The review you are about to read is not the one you may be used to. It’s not one that I normally do. This is not going to be something that can be joked about in any way. So please understand that me writing this is coming from a place I thought I left behind, a place that should have remained buried, and a place that I hope never comes to pass for anyone. But I promise you that in some way, shape or form, this review will have some type of impact either on a personal level or one by association. If you or anyone suffer from depression, substance abuse, grieving or just need to talk to someone, please visit one of these sites:
IASP

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

The Lifeline 1-800-273-8255

AFSP

Take 5

If you need to talk to someone or in a crisis please call 1-800-273-8255 now. If you feel that you are not in a situation to talk on the phone, please text The Crisis Text line by texting TALK to 741741.

National Suicide Prevention Day is September 10th, 2018

If nothing else, feel free to DM me on Twitter as my DM is always open.
Remember it is never too late!

Anamorphine is the beautifully inspirational project from Artifact 5. When I first heard about this back in October of 2017, there was something that hit me and I didn’t really know what it was. In fact, I have never really stopped thinking about it. So let me tell the tale and who knows, maybe we have all found a way to help with the pain.

Before going any further I want to give you a little warning. Anamorphine has no narration of word of any kind. I personally think that this was a very wise decision. If there was any type of dialog or text, it might have not been as powerful as the story that it is trying to tell. Somehow it would have been criticized by doing so. So thank you Artifact 5 for this. Also, there are no buttons to press as everything you will be learning will be done through sound and the visuals. So all you will be using is the Left stick for movement and the Right stick for looking. Also, this is only played in non-VR, but there is going to be a PlayStation VR update that will be coming.

Anamorphine tells the story of Tyler who is a nature photographer and Elena is a cellist. Playing through the eyes of Tyler you will see life through the good as well as the bad times and the struggle he has with life. When you start out in your apartment, you are not sure what is going on or if something happened. But I promise you it will all make sense.

As you walk around you start to see things that you can tell are a great joy in your life as well as that of Elena’s. Her joy…her passion is being a cellist. From teaching it to performing. It is what she was born to do. As her love for playing and performing, your equal passion of being a photographer shows not for the pictures around your home, but how you can really see that your favorite subject to photograph other than nature is Elena and as much as loves to perform, she loves the way Tyler is so passionate about what he does. I want to give a big applause to Artifact 5 for making the relationship and the love between Tyler and Elena felt so authentic.

What starts getting interesting is when everything that is relatively small such as the moving truck, apartment, even the performance hall and then starts to turn into this winding maze-like area. For example, the moving truck is, in reality, a rectangle and you can see when you enter it and where the end is. Well here as you start to look at your belongings, the truck has some turns inside with even more possessions. Certain items will have this glow which is represented by special memory. But it starts to get really strange when what was the truck you were in turning into your apartment and you start to almost remember what happened.

Other times you could simply go into a closet or see an item that turns out to a scene where you walk through and you see a bike that you get to ride. Then you notice how you and Elena loved to go on bike rides together and as you ride you start to see people that are not represented by features per say, but it all starts to become part of the memories that you have and how important they are. You then start to realize how symbolic the bike actually becomes.

As you start to go through the memories of your life that you two share, things really start to get interesting. Doors that were once opened will shut in your face, you start seeing more substance that is getting abused, and then Anamorphine does something that can really hit home. It makes you realize and starts to question about if something you loved was suddenly taken from you where you may not recover to be able to get back to what you love, how would you react? Would you pretend all was still ok? Would you be able to handle any guilt? Would you be able to move on from the past or continue to dwindle in it? Would your frame of mind be? Would you be able to escape it all or would the guilt and the bad times catch up with you as everything you have come to know will only crumble around your existence as the demons you tried to hide want to come out and face you?  These are the type of questions you start to ask about yourself and think about. Anamorphine truly is a powerful experience and should not be missed.

Anamorphine at first glance you may not get the concept and honestly and even when I was playing, there was not the direct connection at first, but it had this familiarity to it. It works so well in this way Then it hit me, the pieces that I tried to bury in my mind so long ago was awoken and the memories chained to me as Anamorphine took me on this journey of one that I am still not sure has the closure it needs.

Abuse, thoughts of suicide, grieving…these are all very serious matters that can take over your life. You may not realize how it will affect you or others around you. It might not even be you, but someone you know is going through this right now and not even realize the effect they have on others. If you or someone you may know are suffering from the battle of abuse (regardless of the kind of abuse), having thoughts about suicide, or grieving for a loss of a loved one (pets count too), please do not ignore this, it’s never too late to save a life.

Anamorphine is out now. A review copy was provided. To learn more about Artifact 5, please visit their site and make sure you like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.

In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy.

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