Civilization VI carries forward almost all of the mechanics from V: spies, trading routes, religion, ideologies, the hexagonal map, and so on. As a result, the game is just as strong as its previous incarnation, while nevertheless finding ways to expand upon this experience.
For now, the game is just echoes; echoes of The Banner Saga, of India and the Middle-East, and of poorly-written Saturday morning cartoons. But the thing about echoes is that they are always less substantial than the original word: “good enough” comes back to us as “enough.”
But what marks Fragments as distinct—as, partly, in poetry—is its reliance on metaphor: the constituent parts of these memories are the physical objects the player interacts with, but they come to stand in for the personal, emotional connotations that accrete upon all of our things.
[A]s the player spirals towards the haunted house, and continues spiraling downwards ever afterwards, the sheer weight of The Park's curdled hope and joy denies the optimistic ending of its double from down under: in the end, grief and loss cannot be grappled with. Sometimes it cannot be withstood. The monsters win, the humans lose, and the uneasy fact is that both those creatures are the same person.
You are not truly alone in Corpse of Discovery, but the videogame shows how loneliness is a question of degrees and shades, and not a simple binary. It is through this three-dimensional exploration of the pilgrim on a foreign world that the game shows its worth.
But there is one more episode left and the town of Arcadia Bay has yet to be saved. There is still time for Max's story to be subsumed by melodrama, for the game to simply spend the emotional currency it has worked hard to gather on a cliffhanger for the sake of having a cliffhanger. Come October shall we look back and wonder where this potential went? Perhaps we shall ask ourselves what could have been done differently. Or, perhaps, Life is Strange will navigate these concerns, becoming the game we hoped it would be.
But if you are only interested in the puzzles, then you will only enjoy half the game. At its heart, Road to Gehenna carries forward both the original game's thoughtful examination of how we interact with the world and its engaging brainteasers. But it is saved from becoming more of the same by examining how we interact with the world now, and how that world's end might be understood.
Though Sunset delights in its complexity, it offers no answers to the friction that results from the intersection of its contrasts. The game consciously places itself at the liminal moment between two points: pure aesthetics and social commitment, wealth and poverty, night and day.