Last updated20:32, August 15 2017
What caused the six crew members of an orbital space station to abandon ship? Tacoma is a deep space detective game.
Exploring an abandoned space station after a disaster left the crew fighting for their lives sounds like the perfect set-up for a thrill-a-minute action game or nail-biting survival horror. Tacoma couldn't be further removed from that end of the gaming spectrum.
It's a seriously slow burner that makes Fullbright's previous "walking simulator" hit Gone Home feel like a Bayonetta boss battle.This is a game that you take at your own pace, soaking it in as youanalysetiny details.
There's no intense combat, no terrifying enemies or world to save. If you prefer your games to be a little more dynamic and exciting, then Tacoma probably won't be your cup of tea.
If, however, you're a fan of gripping narratives, fascinating characters and brilliantly delivered dialoguethen this is well worth checking out. I found it difficult to put down and enjoyed pretty much every minute of it
Captured conversations between the station's crew members are replayed by the Tacoma AI, allowing you to piece together the events that led up to the mysterious disaster.
Playing as security contractor Amy Ferrier, you arrive on the lunar orbital space station Tacoma in the wake of a orbital debris collision which destroyed the facilities communication mast and wiped out most of its oxygen supply.
The six-person crew that manned the station are nowhere to be found. It's your job to move from section to section, downloading data from the ship's AI system in an attempt to piece together what went wrong, and work out where the hell everybody went..
The good news is that the AI recorded everyinteraction between the crewmates during the year leading up to the accident. The bad news is that much of that data appears to have been corrupted or destroyed.
Most of the Tacoma station is covered by the installation's artificial gravity system, but travelling between each section is done in zero-g, allowing you to get your float on.
This means that you although you can access snippets of conversations, played out in real time by augmented reality figures that move around the Tacoma station. there are gaping holes in the narrative which you need to fill by fleshing out the characters' back-stories and exploring their abandoned home.
Effectively, you experience Tacoma as a series of theatrical plays, as you move from room to room, recovering the data and watching the 2-10 minute conversations with the crew unfold. Sometimes, characters will move around the facility as they're talking, requiring you to follow individuals around before rewinding and going back to see what everyone else was saying while you were away.
Full credit must go to the writing team and voice acting cast. The story is perfectly paced and delivered in fine style. The AR models have no facial features so the drama is conveyed entirely via dialogue and body language.
Exploring the various rooms and living quarters will uncover more clues and vital details about the station's inhabitants.
Despite the sci-fi setting, Tacoma is essentially a story about relationships. Not just between the crew members but between their friends and family on Earth and thecorporate overlords running the show.
You're also able to download data from character;s AR desktops (although much of this is also corrupted) giving you an insight into their lives via email chains, internet browsing history and image files.
Perhaps the creepiest part of the game though , is how you'reactively encouraged to go snooping through the crew's private living quarters looking for clues and items of interest.
Food wrappers, postcards, cups, coins and mementos. Every item you see on board the Tacoma can be picked up and pored over.
There's a certain voyeuristic thrill about searching through drawers, lockers and bedside tables and although some of the details you uncover arefascinating, it's hard not to feel like it's all a massive invasion of privacy.
It's also interesting how much of the junk and random items of interest have absolutely no bearing on the story whatsoever, but picking them up and analysing them somehow adds even more depth and realism to the experience. In most games, everything is there for a reason and it's rare to see a pixel wasted on something that doesn't serve an obvious purpose.
In Tacoma, scribbled notes, postcards, crumpled space-food wrappers, even a casually discardedsex toy in one couple's bedroom, have no real reason to be there, other than to make the abandoned space station feel like a real place, where real people lived, laughed and loved for a year prior to your arrival.
Tacoma isn't a particularly long game. Depending on how distracted you get and how deep you delve into the facility's nooks and crannies, you'll probably get through it in a few hours. You probably won't be too keen to replay it againeither - it's not a branching narrative game where your choices have a bearing on the ending or how events unfold.
It will almost certainly stay with you though, it's an innovative and interesting experience in interactive storytelling that you won't forget in a hurry.
Tacoma Developers: Fullbright Publishers: Microsoft Studios Formats: Xbox One, PC Price: $19(RRP) Score 8.5/10
Read the original:
Tacoma review: A slow-burning space station mystery - Stuff.co.nz
- Boeing shifts its team leaders for space station and Starliner space programs - GeekWire - June 20th, 2020
- The International Space Station is getting a new toilet this year - Space.com - June 20th, 2020
- Astronauts: Falcon 9 rocket was totally different ride than the space shuttle - WITI FOX 6 Milwaukee - June 20th, 2020
- Astronauts and NASA pay homage to Juneteenth - Space.com - June 20th, 2020
- Green glow seen in the atmosphere of Mars, similar to Earth's from space station - Firstpost - June 20th, 2020
- Astronaut and Maine Native Jessica Meir Talks About Experience in Space - NECN - June 20th, 2020
- They Want to Sell Balloon Rides 19 Miles Up. Havent We Heard This Before? - The New York Times - June 20th, 2020
- Students chat with the ISS from their homes - Brentsville District High - June 20th, 2020
- You Can Make Money in Space on Earth - DailyWealth - June 20th, 2020
- What is the 'zero gravity' that people experience in the vomit comet or space flight? - The Conversation US - June 20th, 2020
- Cosmic 'Lighthouses' to Help Space Travellers Find Ways to Moon, Mars - The Weather Channel - June 20th, 2020
- SpaceX is building a floating, superheavy-class spaceport in the Gulf of Mexico - Houston Chronicle - June 20th, 2020
- What Does it Mean to Be a Space Architect? - Universe Today - June 20th, 2020
- Whatever happened to reforming space traffic management? - Politico - June 20th, 2020
- Livestream: NASAs SpaceX Demo-2 launch to the International Space Station - Boston.com - May 27th, 2020
- In photos: The Expedition 63 mission to the International Space Station - Space.com - May 27th, 2020
- NASA chief "all in" for Tom Cruise to film on space station - Herald-Whig - May 27th, 2020
- Look up: International Space Station visible above Thunder Bay in coming weeks - CBC.ca - May 27th, 2020
- International Space Station visible over Devon and Cornwall tonight - Plymouth Live - May 27th, 2020
- Here's how to see the International Space Station passing over Bristol this weekend - Bristol Live - May 27th, 2020
- You can view the International Space Station from Vancouver tonight - Vancouver Is Awesome - May 27th, 2020
- The next SpaceX launch will be the company's first with people on board - CNBC - May 18th, 2020
- Timetable for spotting the International Space Station as it passes over the UK and nine-year-old Lottie from Newbury takes her first cosmic... - May 18th, 2020
- International Space Station visible in orbit over the UK until the beginning of June - Newbury Weekly News Group - May 18th, 2020
- Salad could be grown on Mars, scientists say - The Independent - May 18th, 2020
- How and when to see the International Space Station in the sky from where you live - Hillingdon Times - May 18th, 2020
- International Space Station tracker: how to see the ISS fly over Scotland in May - The Scotsman - May 18th, 2020
- MB&F and LEpe 1839's Latest Clock is a Horological Space Station - HYPEBEAST - May 18th, 2020
- space station | Definition, History, & Facts | Britannica - May 8th, 2020
- International Space Station - Wikipedia - May 8th, 2020
- Astronaut offers insights on coronavirus from space station - Community Impact Newspaper - May 8th, 2020
- Tom Cruise Working With NASA To Film Aboard The International Space Station - WLEN-FM - May 8th, 2020
- Digital Space Solution Market to Witness Astonishing Growth With The SpaceStation, SpaceDigital, Mediaspace Solutions, Sajha Media Space, Nine... - May 8th, 2020
- Astronaut Christina Koch on making space history and how to survive isolation - The Verge - May 8th, 2020
- China plans to have space station by 2022 - The Canberra Times - May 6th, 2020
- How long will the 1st astronauts to ride SpaceX's Crew Dragon be in space? No one knows exactly (yet). - Space.com - May 6th, 2020
- China to debut new version of powerful Long March 5 rocket this week - Spaceflight Now - May 4th, 2020
- SpaceX Moon Contract Could Be Worth $7 Billion -- Or Nothing - The Motley Fool - May 4th, 2020
- An astronaut spotted SpaceX's Starlink internet satellites from the International Space Station - CNBC - April 21st, 2020
- Astronauts Return to Earth From International Space Station - EcoWatch - April 21st, 2020
- NASA to launch astronauts to space station from US soil for the first time in a decade - WESTERNMASSNEWS.com - April 21st, 2020
- NASA astronaut, UCSD grad to return to earth from space station - - KUSI - April 21st, 2020
- Amazing shots of International Space Station over Swindon (and here's when you can see it next) - Swindon Advertiser - April 21st, 2020
- UFO Spotted On NASA Live Stream Video Outside The International Space Station Is Absolutely Real - BroBible - April 21st, 2020
- Three amember Space Station Crew Return to Earth - En Tempo.co - April 21st, 2020
- How engineers are operating space missions from their homes - The Verge - April 21st, 2020
- Soyuz launches new crew to the International Space Station - SpaceNews - April 9th, 2020
- Boeing intends to reattempt Starliner test flight to space station - CBS News - April 9th, 2020
- Great stargazing night ahead, when to see the International Space Station pass over Michigan - MLive.com - April 9th, 2020
- How to see the International Space Station in the Colorado Springs area on Tuesday and Wednesday - Colorado Springs Gazette - April 9th, 2020
- China's new crew spacecraft looks like it could dock with the International Space Station - Space.com - March 31st, 2020
- In Photos: The Expedition 62 mission to the International Space Station - Space.com - March 31st, 2020
- Five MIT payloads deployed on the International Space Station - Space Daily - March 31st, 2020
- NASA tasks SpaceX with sending cargo and supplies to future lunar space station - The Verge - March 31st, 2020
- 'I'm in awe': NASA astronaut salutes coronavirus-fighting doctors and nurses from orbit - Space.com - March 31st, 2020
- All traditions are scrapped: Keeping coronavirus off the ISS - Digital Trends - March 31st, 2020
- When you can see the International Space Station flying in the night sky over Somerset this weekend - Somerset Live - March 31st, 2020
- Watch this space, coronavirus weather & penguin-spotting - EURACTIV - March 31st, 2020
- Space holiday, anyone? Space X to send tourists to International Space Station - The Star Online - March 31st, 2020
- US launches advanced satellite in 1st Space Force national security mission - Space.com - March 31st, 2020
- Sunlit Peaks in the Himalayas - NASA - March 31st, 2020
- Need More Space At Home? Try These Astronomy Livestreams - Forbes - March 31st, 2020
- Astronaut tips to survive lockdown: talk, teamwork, treats - Reuters - March 31st, 2020
- G2 Esports defeats Spacestation Gaming to win RLCS NA Regionals - Daily Esports - March 31st, 2020
- While we were stockpiling, here's what astronauts were up to in space last week - CNN - March 26th, 2020
- When you can see the International Space Station flying over Greater Manchester over the next week - Manchester Evening News - March 26th, 2020
- How to see the International Space Station over Nottingham tonight - West Bridgford Wire - March 26th, 2020
- Welcome to the future: 11 ideas that went from science fiction to reality - Space.com - March 26th, 2020
- The Coronavirus Is Starting To Have A Serious Impact On The Space Industry - Forbes - March 26th, 2020
- In space, at sea: tips on isolation from the pros - The Jakarta Post - Jakarta Post - March 26th, 2020
- In space, at sea: Professionals thriving in confinement have some Covid-19 work-from-home tips - Livemint - March 26th, 2020
- Houston-based research organization taps video game makers to advance space medicine - InnovationMap - March 26th, 2020
- UAE students invited to programme heroic space robots - The National - March 26th, 2020
- US government aims for better coordination in space weather campaign - SpaceNews - March 26th, 2020
- Here's how NASA protects astronauts and the International Space Station from coronavirus - CNN - March 24th, 2020
- Suddenly Stuck at Home? After 20 Years at the Space Station, NASA Teaches These 5 Success Behaviors to Stay Positive and Be Productive in Small Spaces... - March 24th, 2020
- Venus, International Space Station spotted from Mount Washington Observatory - The Boston Globe - March 24th, 2020
- The Safest Place to Hide From the Coronavirus: Space? - Newsweek - March 24th, 2020
- I Spent a Year in Space, and I Have Tips on Isolation to Share - The New York Times - March 24th, 2020
- A message from MIT astronauts: Accept the mission and find your motivators - MIT News - March 24th, 2020