Top Critic Average
An innovative format for a mystery but lacking in story and performances, and overly reliant on peer approval.
Not all of the acting is perfect, admittedly, and the audio presentation won't be to everyone's tastes, but when it works Cloud Chamber is an absorbing, massive, occasionally unsettling, but absolutely compelling experiment in community narrative investigation. It will require dedication and perseverance to enjoy fully, but don't ignore it, Cloud Chamber is the most innovative slice of interactive storytelling in years.
Despite its flaws, I'm extremely glad that such a thing exists and that I overcame my initial sneery cynicism. If I had a slider to turn that particular internal setting down in my brain's menu system, I'd probably be able to enjoy films that don't fill me with anxiety and existential dread as well.
A tale full of intrigue and mystery, Cloud Chamber is built on interesting ideas in terms of both its mechanics and narrative. Due to the nature of the game, the community could fall apart once it's solved, although the chance that it might end is exciting too — it means we'll have closure on a great story, which is all too rare in MMOs.
There's just so little to do, and if you don't like commenting on videos you won't see anything here but a bunch of crazy confusing videos. Lovely idea, not for me or people like me, but a community of people already love it so feel free to ignore me and give it a go.
It asks for the players' money and time, yet they still must create the rewards for themselves. It looks expensive, with decent production values, semi-famous actors, and some real science fact behind the fiction, yet all that work, all that money, and all of your time never truly amounts to anything. We may never solve Kathleen's mystery, but I doubt that's the real tragedy here.
Now, the best thing that Cloud Chamber has going for it is that there is nothing quite like it out there right now, and it can comfortably score points on novelty alone, without having to actually put any kind of effort into it.