Your Future Self Review
The future meets the present in
Contortionist Games’ new title Your Future Self. Conversing with a future version of yourself makes for an interesting predicament, but does it have the gameplay to back its premise up?
Your Future Self Review
The game starts with quite the bombshell – your future self from 35 years in the future is on trial for killing thousands, and you are about to directly talk to him. There is little explanation as to what he is done or much of his background; rather, it is up to the player to goad it out of him through a number of dialog choices.
Conversation breaks down into three different types: Rational, empathetic, and assertive. When talking to your future self, you have to read the room and figure out the best way to approach the situation. Handle it well, and your insight meter will raise.
If this sounds complex, there’s no need to worry – everything is clearly laid out for the player. The right of the screen shows how receptive your future self is to certain conversation styles, so it’s literally spelled out for you. With only three main choices at any given time, it’s not too hard to figure out exactly what to do. Even then, the penalty for failure is minimal at best. As a result, this may have been better suited in a different medium, with little alteration necessary.
As players set out to learn the truth, they will encounter a number of “loops” every 90 minutes in game time (not real time) where things reset. There is a sense of intentional deja vu to it all, and though it is done to establish the story, expect to see some of the same dialog a few times. It’s a unique way to present the story, but it also proves to be a repetitive way.
So how does the story stack up? Without spoiling too much, there are some pretty heavy things in play. Time travel, bioweapon programs, and refugees all come into play, and there is some self-reflection at play. Players will slowly learn the whole story, but expect to be confused for a good part of it. Some may appreciate this style, but it feels a little too forced.
Things get that much more complicated when an outside force steps in every now and again. Players must go with the flow and are jerked around quite a bit between a number of these different sources. Even when all is said and done after around two hours of play, it still feels a bit cryptic.
Your Future Self’s approach to storytelling is unique, but it manages to be a bit too cryptic for its own good. Those who go with the flow will appreciate its avant garde nature, but those looking for something a bit more coherent might be left out in the cold.