If you cry in space, can anyone hear you do so? Our full Alone With You review.
Title: Alone With You
Publisher: Benjamin Rivers Inc.
Developer: Benjamin Rivers Inc.
Available On: PlayStation 4, PS Vita
Reviewed On: PS Vita
Release Date: August 23, 2016
Copy Supplied by Developer
Whenever I play a game, I always have the biggest fascination with the ones that allow you to have a romantic interest. Why? Good question! I think maybe because it allows you to say, think, feel, and just goof off in ways you wouldn’t normally do in real life. That’s another reason why I fell in love with anime and video games to begin with. It allows me to forget my work, my personal problems, and all of my responsibilities for the time being. Maybe I am the only one who feels that way, but because I take the games I play so personally, that is why I fell in love with Alone With You on so many different levels. And let me just say, another thing I love is anything related to science fiction. I love the idea of space, solar systems, planets, and other life forms. How space is so big we could only imagine what is out there. There are not very many Sci-Fi related adventure games out there, especially on the Vita and PlayStation 4. The few that are out there in other genres are more serious and usually have you fighting against alien life forms to survive. It is so refreshing to know that a game like this exists for those of us who don’t always want to attack other living creatures and want more story and development with, of course, an option of having a love interest.
When you start playing Alone With You, the first thing you’ll notice is that you are on this mountain looking at the horizon. You are completely unaware of what the story will be until you get into your ship and drive to your base. Upon arriving at the base, it is completely empty. I still at this point didn’t think much of it. In my head I’m thinking, “In the trailer it showed other people and obviously it’s an adventure game, so I can’t be completely alone.” Little did I know I was about to be so very wrong.
You have an Artificial Intelligence named AF4B/3B speak to you. And it’s at this moment the whole story is unveiled. You are the last remaining person on the planet and you only have a certain amount of time left to live. Unless… you can figure out a way to escape the planet, BUT, you cannot escape alone. So what can you do? You can’t escape on your own but no one is there to help you. What do you do? Thankfully you have A.I. at your side and they are able to bring back the four people needed in order to help you escape.
You have Winnie Laurier, the communications expert. Pierre Tong, the Colony director and engineer. Leslie Bharadwaj, who ran the food supply. And Jean Lumumba, the lead on the research team. You are then asked to pick what you would like your name to be. I wasn’t sure if I was a girl character or a boy character and after you pick your name it doesn’t reference either or. Although most people wouldn’t find it to be a big deal, and I understand the reasoning for the decision, but it was a bit confusing to me and I personally would of enjoyed at least a slight recognition via a “Wow, what a ‘beautiful’ or ‘cool’ name!” (I picked the name Damien, by the way). These people that you must interact with are only able to come back as holograms and you need to go to the base that they were stationed at to get as much information about that person as possible. This is to help A.I. with the task of bringing them back long enough to help fix the main space ship for you to escape in time.
The first base you go to is where Winnie Laurier lived. You have to go through and figure out as much information as you can before you can leave and go back to your base. A.I. is there to help you the whole time which makes this part of the game so much easier since there is no map or indication telling you where you are going. You do this every day to get information about all of the characters. After each day you return to the A.I. Core to plug in all of the details you were able to uncover. Depending on what base you went to that day, at night you are able to visit the person in the Holo-Simulator. This is when you get to interact with the person and hopefully make them like you. If they end up liking you enough, they’ll help you as much as they can. And if they don’t… well I’m sure you know what that means.
Every time you visit the holograms, you learn more about them and their personal feelings. It was interesting that they actually knew they were no longer alive and were just holograms programmed to help you escape. But they also still had their old memories and feelings. At one point you find out what exactly caused the situation you are in on this planet. A Rift Event happened 16 years ago which caused 2,000 people to lose their lives including your four helpers. This was very interesting to me because now, I’m wondering what in the world your character was doing for those 16 years after this happened. That also made me want to learn more about everyone and see if I could possibly uncover why I was the only one that survived and what I was doing at that time.
You have to visit the holograms at night because that is the only time the base has enough power to program them after all the machines go into rest mode. The game, after a while, makes you feel like you’re doing the same thing every single day. Wake up, talk to A.I., go to a base to collect info, come back to your base, talk to the Hologram, go to sleep, and repeat. I wouldn’t say it was boring or anything but you start to just know what you were going to do and what the result was going to be. I did appreciate that they at least changed the base whenever you had to return so it felt like you were at a whole new place and not just returning to the same environment and finding the same things over and over again.
Gameplay wise, Alone With You did not have any monsters or battles, but trust me it did not need them in order to make it fun. Some bases were easier than others and some you found yourself having to pay very close attention to what was around you to solve a puzzle in order to advance or unlock something you needed. Altogether, this game was addicting and it was hard to put my Vita down and actually live my life. The art style was simple and had a retro feel to it. The music and sound effects were spot on and at times kind of had a spooky vibe to them which I greatly enjoyed. There were a few cutscenes that were short and added just enough character to the moment. For example when you are picking up something or just a basic B-roll of your surroundings of you driving from point A to point B.
Towards the end of the game, it did crash on me more than once. Since you are not able to save manually, I had to repeat some bases all over again which was rather frustrating. The romance you developed in Alone With You is entirely different from what I was expecting and I really enjoyed that. The emotions portrayed and just the ending in general made me sit back and fight off the tears. This game made me want to learn more about everyone and what happened. It even made me feel like I was the one actually stuck all by myself and if I would have the strength to fight on like A.I. and Damien (my character). It was such a tragic story and offered many different endings. I would play this game over and over again and recommend it to anyone who is looking for a breath of fresh air in the adventure/visual novel-like genre. Benjamin Rivers Inc. easily has an instant classic with Alone With You.