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Sunset

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Critic Reviews 69% add missing review

Geeks Under Grace (9 out of 10)

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.

Jun 19th, 2015 · Windows · read review

4Players.de (86 out of 100)

Wie erlebt ein gewöhnlicher Mensch einen mit Gewalt ausgetragenen Konflikt? Dieser Frage wollten Michael Samyn und Auriea Harvey in Anlehnung an typische Ego-Shooter und als Gegenentwurf zu deren Klischees nachgehen. Ihre Antwort: als Zeitzeuge des alltäglichen Geschehens, als emotionaler Teilhaber einer vielschichtigen Epoche. Die Welt dieses Spiels ist voller Geschichte, Kunst und Dramatik, aber ohne Eile, Wertung oder die Notwendigkeit einer Entscheidung für ein vom Spieler gewähltes Ideal. „Wir erzählen keine Geschichten. Wir erschaffen Realitäten“, sagen die Entwickler. Ihre Immersion soll durch das Erleben entstehen – und genau das gelingt mit Sunset. Bedauerlich, dass nicht alle Handlungen wenigstens kleine Folgen haben und ausgerechnet technische Schwächen das vollständige Eintauchen verhindern. Denn das Anfassen und Beobachten in dieser interaktiven Welt vermittelt das außergewöhnlich intensive Gefühl eines virtuellen Daseins!

Jun 5th, 2015 · Windows · read review

CGMagazine / Comics and Gaming Magazine (8.5 out of 10)

Sunset is a beautiful window into the lives of two independent and drastically different fictional characters. Throughout the experience, the game slowly peels back layers that reveal more and more details over the course of several sunsets. It’s both intimate and distant while remaining completely immersive.

Jun 22nd, 2015 · Windows · read review

IGN (8 out of 10)

Sunset is a meditative and ultimately quite beautiful experience in a world of civil unrest. Though its rigid mechanics occasionally disrupts the flow of the story, this is a rewarding game to be slowly savoured.

May 21st, 2015 · Windows · read review

Hooked Gamers (7.5 out of 10)

Sunset isn’t like many games you have played before. While it has some pacing issues at times, the game’s portrayal of its themes and narrative are intimately personal and, wholistically, deeply effective. While I do think the game is priced high for a two hour adventure without much replay value, there is no denying that it’s a great way to spend an evening playing through in one go. If nothing else, play it because it’s different and, at the end of the day, isn’t doing something different what this hobby is all about?

Jun 9th, 2015 · Windows · read review

GameSpot (7 out of 10)

Sunset presents so much, all while asking you to do so little. A revolution burns, bombs burst just out of sight, and all you can do is decide if your boss would rather have a fancy dinner or a hefty portion of macaroni. The complexity of your decisions is occasionally greater than setting the table, but Sunset succeeds at making each small action feel significant by giving them all similar weight. Though the story is peppered with periods of inactivity that are detrimental to the pace, Sunset acts as a thoughtful, pensive walk through social themes and struggles not often explored in this medium.

May 26th, 2015 · Windows · read review

PC Gamer (68 out of 100)

Sunset delivers an interesting plot and interesting characters, but I often felt like an invader, like I should have been reading Angela’s memoirs rather than adding notes. But it tries to tell a story in a way I haven’t experienced before, and I’m happy to have played it, and to be thinking about how young interactive storytelling is and how it might evolve. I also appreciate that Sunset’s creators have put writing about things like civil rights, class structure, and intimacy into my game library—sat among a mostly homogenous set of themes, Angela represents a happily broadening spectrum of characters and ideas in PC gaming.

May 28th, 2015 · Windows · read review

Financial Post (6.5 out of 10)

I wanted to like Sunset more than I did, but I’m still happy to have played. And I hope more game makers are brave enough to venture similar undertakings. Because the only thing better than a good story is a good story that’s interactive.

Jun 13th, 2015 · Windows · read review

Game Informer Magazine (5.75 out of 10)

Sunset has some great elements, especially in terms of diverse characters and intriguing subject matter, but that doesn't excuse its shortcomings. As beautiful and contemplative as the writing is, I spent too much of the game frustrated by glitches and bored by exploring the same surroundings. Sunset is at its best when it's surprising you with its bigger reveals and focusing on the things that make us all human. I felt like I understood Angela and she got me thinking. If only it didn't take such a drawn-out process to get there.

Jun 8th, 2015 · Windows · read review

Destructoid (5.5 out of 10)

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.

Jul 8th, 2015 · Windows · read review

Games TM (5 out of 10)

There's no sense of reward, thereby making interactions all but useless, inevitably leading to a sense of boredom. And as important as its points are, it's just trying to say too much; it becomes an overbearing checklist of simplistic social commentary.

Jul 16th, 2015 · Windows

NZGamer (5 out of 10)

Sure, games can be art. They can make you tear up, giggle, and pine longingly. Even big budget games like The Witcher 3 can invoke some pretty subtle responses. I just don't think Sunset reaches those goals. 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.

Jul 13th, 2015 · Windows · read review

Rock, Paper, Shotgun N/A

Sunset is a beautiful game which operates on a very human and emotional scale. The relationship building can be awkward (and at one point a reaction from Ortega actually seemed to arrive before the event which precipitated it). But, despite this, 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.

May 21st, 2015 · Windows · read review

Player Reviews

The sun is set so is the story
by Virgil (8591)

The Good
Atmosphere (early 1970s period piece, how could you resist?)

Music ( A fine variety!)

Visual style (it's stylish, alright)

Voice-over (fits the purpose)

Story development (Who could've known?)

The Bad
Graphics (don't look through the windows!)

Gameplay (it's really not there)

Lags (Unity - 'nuff said)

The Bottom Line
The sun lazily sets in, casting rays at a penthouse at the tall building near the city center. Outside of windows are traffic, occasional gunshots, the moaning of sirens, the buzz of helicopters flying by. The situation in the country goes downhill fast. But all of that is not as important – the world here is different from the world there, here everything is upscale both in the number of floors and the contents - apartments are stoked with pieces of art and every day the secret museum's collection grows. Inside there's a place of quiet, calm refuge and high technologies. Sometimes of a good taste, and also it's impeccably clean. The latter is because of you.

While the most famous video game janitor Roger Wilco was used to slacking at his job, and as a result his adventures stretched to a long series, here a strict compliance with your duties is expected. A checklist of things to be done awaits you every day, and some effort must be applied to complete them. Moreover, the dark-skinned housecleaner only has an hour to do so before the sunset. While performing your daily duties, you could notice, quite in real-time, how the rays clear out off the sky, and as they leave you should vacate the premises as well.

And while observing how the rays majestically glide on the floor, the eye takes a quick glance at the street – and there's a kingdom of the same monochromatic milk cartons. Yes, we get that there were only a few of you and that's Unity, but you shouldn't scare us like that. And the fact that a whole lot of everything has made its way into a game: papers and notes that you can actually read (a dream in games 15 years ago), some characteristic objects of interior and design, sculptures and paintings, couldn't explain why some textures are so abysmally bad that it hurts.

Nearly all work in Sunset requires some time to finish and is performed automatically as you choose the action at the hot spots, the clock hands advance automatically. Besides those, the flow of time there is such as at this side of the screen. Launder the shirts, clean the floors, hang the pictures, sort the contents of the box, make the supper, oriental style – that's the list of chores that the mysterious employer makes to keep Angela busy. It's hard to say how had she winded up in Anchuria, one of the South American republics in the early 70s. Maybe she got tired of the capitalistic schemes in the homeland, could be that she decided to try her luck abroad in a different climate, or perhaps it all boils down to that her brother is a part of local revolutionary cell.

The person of Gabriel Ortega who rents the luscious double-floor apartment and keeps Angela on the payroll is unknown. Who is he? A businessman, an official in the ministry of culture, or a criminal? Where does he get the money for all that?

Every time she returns to the same place on the eleventh floor in the center of the city. Every time a small sticky paper with a to-do list with things she should complete in an hour awaits her there. But every time there's something new: fine details, sometimes a new door gets open, which are by the way controlled by a cutting edge electronic security system. Sometimes it is the new art objects and emigre housekeeper always have something to mumble about.

And while it is a walking simulator in its' core, or how certain tight-lipped public would say interactive storytelling or narrative adventure, there are actually some interactive elements in here. First, you can choose to perform your duties or not perform them, and besides those there are more things to clean in the house, even those you weren't asked about. Even the attitude towards the most menial tasks could vary: warm or cool, by the book or more homely. Second, after some time Gabriel starts to leave handwritten notes all over the flat with some commentaries and you could reply to them too – playfully or straight-faced.

Sunset is quite rich in its soundscapes – almost every couple of days, and the game goes for about forty, there will appear new vinyl recordings in the house, and you could even make a tape mix (which though, won't fit into a Walkman). Tale of Tales have also tried to bring the atmosphere of unique life and the era another way- through the music. A whole twenty eight tracks could be heard here, and the majority of those have been recorded specially for the game (should we believe ads). You can find variations on folk music, jazz, local ballads about Jesus, some symphonic sketches, a bit of soul that two designers are so excited about. Among more interesting pieces there's "Switched-On Pieto" – an answer to one of the earliest popular albums of popular electronic music Switched On Bach by Wendy Carlos. The author or rather the compilator of the soundtrack is Austin Wintory, who also did the work for Banner Saga, flow, Assassin Creed Syndicate and Journey.

Besides the music, every week there will be a new book in the penthouse, however there's no meaningful purpose beyond that, aside from showing that the employer is extremely well-read. They are just lying about – and that's it. It's commendable that the authors compiled such a shortlist, but there's not much to it, though achievement-junkies would stay happy. Who knows maybe they will remember a title or two and actually read something.

Every time authors play with the same variables, adding new values, while removing old ones. There's one goal – to get to the workplace and do what needs to be done. Straightforward and dumb. The only choice is how you perform it – follow it to the t, or show some initiative. By inducing such a stage-worthy atmosphere even some minor occurrences affect micro-world, and when designers meaningly remove some familiar parts of the puzzle, changing the existing rhythm... Even the broken window sparks a wide range of emotions and questions for the inner dialogue.

Sunset is free of the usual fluff: there are no locations, hit-points, inventory or puzzles. Only a meager set of decisions per day and familiar walls, more feeling like episodes of a TV-show or chapters of some book. Because of that it would appeal to those who don't consider themselves a gamer. It doesn't imply that Sunset is not a game – there's just a very direct way to affect the narrative structure, without a need to crack some puzzle or collect some virtual points. That makes it closer to some more tightly directed genre like perhaps interactive drama. But not all walking simulators have place for such thin personal relationship that continue to grow throughout the whole thing and where you can't be sure that him, the other person is real, and that sometimes you would be able too meet

Sep 2nd, 2016 · Windows

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Contributors to this Entry

Critic reviews added by JudgeDeadd, Patrick Bregger, jaXen, Scaryfun, firefang9212, Tim Janssen.