Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Kentucky Route Zero Act III Review

Note: this blog has been migrated to Medium, with the articles here available to preserve permalinks. Please see this post at https://medium.com/@ianrbuck/kentucky-route-zero-act-iii-review-2c8261d898b8#.ghdedjieq

You should probably go read my thoughts on the first two acts of Kentucky Route Zero, because here I am just going to talk about the new things that Act III brings us.

It's been almost a year since Act II came out, with an interlude released in between. Normally I would be pretty miffed, but in this case I don't mind so much. The game is so strange, the waiting almost feels like a part of the experience. Speaking of the interludes, Act III is the first time that these have been clearly pulled into the main game. The Entertainment was originally built as an Oculus Rift experiment where the player was a part of a theater performance; in Act III you visit the bar where this play was set and find a pair of expensive-looking goggles. Limits and Demonstrations featured an interactive art installation; in Act III you meet a couple of people whose story was told in that art installation.

My favorite moment in Act III is pictured above, where you get to choose which lyrics are sung in a heart wrenching song.

A lot of old technology has been featured in Kentucky Route Zero, usually tube televisions or transistor radios. Act III takes it in a computer science direction: a computer simulation called Xanadu has a large role; I am fairly confident that it is a reference to the vaporware Project Xanadu.
Act III also hints at what may be in store for Conway after he completes this delivery run, and it isn't good. It isn't necessarily bad, it just has a vague sense of foreboding, which is a pretty good summary of the series as a whole.



Act III certainly does not disappoint, so I definitely recommend that you go pick this game up.