutes into the game before something distracted me and I forgot about it. Cue the Gaming Adventure, and, according to my GOG.com launcher (Which shows all of my 640+ games in alphabetical and numerical order) this was the first game on my list.
The game is not particularly intuitive when it comes to using things, or interacting with people or objects. I randomly found the inventory, and how to switch between your knife, other weapons, and, most importantly, your 35MM camera. That’s the reason I actually got the game way back then – the gorgeous atmospheric landscapes and locations, and your handy camera that was number 1 in your inventory and first in your “weapon wheel” so to speak.
I didn’t really know what to expect with this game – it’s made by a very small indie developer (1 person did pretty much everything except the music and the voices) and originally made all in Russian. The translations are not perfect, but they convey the meaning of the characters and some basic instructions in the beginning, with a few hints scattered throughout the game to attempt to guide you through the quite complex puzzles! There’s also some action, and I have to admit, the scenes in the metro had my heart pumping. The sounds and visuals were quite suspenseful and I was pretty terrified in some parts! The story is tragic, both on a “global” scale and on a character scale. The global tragedy is explained pretty much from the beginning, and it gets elaborated on quite well – simply seen from each character’s point of view, and with a few notes and journal entries and newspapers found in the various places you make your way through.
The more personal stories are heartbreaking and very dark, and they come to fruition at the end of the game in the final scenes. Until then, you only get little tidbits, not quite understanding the full extent of the story.
This is a once-off game – once you know the story and the puzzles, there is not much “replayability” to the game, but I think this is okay, because this is a game and a story that will stick with you for a while.
I definitely don’t want to go down in those tunnels again. Once is more than enough.
So, thank you, “35MM” for showing me a dark, sad, tragic tale in a very new way, and I’ll say “Do svidaniya, moy novyy drug.”