Tell Me Why has been Dontnod operating on a reduced scope, with less characters and less time, and they've pulled it off. Tyler and Alyson have successfully been allowed to grow and function as developed characters before tackling difficult subject matter, and that's really helped the pair flourish as relatable characters. Despite a somewhat rushed conclusion and a final choice that rendered my past actions a little meaningless, Tell Me Why has been one of Dontnod's more pleasant adventures to experience.
After a solid debut chapter, Tell Me Why: Chapter 2 doesn't keep the momentum going. There are pleasant individual character moments between twins Tyler and Alyson Ronan, who remain the undisputed highpoints of the game, but the rest of the cast suffers as a result. Tell Me Why wants to paint an emotional tale of struggle and growth, but Chapter 2's experience is stunted by overuse of the Bond mechanic and the decision-based icon sapping any tension.
Tell Me Why: Chapter One is certainly a promising start for Dontnod's new tale, as the developer looks for a slightly stunted but more mature take on difficult subject matters. Tyler Ronan is a surprisingly positive depiction of a transgender character, even if the bar is set incredibly low, and it's a relief that for once a Dontnod protagonist isn't put through drawn out, traumatic events as a rite of passage. I'm cautiously optimistic to see if Tell Me Why can build on this solid start.
Carrion is an energetic and taut game that flips the tables on The Thing, putting you in command of the alien creature and tasking you with simply going to town on the hapless humans surrounding you. The loose physics-based gameplay is satisfying to play, and the enigmatic creature's bloodlust is crucially never too powerful to render the armed humans that challenge you entirely helpless. Although Carrion's story falls largely flat, it's a very satisfying slaughterhouse of gnashing teeth and tentacles.
Rocket Arena is an enjoyable up-tempo experience with genuinely fun traversal abilities to keep you on your toes and moving to the high and lows of the arena. It's largely undefined characters and lack of meaningful customization options, however, hold it back from being truly memorable. It's a fun arena shooter in the moment, but it'll fade quickly from memory after you've walked away.
Dreams is fantastically experimentative, and it's obvious that the near-limitless creation tools provide a platform on which the community can build far into the future, but to judge this package as whole right now, it's not the wider product that leaves a lasting impression.