The more games DONTNOD Entertainment puts out, the more it feels like Life Is Strange really was just a fluke. The developer’s latest effort, titled Twin Mirror, is the worst of the lot as a nonsensical story, flat and uninteresting characters, and poor performance riddle this narrative-based adventure with flaws.
Protagonist Sam Higgs has returned to his former home of Basswood to commemorate the passing of best friend Nick. After having too much to drink at the wake, he wakes up the following day to find his shirt covered in blood. This leads him down the path of having killed someone in a drunken state, so now it’s his job to try and clear his name and investigate the suspicious claims surrounding his buddy’s death. The problem is that the game takes such great strides during and in between the scenes making up the five-hour playthrough that it can be tough to keep up with what’s going on. It gets to the point where the plot lacks any coherent sense.
The game plays out like your typical DONTNOD experience with environments to rummage through and a handful of dialogue choices to make — affecting the narrative and ending in the process — with a somewhat interesting use case for the Mind Palace. Sam enters a sort of alternate reality where he can piece together crime scenes to gain a better understanding. It’s neat, but nothing you haven’t seen before in past Sherlock Holmes titles. And while one more twist provides the protagonist with a physical manifestation of his sub-conscience, it’s more annoying than helpful. The same can be said of most characters in Twin Mirror, actually.
As DONTNOD Entertainment confirms it has five other projects in the works, we can’t help but wonder if the company is spreading its efforts far too thin. Twin Mirror feels like Life Is Strange on a shoe-string budget.