Top Critic Average
There are moments of humour (you can, if you so choose, arrange Ortega's record collection by genre and title) and in time both you and your character grow attached to this unseen man whom you serve. The game elegantly communicates a very particular kind of relationship in the period world, in all of its power-dynamics and complexity. Some will inevitably find the lack of formal puzzles, collectibles or many of the other attributes of most contemporary video games off-putting. But Sunset, despite its minimalism, is a rare treat. It tells a story about revolution via the reflection of domesticity, an unusual and thrilling use of the video game medium, and one that expands both its scope and its definition.
Sunset is a wonderfully atmospheric slow burner and a valuable addition to a medium where the predominant approach to conflict is to just give you a big old gun and invite you to get stuck in.
Sunset certainly has its niggles, and is rather slow and plodding compared to other indie titles, but this only slightly detracts from some impressive narrative accomplishments.
With a compelling story and the freedom of choice, Sunset puts you into an uncomfortable and pressing world, yet you feel eager to press on. This is one game that you should be sure not to miss.
Sunset is a gift, an all too rare kind of game that focuses on people loving and hurting in mundane but almost unbearable ways. I will return to Ortega's penthouse in San Bavón soon, I imagine; if not in person, than in fond remembrance. It is, after all, the home I never knew I had.
Sunset is a video game that dares to create an experience that challenges gamers to carefully consider scraps of information even as they are performing somewhat repetitive tasks, while also focusing on just one character that reacts to an entire universe that evolves around him.
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.
In terms of content and premise, Tale of Tales has a winner with sunset; I'd be hard-pressed to think of a game that tackles class, race, politics, and Capitalism so effectively with a light touch. Unfortunately, their attempts to replicate the drudgery of blue-collar labor might have been a bit too effective—certain sections of Sunset had me feeling absolutely listless. It's a problem I wish they would have improved, but definitely not one that should keep you away from this intensely original game.
Sunset survives as the antithesis of contemporary narrative construction, but lacks the confidence and vitality to thrive inside of its admirable periphery. It's all support with little regard for structure.
Sunset struggles with pacing, technical performance (movement is a tad wonky and it can run sluggish), and a disconnect between how its lead is written and, occasionally, what she does, player depending. The reduction of work to single click means the year's worth of date title cards, going up the elevator, and going down at sunset feels more monotonous than housekeeping. The music and colors are effective at setting mood, though, and there are instances of emotional resonance, strong writing and voice acting. Shorter, more tightly strung, Sunset's character study set against the revolutionary backdrop would've shone brighter, but as is it still leaves you enough to consider and a calendar to change.
It's held down by lacklustre writing, terribly boring gameplay, and even a pretty shoddy technical performance. Maybe there's a reason Sunset has shut the blinds for Tale of Tales.