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Would prefer more Interactive in my IF, October 26, 2020
(Very minor spoilers ahead)
Let me start off by saying, I love atmospheric horror. Running through post-disaster settings unlocking doors and solving puzzles brings me unreasonable amount of enjoyment. So based on the beginning of my playthrough, I was ready to LOVE this game.
However, as one review pointed out where this game falls flat as Interactive Fiction is the lack of interactivity with anything relating to the story. This game takes places in a pretty sterile environment. By that I mean, there are no enemies or other characters of any kind to interact with.
The puzzles are logical, but the only thing enticing the player to keep going throughout this backtracking fetch-quest are the chunks of story that play out like cutscenes any time you touch a glowing object. Which was fine at first, but the player never gets to meet or interact with any of the characters. Plus, I would wager anyone intelligent enough to make it through this game (or even Google a walkthrough) will see the big plot twist coming a mile away. There are no red herrings or tricks here, it's a pretty straightforward story about scientists pursuing science to their own demise.
On the positive side- the writing was solid, the parser understood me nine out of ten times, and I liked the atmosphere- even if it didn't feel "alive."
On the negative side- the ending left me feeling a bit bummed out. Without saying too much, it's a downer and there's nothing I could have done as a player to change it. I didn't feel like there was any revelation here, just marching my way tediously to the finish line.
I'd say Babel is worth a playthrough, just know what you're getting into.