You know, every so often a game or series of games by an indie developer crosses your path and you really just have to dive in and see what there is to see. With Tonguc’s games, my fascination is also filled with admiration, and as I play my way through his catalog of games, I find the quality of craftsmanship to be elevated with each new entry. Drizzlepath was a cool experience, Drizzlepath: Genie built upon that experience while becoming more focused. Bottle was a master class in taking a single concept and remaining focused throughout. With Drizzlepath: Glass, his mastery over the graphics engine and gameplay has become as evident as has his willingness to deviate from established style while still staying within a very true representation of the walking simulator genre.
Tonguc wrote the story for Drizzlepath: Glass himself and I think the evolution of storytelling in Tonguc’s games is definitely apparent here. This is a more mature and yet also less verbose effort. The stories in the previous games were interesting as well, but I felt Glass was more approachable (for me anyway).
Drizzlepath: Glass takes on the topic of death, grief, and mourning, and while I won’t spoil the story here, I will say that there were some pretty cool twists and turns that will keep you interested and also provide at least two distinct “Oh ####” moments as well.
While I hadn’t specifically noticed this in Tonguc’s past games, what I realized here is that there is a subtle and yet persistent erosion of the fourth wall. Rather than do so in overt fashion, the writing draws attention to what you are experiencing while keeping it within the confines of a personal, introspective dialogue from the protagonist.
I really felt the story in Drizzlepath: Glass upped the ante for this series. 8 out of 10
The gameplay in Drizzlepath: Glass is completely tight and responsive. The controls handle immaculately, there were zero issues with clipping or other common issues that tend to plague games in this genre, and it really flowed seamlessly.
The level design was very linear, and this is a definite noticeable direction Tonguc has been taking with his games. Yes, you can still wander about and check out the nooks and crannies within each chapter, but you are always encouraged to move forward along a singular path, and this is truly effective in my estimation. Too often, a lack of structure becomes an impediment to the story being told, whereas here, the obvious path forward really puts you in a good position to experience the game with proper pacing.
There are a couple puzzles in the game which are easily solved, but were nicely done regardless. There was also an interesting horror section which might seem out of place while reading about it, but within the context of the game made perfect sense and actually served to break up the pace a little and re-invest you in the experience.
9.5 out of 10
The graphics in Drizzlepath: Glass are a nice example of how a person can really refine the Unreal engine to craft a beautiful game. This game is stunning and with quite a bit of diversity, from the beautiful and flowing grasslands and forests to the ominous almost marshy areas and quite a bit beyond. There is also a lot of attention paid to distance within the game, and so things in front of you will be distinct and crisp while the objects further out will become increasingly hazy and indistinct. This game is a looker and you are almost certain to take copious screenshots as you explore the game’s five chapters.
10 out of 10
I’m not sure who recorded this soundtrack, but the guitar pieces in particular were masterful. At times whimsical and at others brooding and dark, the audio tracks were not only consistent with the moods intended at various parts of the game, but indeed were pivotal in helping to instill and maintain those moods. Really, really well done. Quite a few of those tracks I could easily see myself listening to while driving or otherwise out and about.
Also, the voice acting in Drizzlepath: Glass has seen definite improvement from past installments in the series as well. This was an organic effort, and you really could feel an emotional attachment to the protagonist, which is quite important as she is both telling a tale and contemplating her attachment to it variably. Without that organic, natural feel to it, the story would not have been the same.
10 out of 10
Drizzlepath: Glass is really a success in every imaginable way. Everything about this game not only engages the player, but also serves as a clear demonstration that all involved parties have advanced their craft and continue to refine their abilities when it comes to video game development, story, acting, music, etc…