Thirty Flights of Loving (PC)
Someone figured out how to do jump cuts in the Quake 2 engine and made 2 demo levels of nothing but. There’s so little here I’m almost offended I had to pay for it, meanwhile game reviewers and players lined up to suck the developer’s cock like it holds the cure. Average score: 9/10. This is the downside of indie developers experimenting with gaming and MOMA accepting games as art. Dipshits desperate to validate themselves as cultured art aficionados because they play XBox praise dumb shit that displays a tiny bit of creativity but has absolutely fucking nothing to offer as a game. Look at this garbage:
Thirty Flights of Loving by Blendo Games
It is often said that it is not what you write, but rather what you don’t write. There are two stories that epitomize this idea completely:
•”For sale. Baby shoes. Never worn.” (rumored to be penned by Ernest Hemingway)
•”The last man on Earth sat alone in a room. There was a knock on the door…” (Knock by Fredric Brown)
Both of these incredibly short stories tell a complete tale. The former is a sad, melancholy story about an event no couple wants to experience, while the latter is a horror story reminiscent of The Twilight Zone. What they both share is the immediate sense of intrigue. The reader’s mind races to think of all the possibilities that would lead to the situation at hand. The lack of information forces readers to use their imagination to construct their own version of the story.
Thirty Flights of Loving works exactly the same way. It isn’t so much about what is told to the player, but instead what is not. This fifteen-minute adventure leaves just enough information for the player to start making assumptions, but not enough to know exactly what is going on. The player is intentionally left in the dark as to the finer details of the plot and is then forced to bridge the gaps and draw their own conclusions.
Fuck you. It is a jump cut demo. It is a clichéd heist-gone-wrong story told out of sequence using jump cuts. The whole thing lasts maybe 5 minutes, but assholes won’t call it out as being a dumb demo that should never be charged for and instead want to inflate it into AN EXPERIENCE.
It is so meticulously and lovingly crafted that it makes the traditional linear storytelling method seem drab and extraneous. This is storytelling distilled to its finest form; it is a game that does not waste your time. Moving forward, I will not look at storytelling the same way again.
“because I am an imbecile,” was probably edited out of the last sentence.
Sometimes the most intriguing tales are told without uttering a single word. Blendo Games’ Brendon Chung once again proves himself a master of succinct, abstract first-person storytelling with Thirty Flights of Loving, a short and punchy follow-up to the much buzzed-about 2009 indie freeware hit Gravity Bone. The fact he manages to cram an enjoyably dizzying story into a mere dozen minutes of gameplay is a feat in itself, but what’s truly impressive is the narrative weight and emotional impact it delivers in such a short span of time.
Chung has a great line in arty pulp fiction; you can pick that up from his titles alone, which could so easily have graced small-town noir films starring Bryan Cranston before he was cool.
Chung gets tremendous mileage out of the simple engine’s ability to switch between contrasting scenes instantly, cutting with the fluid, playful urgency of a film director of the French New Wave.
Edge Online wrote:
There’s a rule in cinema
Let me interrupt before you get started to say, fuck yourself. Seriously.
Edge Online wrote:
– and in almost all good storytelling – that you enter late, exit early, and leave as much work as possible to your audience’s imagination. It’s a concept that most cinematic videogames tend to ignore. Whether it’s Uncharted or Heavy Rain, narrative games can’t wait to bog themselves down in instructions or asides: they blow their pacing the moment they take time out to tell you how to crouch, and they reveal an echoing absence of subtlety or respect whenever they guide your eye towards an expensive skybox by grasping control from your hands.
Thirty Flights Of Loving approaches things very differently. It’s a cinematic game whose creator could have actually cut it at film school, in fact. While it’s admirable enough that this short first-person vignette rejects the usual serial killer flicks and action adventures in favour of an intriguing psychological thriller that feels like Wes Anderson taking on Hitchcock, what’s even more astonishing is the ease and economy with which it tackles its wonderfully ambiguous plot, replacing dialogue with artful framing and shrewd gestures, and booting out cutscenes in favour of prickly jump-cuts.
[Thirty Flights of Loving and the previous game Gravity Bone] are incredibly important and will hopefully be a jumping-off point for other developers to advance the medium going forward.
Thirty Flights of Loving is a memorable gem from a master miniaturist who can teach the big boys a thing or two about how to tell a story in this medium.
See? SEE? This is IMPORTANT. This is MEANINGFUL. This will CHANGE THE WAY WE LOOK AT STORYTELLING FOREVER. I took a FILM CLASS! I read BOOKS! Reviewers desperately competing to out-fine-oak-pipe each other. Hmm, yes, I supped the sweet ambrosia of Thirty Floors’ artulescent storytelling as I reclined in my gaming office nibbling on my gaming cheese. *puff*
This is the kind of thing someone from Caltrops would make on a bet. As in, “I bet I could make q2jumpcuts.bsp and get stupid people to pay me for it and call it art.” If that was what happened at Blendo, then I take it all back and they’re geniuses. Otherwise fuck them and their five dollar bullshit. This thing isn’t going to teach anyone who’s played Killer 7 a goddamn thing. If you want surreal absurdity with creative editing and a unique art style, go play Killer 7.
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