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An excellent piece of work.... but somehow unsatisfying., January 4, 2012
After hearing so much about Bronze, I was expecting a very satisfying and pleasurable experience. This was not the case for me. I played the game through over the course of an afternoon and, although I did enjoy exploring the map and working through the puzzles, I found myself disappointed at the end. I came away feeling like the entire experience was rather hollow and somewhat forced. The game is user-friendly enough, and it's definitely a great beginner's game in many ways. But the execution of the plot feels a little rushed and the meta-puzzle felt anticlimactic. It was as if, even as I did my own exploring, I was being spoon-fed the story without getting to discover it on my own.
Beauty and the Beast is a beautiful love story, but in this version of the tale, I felt that the protagonist's relationship with the Beast lacked very much warmth or deep love. (I do realize this is a "fractured" fairy tale, but generally this refers to a certain amount of humor, whereas this game felt merely jaded to me). I found myself annoyed with the Beast and his continual "voice" in the PC's head, reminding her of his lecherous past and interjecting comments about her current locations. This was especially irritating since (Spoiler - click to show)he was unconscious and, therefore, unavailable for any actual conversation through basically the entire game.
I'm certain many will disagree with my review, but this was my personal experience. Maybe my expectations were too high. Now, with all that said, I want to state in all technical aspects this game is quite exceptional. Emily Short's writing is WONDERFUL (If she ever becomes a novelist, I'll be the first in line!), the map is easy to navigate, and the game is very forgiving and offers many hints.
A word to the wise: beware of red herrings. (Spoiler - click to show)I wasted tons of time exploring the possibilities of the items on the shelf in the Black Gallery, only to find out there was only one useful item in the entire batch. ARRGH!