Top Critic Average
Virginia takes the phase show, not tell to another level. This silent film of a video game, takes a chance on telling you an amazing story. It's your job to listen with your eyes.
Virginia was a wild ride, that’s for sure. If you’re a fan of the genre you’d probably be angry with yourself for missing out on this game. If you’re just looking for an offbeat, kind of wacky mystery, you’ll find something here, too.
If you’re a little bit curious, or if you enjoyed any of the games with which it shares its DNA, Virginia may be one of the oddest and most fascinating things you’ve played in a long, long time. Vivid Virginia is a hell of a lot more than plain old “walking.”
There are very few games as emotionally affecting as this. The story is thrilling, powerful and thought-provoking, and the music sends chills straight through your soul.
Virginia is an intensely intimate, powerful and thought-provoking experience masquerading as an homage to supernatural detective thrillers, and it is one of the most important games of 2016.
The story is human, relatable, enabling you to build an empathetic bond with Anne with ease. And even when events go all mind-bendingly crazy as you reach the final stretch, you still care
Virginia is a sharp thinking, plot driven single-player adventure like few out there. It borrows heavily from other games of its ilk, yet twists it into its own strange beast. Unlike plenty of others, such as Firewatch, Virginia also manages to actually live up to its premise and deliver a satisfying, thought provoking conclusion. I'd love to go deeper on this because Virginia is a game all about its story and it's delivered, but a mystery such as this best served piping hot with a cup of joe on the side.
Virginia takes the adventure game to new places, and while not everyone might want to join in on the trip, those that do will be rewarded with a thoroughly mesmerising experience that stays with you long after the credits roll
Even if you recently watched Stranger Things, you might notice a few similarities with Virginia in the subtle and sometimes explicit otherworldly allusions to the masked reality that we cannot actively perceive. This whole feeling that something could be hiding around the corner definitely adds to the suspense that runs throughout most of the game. One might get a fourth-wall-breaking sense that the developers are slowly peeling back the mystery and everything that unravels is for you to behold and try your damndest to make sense of it all.
Virginia is a fantastic piece of interactive fiction, and a fantastic videogame. It’s rare to see a game that truly innovates on the way a story can be told through this medium, and to have something that doesn’t only push those boundaries but does so this effectively is a real treat.
What an incredible year: after Inside, here's another software taht will influence and change the way we'll experience a story. Virginia is not a good game. Neither a good movie. It is something different: something new.
Review in Italian | Read full review
Virginia offers one of the best plots in the modern videogame industry and features an OST that can be only compared to a beautiful journey. Even though its duration is too short, every player that enjoys a narrative game should give it a try.
Review in Spanish | Read full review
Games like Virginia are extremely rare in the industry. It will grab at you from the opening moments, and it will refuse to let go until well after the credits have rolled. It’s also on the short side, as a complete playthrough should take about two hours, three if you actively seek out the few collectibles it has to offer. While not a perfect game, as it does have small hiccups here and there, it’s definitely one of the better adventure games that I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing in recent memory.
Virginia shows instead of tells, with a raw, understated power and a calculated nuance that make even the smallest, most mundane details brim with narrative and emotional significance. While I never found a way to impact or change significant story events, the tale of family, friendship, career, and identity that Virginia tells (without uttering a single word) was enough of a reward for my limited input. The mysteries that remain by the end especially justified a second and third visit, and even now I can feel the secrets of Kingdom, Virginia and the two women whose lives changed there luring me back for another.
A perfect enigma is a perpetual struggle between tenable doubt and informed speculation. This is difficult to produce in any creative medium, let alone one that relies on personal interaction. Videogames almost never attempt to do this. Virginia does. The fallout could have been an obtuse curiosity, but it succeeds in throttling tension through subdued parlance, laying out a series of clues and challenging the player to organize them into a cogent (and personalized) picture of the story.
Saying that Virginia is unique is an understatement, there is nothing like it on any Xbox-console. The storytelling and music are sublime making the game an easy game to recommend.
Overall this experience I had with this game was quite enjoyable, the story, which you basically put together yourself was gripping enough to leave me wanting more. While I won’t pretend I understood all of the symbolism in the game I think I pretty much got the gist of the story. My ONE complaint with this game which is kind of a major one for me was the “ending”. For a game that tells a great narrative in a very unique way all building up to a major payoff doesn’t quite get it ever at any point. It almost seems like they didn’t know how to end this tale and took a major cop-out with how it wraps up and took a very “artsy” approach. While it didn’t ruin this game for me by any means did instantly knock it out of scoring in the 90s for me to where it is.
Virginia won't be for everyone due to its lack of interactivity, but its compelling storytelling, artistic direction and sound make for an original and immersive cinematic experience.
Virignia is an experimental title that blends cinema and videogame in an unique mixture. The story is rich in mistery and requires a lot of ability in reading between the lines but the experience is worth the challenge.
Review in Italian | Read full review
Virginia is an experience able to catch the player's attention thanks to its thriller style and its narrative resources. A good videogame with an outstanding OST recorded by the Prage Philarmonic Orchestra. One of the best indie projects on its genre.
Review in Spanish | Read full review
Virginia’s tale of intrigue and mystery quickly comes full circle. In that time, it will take you to some pretty surprising, extraordinary places, and easily warrants a second playthrough. The closing moments may not be to everyone’s taste, though the journey to get there is certainly worthwhile.
Like all of the best first-person adventure games, or "walking sims", Virginia works better than its movie inspirations because of the inherent interactivity that comes with telling a story in this medium. It goes all in on delivering a surreal, Lynchian narrative and hits that nail of unreality on the head, all the way down to leaving you wondering what exactly you just witnessed.
While its basic mechanics and emphasis on story over gameplay won’t be for everyone, it’s a unique ride that mature and intelligent gamers should take, especially if they happen to be a fan of The X-Files or Twin Peaks.
While extremely confusing at times, Virginia manages to keep players glued to their screens thanks to the wonderful scenery and camera work, mixed with a wonderful story that is to some degree up to those at the helm to interpret. While to some it might be rather annoying to be trapped in silence, never getting a true grasp of what is happening, the pay-off of this style of storytelling allows the adventure to make up for that. Few games manage to capture the mood as well as this one, and some of the surrealistic segments are truly disturbing, making people question the line between reality and imagination, and even whether or not there is actually one to begin with. Virginia is a game that is easy to recommend to anyone who wants to experience something that is truly outside of the ordinary in the industry and truly flexes its creative muscles.
Virginia is astounding in many ways. The way it conveys its meaning through visuals, character tics, a few hundred written words and one incredible score without uttering a single line of dialogue is remarkable. Confident and measured use of editing lends a sense of style, but Variable State's swagger turns to over-confidence in the final stretch and leaves Virginia on a befuddling rather than satisfying note.
The overarching tale of 'Virginia' is more than just about a missing persons investigation. It doesn't take long for the player to tumble their way down through conspiracy and moral conundrums under the guise of rookie FBI agent Anne Tarver. While the plot leads the way and keeps the player on the edge of their seat, the gameplay itself is incredibly minimal with little ways to explore.
Virginia is a Rubik’s cube for your senses. The game masterfully provides you with a constant desire to explore and investigate, but can make you feel claustrophobic with its imposing soundtrack and jarring jump cuts. This is a game that takes its potentially biggest weakness and turns it into its greatest strength.
Virginia is a really intriguing story, one that I just couldn’t put down. Although I wasn’t sure on what was going on all of the time, the dramatic devices used within the game really made me want to find out the ending and what happened to the characters. Virginia’s play time of around two hours for £7.99/$9.99 is perfect, and it’s well worth a couple of hours out of your day.
I liked my time with this one for my Virginia review. Playing it a second time after having gone through it all actually allowed me to notice some details here and there that I missed the first time around – or perhaps it was that I didn’t know what they meant in the game’s story. If you’re looking for a different type of “walking simulator” then I recommend that you play Virginia on PS4. It offers an interesting and bizarre story with plenty of weird things to experience in a short package.
Virginia represents the evolution that video game media represents over other entertainment products. The game lasts as much as movie (2 hours), its priced like a movie ($ 9.99) but different from a movie, it goes deeper as an experience, including you in this narrative as an integral part of it, allowing you to explore scenarios where the plot rolls, increasing and allowing an immersion that other media are unable to offer. The story is only one, but the nuances will be unique to every player, and just like a good movie with a divisive ending, Virginia is a product that deserves to be consumed and discussed.
Review in Portuguese | Read full review
Virginia shows what can happen when people with a passion for games, story telling and perhaps a touch of avant garde get together and let their collective subconscious flow. It is not too out of place to say this is an art house game… perhaps the more populist thing to call it would be an intellectual game… the important thing to know is that it has the capacity to make you think and feel and any game that can do that is certainly a worthy title to add to your collection. Virginia helps solidify the notion that games can be art!
With Virginia, Variable State has created a grounded piece of interactive narrative, free of the waffling conceit of the genre’s worst offenders, but not quite evocative enough to be a true classic.
It’s a good thing that Virginia is such a neatly-packed experience, because I definitely needed to run through it twice to get a firmer grip on the story being told. Clocking in at about two hours, it’s a good idea to run through once for the story, and a second time to explore more deeply into the minutiae and context clues that help fill in the gaps, once you have an idea of the overarching plot – and if you want to fill out your trophy list, to boot. Having a (relatively) firm grasp of the story, I’d be curious to learn more about the real-world FBI case it draws inspiration from. If you’ve been itching for another ‘thinker’ game, Virginia might just be right up your alley.
That said, I didn’t dislike Virginia. I was disappointed at the lack of definitiveness and resolution to the matters presented, but the atmosphere and style of the game, as well as it’s brief meditations on society in 1992, stayed with me for some time after I finished playing, and provided a lot to think about. This is far from everyone’s tastes, and I would recommend doing some investigation before parting with any money to consider whether this is going to hold your attention or repel it, but if sedate thrillers that offer more questions than answers are your thing then you’ll find a short but sweet package on offer from 505 Games here.
Virginia is an interesting title that offers more than meets the eye. At first, the player is presented with a simple FBI case, but ultimately it evolves into something more.
Review in Czech | Read full review
Players are offered no real choices within this tersely edited walking simulator, and yet the contemplative nature of the game keeps things feeling unusually satisfying. That’s because you’re given the imaginative freedom to engage with what they’re seeing, more so than in Dear Esther, such that the game feels like an interactive studio tour through a detective’s dreams.
A mixture of quiet, reserved instruments along with dramatic strings and percussion give every moment of Virginia some levity, its change in tone, timbre, and style indicative of the weight of each scene in the game. When mixed with the camera’s specific framing the low-res polygonal visual design and clear progression delineation, Virginia is a marvel of sight and sound.
Virginia is extremely well made and a sight for you to behold, a well-developed drama that should be experienced by all. There are issues I found with it, which detract from the experience, but outside of the controls I can see why they were used.
If 90's thriller is your bag, Virginia does it magnificently. Loaded with surreal coincidence and unsettling theatrics, its deliciously David Lynch. In another medium, this thing could’ve been great, but its allegiance to film form ultimately restricts its potential as a game.
This was a hard game to score because I really wanted to love it more than I did. The unique storytelling format and intense musical score carry what is an otherwise perplexing narrative that tries very hard to be profound but ends up feeling a bit muddled.
It's rare for a game to make me swing back and forth a full 5 points on the score, but Virginia managed exactly that, and that's probably a sign of exactly how divisive this short piece of interactive story-telling is going to be. Let's settle around the middle.
Virginia is the only thing which prevents itself from achieving greatness, as it tries to imitate a TV show, while attempting to abandon the fact that it’s a videogame. As previously stated, a combination of videogame mechanics, with a structure and direction of a TV series, is borderline impossible and Virginia is a great example of that.
Virginia is one of these labours of love that's hard being… hard towards. From the realism-meets-surrealism visuals and the passionate orchestral tunes, to the great way the whole thing is directed, it's pretty obvious that the developer shows lots of promise. Unfortunately, everything crumbles under the complete lack of interactivity, and the initially enjoyably nonsensical… "plot."
I wanted to enjoy Virginia, but the nonsense ending left me annoyed and puzzled as to its meaning. Even playing a second time, I still am not sure what really happened. Some aspects I understand, such as a scenario in which the player character ascends to her bosses rank and basically becomes him down to both the smoking and tossing a file to the person at your desk. I had someone else play for any insight, but the continual edits and metaphysics left them confused as well. There may be something there for others, but for me it was simply a good mystery gone wrong, and not one I enjoyed upon completion.
Variable State's Virginia is by and large an unsuccessful attempt to make something interesting. An absolutely incredible soundtrack and great environmental art fail to lift the game from a bog of issues. There are some severe technical issues here, but real criticism should be pointed in the direction of the oftentimes incomprehensible narrative, which needed to be much stronger given the general lack of interactivity elsewhere.
Virginia might appeal to those looking for a more artsy gaming experience, but in terms of actually being a game, it falls decidedly short. There is very little to do here, little to interact with, and even fewer things to experience. All of this is likely intentional and not necessarily bad on its own, as the game wants the focus to be on its story and storytelling. Unfortunately, though, it botches this as well, and the game fluctuates between being dull and confusing, with very little that is enjoyable in between. Some of the design choices appear to have been done to make the game artistically memorable, and on that front it succeeds, but overall, Virginia suffers because of it. Virginia may be for lovers, but Virginia isn't really for anyone.
Virginia is, at its best, a gaming mechanism that provides slightly more immersion than watching a movie -- and at its worst, a failed walking simulator with a convoluted ending. Because it is a scripted experience light on interaction and choice, I'm not entirely sure I can recommend it as a game. There may be an inkling of promise in its budding story, but for many I imagine it will be hard to read between the lines and even harder to consider it a worthy experience.