Videogame (2010; vt End of Eternity in Japan). tri-Ace. Designed by Takayuki Suguro. Platforms: PS3, XB360.
Resonance of Fate is a Console Role Playing Game (see Computer Role Playing Games) set on a Far Future Ruined Earth where the environment has been made uninhabitable by toxic gases (see Ecology). Survivors persist inside a stratospheric tower which functions as an air purifier; effectively, this structure is a gigantic Keep. Outside the tower, Mutants have evolved to endure the poisonous atmosphere; within it, an intelligent machine has become humanity's God (see Gods and Demons). The game concentrates on the lives of three playable characters, a trio of drifters who can be hired to perform a variety of dubious jobs, from couriering to killing. Initially, these apparently unconnected missions occupy most of the player's time, but eventually a more fundamental story emerges in which the characters follow a largely linear plot in the present while their tortured pasts are revealed as embedded Interactive Narratives. There is much opportunity for stylish gunplay; the combat mechanics are unusual and somewhat obscure, but players who have achieved mastery find them to be both tactically interesting and visually dramatic.
The game's narrative is suffused with a lushly overwrought romanticism. Its characters are vividly, if somewhat stereotypically, drawn; sulky, pretty teenagers abound, as do doomed and moody villains. Visually, Resonance of Fate offers a striking (if sometimes repetitive) vision of humanity's last city, a crowded retro-Victorian complex constructed within a structure belonging to what appears to be a far higher level of technology (see Steampunk). At the end, the player can unravel the various conspiracies which underlie their characters' origins, and escape with them to the outside, which has again become a place where humans can live. Unknown to the population of the spire, it seems, its machinery has Terraformed the Earth. [NT]
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