One Leaves Reviews

  • Soup Can SamSoup Can Sam391,982
    13 Mar 2019 13 Mar 2019
    39 18 7
    Wow, when Microsoft touted The Initiative's prowess and "AAAA" pedigree, I didn't think they'd aim this high.*

    Jokes about underwhelming exclusives aside, One Leaves is just bizarre. It's stupid, it's painfully on the nose ("smokin' is bad kids DON'T DO IT OR YOU'LL BE STUCK FOREVER IN EDGELORD HELL",) and it's also horribly, horribly optimized.

    For starters, One Leaves runs on the Unreal Engine. Which one? Good luck guessing that, it doesn't say. If it's on 4, you wouldn't know it. Even calling this an Unreal Engine 3 game is pushing it; the worst of the worst from that era, Damnation, looks like a high caliber visually polished masterpiece in comparison to this. I thought I was looking at a Unity asset flip until I saw "Unreal Engine" in the loading screen. I wouldn't be surprised if this was Unreal Engine ONE.

    But, okay. Visuals aren't everything, you might say, and you're right. The music? The music is alright. I actually enjoyed it a lot, and it's the only reason I'm giving this game half a star. It's a little moody, with varying layers of orchestral-type strings, and in the final stretch of the mercifully short game you'll actually feel, for a brief second, that there are stakes and genuine danger lurking when it's howling at you in the dark, moody sewers looking for the final escape. The downside? It loops pretty often, and the short tracks only further highlight the issues with this wreck.

    The only voice in the game, the "Smoker Guide" as I'll refer to him as, is... a thing. He's doing the best with what he has, which is to try and scare you with a gravely voice about how smoking is bad without saying "smoking is bad." He tries to cheer you on to get out, to urge and scare you into escaping the faux-edgy hell pit that would make Silent Hill burst into laughter, but eventually he starts to sound the same no matter what he's saying. Which he does, actually, as his voice lines will play over one another if you progress too fast through the game. It's a bit amusing to hear him taunt you to get the electric lung open while simultaneously talking about how opening it and getting the flashlight is not a "million bucks" but still good.

    One Leave's setting is, on the topic, stupid. It's a school-- because this is aimed at those teens who thumb their nose at academia while smoking sixteen cigs all at once behind school and flipping off the principal when he passes by in his lame ass Ford Fiesta. One Leaves is cool. Or, it wants to be. It really, really wants to be. It claws and bites so toothlessly in an attempt to instill fear and unease in you that it becomes comical; Smoker Guide shouting "GO! RUN!!" in the final push of the game, or the body bags that cough and wheeze when you walk past them. The incredibly rare, actually interesting moments-- a giant skull biting you if you pick a wrong path-- are few and far between, likely because they still had to play it safe. It has to be just edgy enough to appeal to the rebellious youth, but it can't be too dark. It tries to tap in to a mix of Saw and Silent Hill, with weird rattling doors and empty rooms with desks aligned around fence cages with holes in them indicating something has escaped!!! All the world building and desperate fear-building flies out the door the moment you realize there is nothing chasing you.

    The scary thing that you're surrounded and being hounded down by? It's supposed to be cigarettes. Cancer sticks, yes, and what they do is quite damaging, but "The Real Facts" anti-cigarette campaign has dived too far in to this 'dark edgy' territory and now seem to say "you'll totally soil your pants after playing this and learning what CIGARETTES REALLY DO". Because, apparently, they turn your world into a stupid Saw knockoff.

    And some of the other kids in the hellhole, your friends who are trying to get out before you, will run by you when you're crawling towards an opening in a vent or rushing down a hall. One of them looks like he's got a massive dump in his pants as he run-waddles down the hall. That's the nicest thing I can say about the animations.

    Oh, right. This is just an advertisement. Don't smoke, even if the game is bad enough to make you crave the poison.

    Speaking of poison, the gameplay is absolutely horrendous. It is poison in the shape of your Xbox controller. You can walk around fine, you can quite easily run, too, but it all feels clunky. You interact with "A", opening doors, pulling levers, and crawling through ducts with the button. Each time you climb into an air duct, however, the game stutters. It freezes for a solid three seconds, and then allows you to resume control. I imagine because it has to both 'load' the different style of gameplay (which is the same but it disables jump) of crawling through a small vent, and also the rest of the ugly, ugly map. It's hideous, blurry, and the numerous piles of bricks lying about the school are 'floppy'. The flashlight can 'eat' certain textures and make them appear invisible, which is particularly notable with windows that look in to classrooms. The frame rate is never solid, either, despite looking like a half-assed Sega Dreamcast title at the best of times. The lack of technical competency on display is shocking, as long hallways and transitions to different rooms can often both cause jittery, spiked frame rates.

    Interacting, too, can be spotty at times and require you to be right up on something, mashing your acne-riddled face into it, or sometimes just randomly able to interact from ten feet away; maybe using those sick cigarette powers, brah?

    The cherry on top of all this? It's an Xbox One exclusive. And, in a way, One Leaves exemplifies the entire Xbox One generation. Now, sure, Microsoft didn't publish this, but it's still all too fitting just the same.

    I don't blame the developers at all for the way this ended up. It was an advertisement game, not meant to light the world on fire and probably only had a shoestring budget. They did what they could with everything involved. "The Real Cost", however, should be ashamed of trying to squeeze out what is now the textbook example of digital excretion onto this, or any, marketplace.


    Laugh at it from a distance. Play only if you've got intense jitters and need to hear the Achievement pings. And, if you see the developers of this game, offer them a cigarette and a hug. Lord knows they probably need it.




    *Don't take the 'Xbox has no good exclusives' jab to heart, because I don't even believe it. And, of course, The Initiative had nothing to do with it. Humor attempts, people!
    .5
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    DiegoTanlol I believe all the negative votes on your review were from the "Real Cost" / developers themselves, haha. Really good review, the game is such a pain right now to get the last achievement...
    Posted by DiegoTan on 15 Mar 19 at 16:46
    xxBButts76xxSpot on review! Trying to figure out the 17 negative votes tho….I agree with DiegoTan...gotta be the devs, lol laughlaugh
    Posted by xxBButts76xx on 08 Apr 19 at 13:21
    Achilles8249This game is such an abomination.
    Posted by Achilles8249 on 27 Apr 19 at 11:40
  • ElevExplorer64ElevExplorer64141,006
    28 Jun 2019
    5 0 1
    Before we begin, I want to make this very clear: The reason why this review is so harsh has nothing to do with the fact this is an anti-smoking ad. I completely agree that smoking is a dangerous habit and understanding its consequences is a must, but this game is not a good way to do that. Why? It's simply a mess. If the game was any good, I would've been significantly kinder to it, but alas, this game is the textbook example of what happens when you don't focus on gameplay first.

    Back in March of 2019, a mysterious horror escape room game popped up on the Microsoft Store at no cost for Xbox players in the US. It was also a rumored 2-3 hour completion. That sounded so cool, until of course, we found out more about the game.

    Immediately upon seeing footage, you can tell the developers really had no interest in making the game. And I can't blame them. They probably weren't getting paid much to make the game, and since the game is 100% free, they weren't getting any money from it. I doubt they had much say in what could be put in the game either, in development time or creative freedom. So why bother making it fun if they have literally no incentive? If people don't like the game, the developers have nothing to lose.

    The gameplay is rather unremarkable, it's basically just a walking sim. The graphics are just ugly to look at however. It just doesn't look like a game from 2019, or even 2009. I could forgive this if the game was at least pleasant to look at, but of course it's not.

    This game is optimized so badly, I'm surprised my Xbox One didn't crash. And in fact, many people have reported this game doesn't work at all. The whole game looks like someone took random strings of code from other games, put them together in an incoherent mess and by absolute miracle got something that sort of works occasionally. The game stutters constantly, there are plenty of glitches (example: I fell through the pipe in the hospital level), and the narrator's lines play over each other, as in he says multiple things at once. I'm surprised there aren't any unobtainable achievements, to be honest.

    The horror element of this game doesn't work, either. The game is trying to be as edgy and over-the-top in gore as possible without getting an "M" rating from the ESRB. As such, it looks scary, but the effect wears off once you realize nothing truly horrifying will happen to your character in the game.

    If you don't make it out, you are stuck in a smokers' lounge while the narrator explains the horrible diseases you will get, followed by an on-screen message from The Real Cost (more on that later). If you do make it out, the narrator seems apathetic to your victory, instead choosing to lament on your "friends" (he says they're not your friends at the start of the game) being trapped forever, followed by the same on-screen message from The Real Cost. That kind of defeats the point of winning, doesn't it?

    If you play multiple times, the layout of the maze changes somewhat, but the changes are trivial and the solutions to the puzzles never changes.

    As for the games message? Only about 25% (or 1 in 4, hence the name "One Leaves") of teen smokers manage to successfully quit. While not a bad message at all, it may not be the best message to give to teens as they could think themselves as the exception. Obviously not all teens would think that way, but then again, teens haven't quite mastered critical decision-making. I've heard comments saying "this game made me start smoking". Congratulations game, you created what you sought to end. If people do interpret this the right way and avoid smoking, then that is absolutely a good thing, but I don't think that's very likely to happen. Basically, this game is just one giant ad from The Real Cost in another one of their generic anti-smoking campaigns.

    Most of the achievements can be done in two runs of the game, which may take 20-30 minutes. However, because that would be too easy, the developers threw in an achievement for beating the game twenty times. Unsurprisingly, less than 1% of all players have this achievement, and I'd say most of the people that do have it are achievement hunters (myself included). I could only stomach doing it twice in a row, so it took me quite some time before getting the final achievement.

    So with that, I give this game only 1/2 of a star. Not for the developers, or even the fact this is yet another anti-smoking ad. Perhaps I'm being a bit harsh, but it genuinely seems like no one involved in development cared about the game. It feels like The Real Cost just wanted one of their PSAs in video game form, and literally nothing else mattered to them.
    .5
  • Serpentinite VSerpentinite V23,507
    29 May 2020
    1 0 0 New
    I downloaded it not knowing what to expect. I figured it would be a decent horror game. Instead it's a shitty anti- smoking ad. The graphics are crap, the gameplay is crap, the whole freaking game is crap. The one thing that makes it feel remotely like a horror game is the music and if you play on minimum brightness. The "jumpscares" are tarred lungs on the walls.
    Only play if you want achievements from free games (Which is too painful to do anway- you need 20 "wins" to get the last one - and winning is speedrunning it, which is impossible to do with the random routes and horrible controls)
    1.0
  • Darth Game619Darth Game619249,336
    17 May 2020
    1 1 0
    OMG. I CANNOT explain how much I hate this game. I would not recommend it to anyone no matter what. It is such a crappy game that doesn't even have a reason to be played. Their is no replay value. Theirs no nothing. Sure its easy gamer score I mean it only takes 2-3 hours to complete it, but even then i still wouldn't recommend it. I would rather be tortured in North Korea then play this again, Hell they could probably show the worlds best agent this game and they would tell them every thing they know in a split second. This game is horrid. If you see this game in the game store (even if its free) your best of pulling a Neo from the matrix and dodging this bullet. Unfortunately i can only rate this 0.5 out of 5 instead of -1,000,000,000 out of 5.
    .5
  • LiquidSodasLiquidSodas207,748
    12 Mar 2019
    10 31 3
    This is a hilariously bad "Saw" themed maze game meant to somehow educate people about the evils of smoking.
    There's an earnest crappiness to the endless squishy sounds that surround your journey and when I came across an extra squishy, pulsating set of lungs I laughed so hard I almost spit out a full lip of Copenhagen wintergreen. I rarely laugh at games and don't respond to jump scares often, when a goofy thing happened going through a morgue tunnel it was more silly than scary.
    A whole lot of achievements popped during my first go and the only true annoyance was it seems to take too long for the interactions to pop up.
    Eh, it's free.
    3.0