Fragments of Him Reviews

  • FullMoonBeaverFullMoonBeaver921,943
    09 Jun 2016
    26 5 15
    Welcome to my review of Fragments of Him

    Developed and Published by Sassybot Studios
    Release Date: June 1st 2016

    Fragments of Him is not your traditional game. If it's even a game at all. A story of love, and loss, Fragments of Him tells the intertwining lives of Will, Harry, Sarah and Mary. The love they have shared along with a tragic loss.

    The journey starts off with Will, early one morning on his way to work. With narration that sounds so convincing, that it makes you feel as though that is all coming from the heart. This is true of all 4 people, as they detail their relationship with Will. Sarah being his first love, Harry his boyfriend, and finally his grandmother Mary.

    It has no puzzles, annoying collectables, nothing that is the staple of videos games in this day and age. Instead, FOH let's you watch and listen, as the story unfolds. You do interact with objects, that are highlighted within the immediate vicinity. Which gently coax the story along. The cast are so utterly believable and convincing, with emotion and meaning attached to every sentence as you progress through each person's story arc.

    Visually, not the prettiest of games. But the haunting piano accompaniment and story more than make up for the visual shortcomings.

    Fragments of Him is unlike any other title available for Xbox One, and Sassybot have quite possibly, the most emotional rollercoaster of a ride, perfected in every way. It's not a long game but one you won't forget in a hurry. Even if you only play it once, it deserves attention for what it is; an interactive story more than a game.

    It does have a slightly long load time between scenes, and weighs in at a hefty 10GB of HDD space. But this is nothing to be too concerned about.

    It won't be to everyone's taste that's for certain. Especially if you're heavily into FPS games. But if you're open minded enough, and are in the market for a fresh experience, then perhaps Fragments of Him is just for you.

    Graphics: As mentioned above, the visuals are far from impressive. Basic character models, with no facial features to speak of but still resemble humans, appear and fade away instead of walking about and picking up objects or interacting for the most part. But with a sort such as this, it's not a big issue.

    Music/FX: This is where the game can stand out, with the piano track playing along, with a sad melancholy melody to help set the mood as you listen to the story telling from all 4 parties.

    Gameplay: Quite simple in all honesty. You control a camera that can watch from almost any angle. It's like you're an invisible entity, watching their lives unfold. All you need to do is press the A button to interact with objects highlighted to move the narrative forward. May sound boring to some, and I suppose it could be if story telling in the most patient manner doesn't float your boat.

    Longevity: The game clocks in at 2-3 hours, and whilst it's not the longest game ever, them few hours have the potential to keep you gripped. Maybe you'll only play it once, but make sure that once is with your significant other.

    Achievements: This is why you're here isn't it? The full 1000g is super easy, and 900g will be yours by the time the end credits roll. Replaying scene 3 and making a different choice will pop the other 100g. Simple and easy to coax even those who don't care for the story to make a purchase.

    Overall: A fantastically written story, full of emotion, love and loss. Sassybot have executed this perfectly. The main drawback will be the visuals. It does have a slight sepia tint, which I found suitable.

    Thank you to Sassybot for supplying a code for me to review.

    I give Fragments of Him 8/10 or 4 stars.
    Video review to follow.
    4.0
    Showing most recent comments. View all comments.
    bogle1Going to call my family after this, and let them know I love them...
    Posted by bogle1 on 24 Apr 17 at 21:02
    FullMoonBeaverThat's something we can all agree on.
    Posted by FullMoonBeaver on 25 Apr 17 at 09:23
    Allgorhythm+1
    Posted by Allgorhythm on 25 Apr 17 at 13:14
  • xLsWxxLsWx920,204
    09 Jul 2018
    10 2 3
    Fragments of Him

    Developed by: SassyBot

    One sentence review
    *** Spoiler - click to reveal ***



    Before I start, this is the first review I have written - I am expecting negatives, constructive criticism is more than appreciated. But remember gaming is about our own enjoyment of games not everyone else's, you might not agree with my rating but you can continue to suckle on your dummy - it's all good.


    It’s strange, I have spent the past few months wanting to delve into the foray of game reviewing, one review code wasted due to legal issues (Demons Age) and a lot of “meh” along the way. I have to give it to Sassybot, the way in which they tell a story of love, betrayal, heartbreak and remorse had me changing the way I game for the forthcoming future.


    The plethora of walking simulators is getting a little off putting these days, and this is seen in many a review, or a callous statement left on a forum post, but this is a media which isn’t going to go away in a hurry, in fact, we may wish to see it as the next step in interactive storytelling, you don’t just read a book, you feel it, you are in it…


    Usually I play games for achievements, god forbid, however, as I get older, and my backlog gets bigger, I feel that all I am doing is paying for stats….rarely stopping to play a story, experience a story, without looking at a guide. There are hundreds of AAA games I have played this year, but the story of this one, hit me hard, forcing me to think.


    This ‘game’ is the story, one which hit me in such a profound way.


    Fragments of Him takes four characters and tells the story of how one person connects them all, through love, care and even through regret. It’s difficult to review without spoilers - so forgive the vagueness within but I feel this story really needs to be experienced to justify the dual score I have given.


    Throughout the game we experience memories from four distinctly different yet unbeknown to them, more similar than they care to admit, Will, Harry, Sarah and Grandma. Will a young boy who grows into a young man questioning his very existence, Harry the dependable safe love interest, Sarah the full of regrets young woman and Grandma, the forever wishing things had gone differently type, but remains strong and steadfast like the majority of prewar citizens. As the story plays out, although predictable from the off, we see how these four characters intertwine, and how their profound love for one another impacts on not just each others emotions but in their life choices.


    In many ways Fragments of Him did what other games fail to do, it caused me to reflect upon my own choices in life, my own experiences, and ask the one question that is prevalent within , “am I happy?” I found myself understanding the bitterness of the grandma, the over controlling, everything must be in order lifestyle of Henry, the in love but it’s not “in love” feelings of Sarah and finally, the unsure of life direction of the main character as Will. One scene in the game had me reminiscing clearly of my very first days at Uni - it was really quite emotional. Fragments of Him is a wonderful telling of love, life and lost, and in many ways had me both fondly and full of regret, thinking back to my first days as a young autistic adult, wanting but not wanting to fit in and also on the choices I have made in life.



    Story - enough with the spoilers already! The story is what drives this interactive media, beautifully told, often poignant, one of my favourites of the past couple of years. It can often be monotonous during playthrough, but as with most good stories, hits you towards the end, and causes you to ask many self reflecting questions. As someone else has written somewhere - find the people you love, hold them tight, and let them know - you never know when that chance is going to stop.


    Graphics - Criticised in many reviews as being too simplistic. I feel this was done in necessity, giving the viewer that feeling of “in memories”. Dreamlike, mostly brown with blue hues of the sky to life the dreary outlook. Images appear before interaction causes them to disintegrate into the unknown


    Soundtrack - two words come to mind, hauntingly melodic. The soundtrack matches the tone of the story beautifully, really tugging on those emotions when it needs to.


    Gameplay - Walk here to there, click on a few things, nothing much on offer, the game even highlights those things you need to click, some will question this, in fact I still do. However, if I haven’t made this abundantly clear, this is about the story and boy does it hit you in the gut like a dodgy curry after a night out.


    Achievements
    - Easy bunch, all but two are story related, the other two if missed can be retrieved via scene select. Nothing hard in the slightest.


    Play again? - No, not because there is no need (which there isn’t), but like some great film epics, the story is amazing to experience once, experience it twice and it loses all effect. But nonetheless, a story which you absolutely must experience.


    Rating - As a game 2/5 - As an experience 5/5
    2.5
  • Slam Shot SamSlam Shot Sam850,896
    09 Jun 2016 30 Jul 2017
    11 8 3
    Fragments of Him | Xbox One

    Let me preface by saying that without touching upon some of the game’s major plot points, this wouldn’t be much of a comprehensive review, so expect some potential spoilers.

    Fragments of Him is primarily a story of love and loss. You start the game as a young man named Will, beholden to the knowledge that you’re leading him through his final moments and to his inevitable death. Going about the morning routine, players hear Will’s internal monologue as he builds the courage to ask Harry for his hand in marriage, and looks forward to a potential bright future should he say yes. Soon after, Will is abruptly killed in an accident and those best laid plans are snatched away in an instant.

    When the achingly sad soundtrack erupts to accompany an emotional and relatable scene, there’s real clout behind it.
    Memories of Will, both happy and tinged with regret, are thereafter shared by boyfriend Harry, ex-girlfriend Sarah, and his grandmother, Mary. They each grieve in different ways, some more healthily than others, just like in reality. It's often the small, insignificant things that stick with the characters, reminding us to cherish even the most fleeting moments with loved ones.

    The game’s simple presentation serves to allow the player to project onto these familiar archetypes, as they lack colour and detailed features. It’s very likely that if you've had the misfortune of experiencing a similarly catastrophic loss, those presented on-screen will become those you know/knew, thanks to an authentic portrayal of the grieving process.

    Your life history will dictate your level of engagement; if you’re fortunate enough to have never experienced an equivalent, many elements will pass you by. As a person that has been through very similar events, and lived raw scenes like receiving that fateful knock at the door, it’s quite poignant.

    The major stumbling point for a lot of people will likely be the fact that Fragments is a rather poor video game at its core.
    Fragments of Him is secondarily a story of acceptance. Will loves both Harry and Sarah dearly, but he has to make a choice as to which relationship to pursue; they admirably allow Will to discover himself independently, whilst remaining by his side. Less accommodating is his grandmother, who naturally lives to regret her archaic and inherent homophobia. The generational social commentary is perhaps a little ham-fisted in delivery, just as dialogue can occasionally be verbose and pretentious. Being the first to tread these waters in depth does afford a certain degree of lenience, however.

    The major stumbling point for a lot of people will likely be the fact that Fragments is a rather poor video game at its core. It’s mundane by design, visually unimpressive, abundant with lengthy load times and lacking in engaging gameplay. It’s a meaningful narrative simply delivered through this means, the one benefit gleaned from which is the fact that an element of control furthers the developer’s desire to place those engaging with the media into the given situation.

    Outside of that and an unnecessarily lengthy retreading of ground - it’s a short game, we just saw this and don’t need reminding - there is a beauty to Fragments of Him. When the achingly sad soundtrack erupts to accompany an emotional and relatable scene, there’s real clout behind it. Rarely does a game prompt the player to open themselves up to a vulnerably contemplative mindset, encourage them to tell those close to them that they love them, and allow them to further appreciate the little things in life. If that’s something you’re open to, by all means give it a try; if you’re only looking for an entertaining video game, steer well clear.

    Pros

    + Brave, bold and unique direction
    + Meaningful narrative and intentions
    + Minimalistic art makes things relatable
    + Broad character spectrum

    Cons

    - Functions poorly as a video game
    - Weak visuals
    - Long and frequent loading
    - Unnecessary repetition hampers pacing

    7/10

    Achievements

    Fragments of Him is a very easy completion. A majority of the achievements will come with natural progression, a couple of missable ones can easily be mopped up with chapter select. It'll take ~2-3 hours to 100%.

    Originally written for Pass the Controller, a copy was provided for the purpose of this review.

    Thanks for reading!
    3.5
  • Mr VelezbianMr Velezbian336,684
    06 Jun 2016 07 Jun 2016
    8 12 3
    FRAGMENTS OF HIM

    A TRAGIC STORY OF LOVE AND LOSS

    *Note: Contains some spoilers

    Losing a loved one is a punch to the gut that is hard to explain. I lost my mother to cancer over a year ago and the void that she left in my life is still something that is hard to explain. Dealing with loss is certainly different for everyone it effects, but something that is felt almost universally is regret and love at the same time. Was there somethings we could have done differently? Is it best to linger on what is now wrong or remember what was so right about the person you lost? That is the story that Fragments of Him takes you through. It is a remarkable look into the lives of a group of people all connected by the loss of a single person they cherished dearly, presented in a minimalistic point and click sort of experience. Further proving that games are much more than their traditional definitions, Fragments of Him is a moving experience of love and loss.

    At the start, we are introduced to the story centric character Will. He is at a turning point in his relationship with his boyfriend, as is evident by his inner dialogue. Will reflects on the redundancy of patterns and routines, while simultaneously noting their necessity to a degree. He worries that if something does not change, he and his boyfriend Harry will cease to exist. While continuing his morning routine, he comes to conclude that he will never feel happier than he does with Harry and wants to marry him. Will is ready to start a new chapter in their lives, a chapter that sadly will never come as his life is abruptly brought to an end in a car accident. This is where the true depth of the title begins to unfold in an intertwined, exceptionally cohesive narrative.

    What follows after is an in depth look into Will’s life through the eyes of the three people who loved him most in his lifetime. These people are his old girlfriend Sarah, his grandmother Mary, and of course Harry. While bouncing back and forth from the perspective of Will during his final hours before the crash and these loved ones, we learn more about who Harry is and where he has come from. Whether it is his , his upbringing as a child, or his time spent at college, there is a lot of fragments presented for the player to build a more a tune profile of Will with. You also learn about those in his life of course, and how they each loved Will in their own special ways. They all overcame differences with Will in their time with him to prove that true love wins in the end. The game really hits a lot of strides well, pacing the story between lows and highs in his short but eventful life. The artistic style even has meaning with how players interpret the entirety of the story.

    Much of the visuals are gray with minimal color, and the characters themselves carry no facial features. They really are clean slates, with hair and clothing being the only defining physical features. This notion is a testament to how when physical looks are set aside, you realize much easier that it is what is inside a person that defines them. The pen is mightier than the sword, and the writing in Fragments of Him back that up. The game essentially boils down to being a slightly interactive romantic-tragedy movie. Much of your interactions will consist of moving around and activating narrative scenes by clicking highlighted objects. So it is not meant to be a fun experience by any means, but a narrative one that has much deeper meanings than many games on the market. The writing is powerful and elegant, and you could easily believe all the characters at hand were real people.

    Its cohesiveness is great, and it is a truly fine-nit game. The musical cues strike at just the right moments to make the spoken words of these characters that much more resounding with the players. The pacing and layering of how we learn about Will is excellent as well, and makes completing the title in one setting an easy gesture to do. The only directional decision I would disagree with is that at one point you have to replay the opening segment again. Though I understand why the team at Sassybot did it, it was personally unnecessary for my playthrough. I had already understood the emotional distress they were trying to remind the player of before having to replay the segment, so it hindered what was otherwise a perfect narrative structure.

    Fragments of Him is one of those rare titles that will resonate with you long after you played it. It hits many heights as far as emotional involvement and strong writing goes. The title continues the trend of proving that games are art and meaningful, and while am not downplaying the meaningfulness of more traditional titles, I commend Fragments of Him for being something wholly unique in scope and delivery. Surely it is not something every audience will understand, but for those who do and can appreciate it the game is without a doubt noteworthy. Fragments of Him is an emotional journey that is worth taking the time to appreciate, and one that I think will make its players appreciate the time they spend with their loved ones a little bit more.

    *Note: A copy of the game was provided by the developer for the purposes of the review

    8/10
    +Touching and Tragic Story
    +Artistic Style
    +Musical Cues
    -Minimal engagement
    -Repeated Segment

    • Release Date: 6/1/2016
    • Developer:Sassybot
    • Publisher:Sassybot

    Originally Posted on Player2Reviews.com, where you can find more of my original writings and videos. http://www.player2reviews.com/fragments-of-him-review.html
    4.0