Game news 12 minutes: Our impressions after the new ID @ Xbox presentation
On a press release only, we got to see new footage from three highly anticipated indie games supported under the ID @ Xbox program, namely 12 Minutes, The Ascent and Edge of Eternity. Following this presentation, we were able to participate in question and answer sessions with the developers who taught us a little more about their respective projects.
Presented for the first time at E3 2019, 12 Minutes has since continued to fascinate with its original principle. Described as an “interactive thriller” by its creator Luis Antonio, the title tells the story of a man stuck in a twelve-minute time ball. Concretely, the latter relives the same situation over and over again: he comes home from work one evening to find his wife in their three-room apartment, but their dinner will be disrupted by the arrival of an individual knocking on the door. This is when the evening will turn into a nightmare. But when twelve minutes have passed, or worse, if the protagonist dies, the time loop starts all over again.
To ensure that a tragic situation does not happen again, the player can interact with most of the objects in the apartment as well as with the protagonist’s wife. Unfortunately for his sanity, the latter is as aware of the events that happened during the previous loop as the player. However, this allows access to new dialogue options. Very concretely, after the end of the first loop, the protagonist can explain to his wife that he is stuck in a time loop. Obviously, since the latter will not believe her husband’s words, we must succeed in convincing her by evoking certain details seen during the previous loop, such as the fact that she wanted to surprise him by cooking his favorite dessert.
During the question-and-answer session, Luis Antonio made it clear that every detail of the game will be important, both during the first loop and the last. Since all the action in the game takes place in top view, this allows for better visibility of all the elements with which it is possible to interact. Moreover, the Creative Director justifies the choice from this point of view by a desire for accessibility in order to allow even those who are not used to video games to try this experience. Indeed, the gameplay is very simple since it is enough to click on a place to move or recover an object which will then be placed in your inventory. Always with this in mind to use the point’n’click codes, it is also possible to combine the different elements you have.
As well as reinforcing the suffocating and scary side of the situation, this sight also gives a theatrical aspect to the title, as if this three-room apartment is a stage and the three protagonists are comedians. It is for this reason that Luis Antonio called on actors from the world of cinema. Thanks to its publisher, Annapurna Interactive, 12 Minutes has a Hollywood dubbing cast with James McAvoy as the man stuck in the time loop, Daisy Ridley as the woman and Willem Dafoe as the intruder. The incarnation is all the more important because from this point of view it is impossible to see the faces of the characters, which has forced the technical teams to pay particular attention to the animations.
With all these elements in hand, we can therefore wonder how the gaming experience will be renewed and especially for how long. According to Luis Antonio, it will depend on each one because the title does not guide the player and leaves him completely free of his actions so that he makes his own reasoning. With this in mind, 12 Minutes does not give any objectives or indications and does not keep track of elements discovered previously to ensure that the player remembers himself. This vagueness that surrounds the gaming experience is also found with regard to its ending. According to its creator, the title does not have a proper end with a sign “The End” and a credits. Rather, players will come to a satisfying conclusion that makes them say to themselves that they have been around the game. If we are eager to form our own opinion on the game controller in hand, Luis Antonio said that the game is currently in its final phase and that it should arrive “very soon” in a few months on PC and Xbox.
Through TheXsable, Journalist jeuxvideo.com