The main thing preventing me from enjoying A Place For The Unwilling is that currently there are dozens of little things that don’t work quite the way they’re supposed to, and while they don’t exactly stop you from playing the game, they’re still bloody annoying.
So, it’s a game with two key strands that feel forced together when they don’t really work in tandem. I like both ingredients in theory, but they don’t coalesce successfully, like how a vinaigrette salad dressing will separate into oil and vinegar until you shake it up again.
The thing is, the problems are there. I don’t know if I can recommend this to someone who isn’t a word nerd. But at the same time, what Inkle have achieved in Heaven’s Vault is tremendous. I don’t know what to compare it to, because there isn’t anything.
I want to want to spend more time with it, because there are bits of it I really enjoy. But it needs more than the world map to change a bit, or have seasons, or better social interaction. It needs changes to how it actually works, which is a lot to ask. But the biggest fight I’ve had with Anthem so far is against Anthem.
When you reach a milestone you get a moment of pure, unadulterated glory, but it’s fleeting, like craving a cigarette and quickly realising that nicotine is a chemical lie and cigarettes are shit. Progress feels so gradual as to be nonexistent, and can be instantly wiped out — but not in a calculated way like the difficulty of Dark Souls. In a sort of hopeless way. Each warrior is a tiny Sisyphus.