Fragments of Him Developed by: SassyBot
One sentence review
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 unknownSoundtrack
- 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.
- 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