257 of 328 people (78%) found this review helpful 11 people found this review funny
3.5 hrs on record
Posted: July 21, 2015
I'm really not a big fan of Tale of Tales, having played previous games like The Graveyard and that game with the deer, and now The Path. It's not because of their not-so-subtle pretentiousness, such as how when talking about the development of Sunset (their latest game, which I haven't played), they stated "Abandoning some of our more extreme artistic ambitions actually made work easier and more enjoyable. And that’s when we should have realized that we were on the wrong path. Because whatever we enjoy is never, ever, what the gaming masses enjoy." It's not because after Sunset became a commercial failure and they left the gaming industry, they proceeded to write a series of passive-aggressive statements on various mediums blaming Sunset's failure on the gaming community's inability to "get" it, along with a tweet that goes, and I quote, "Hahaha. I'm so free. Look at me. I can say ♥♥♥♥ GAMES! ♥♥♥♥ GAMERS! ♥♥♥♥ THE GAME INDUSTRY! DIE! DIE!DIE! And rot in hell!" It's not because in Michaël Samyn's Patreon, he has a $5,000 tier listed "Shut me up", claiming that "if you really want me to disappear from videogames altogether, stop writing about them but also stop trying to make them, basically get the f out of your precious hobby, all it takes is a bit of cash. Make my day!". Tale of Tales is a pretentious blowhard of a developer, and while any developer leaving the industry is a bad thing, I can't say I'll miss them. But none of those are the reason why.
The reason I don't like Tale of Tales because they don't seem to have a clear grasp on what gaming is as an artistic medium. None of their games are good in the tratitional sense, and instead they bank on their artistic value. The problem is, their games never seem to actually acknowledge the strengths of the medium. Video games are a unique artistic medium because they allow the player to interact with the story and characters in ways that no other medium can easily do, and that allows them to give unique, involving, and emotional experiences that you can't get in other mediums. Tale of Tales games are more like paintings made into video games; they're pretty to look at, and maybe you can find a meaning if you look hard enough, but there's very little to actually see or do in them, and they don't really engage the player any more than going to an art museum would. Rather than being "games as art", these games are more like "art as games", and while I'm sure some people will appreciate them, they just aren't very fun to play at all, and I'm not so sure that they even wanted them to be fun. The Path is a game where you pick one of six girls and walk around a forest (or stay on the path, but you're pretty clearly not supposed to considering 98% of what little game there is is off the path), stopping occasionally to look at things, and that's basically it. You get to Grandma's house, and then you start over with another girl. It has a great atmosphere, and the forest environments are pretty to look at for the time it was released, but that's about as far as the game goes as far as what I can compliment.
80 of 107 people (75%) found this review helpful 2 people found this review funny
5.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 25, 2013
The Path is the only game from developer, Tale of Tales, that I thoroughly enjoy. If I had to narrow it down as to why that is, it would be due to the extremely mature themes and musical dissonance, combined with the exploration of the forest. Each item you find is unique to the character you play and, upon discovery, your character will interact with the object and an image will be superimposed over the screen, as if it were a memory.
There are six characters in all, each with their own unique locations and encounters with the wolf. Once your encounter with the wolf has been made you are left on the path, in the pouring rain, heading for your grandmother's house one last time. Upon arrival your character experiences their final nightmare and you are returned to the home screen to choose the next playable character.
The music and sound design is what becomes most dissonant in The Path. The off-tune choir of girls singing, mixed with an assortment of synths playing to heavy chains clanking in the background. It's all very unsettling.
The Path focuses on very serious themes without directly implying what has happened. If you find the topics of♥♥♥♥♥♥and child abuse horrifying then I advise you not to play this game. Nothing explicit is shown, it is merely suggested. It is up to you to put the pieces together.
65 of 85 people (76%) found this review helpful 3 people found this review funny
24.3 hrs on record
Posted: July 11, 2015
The Path is a walking simulator and adventure/horror game, where the horror mostly is implied. You take on the role of one of six sisters, each representing a different stage of womanhood, from little girl who only wants to play to a grown-up woman with adult wants. Each girl enters a path through the forest, at the other end of which is grandmother's house. Walk there, and the game for that girl ends.
Of course, that's not where the real gameplay is. Instead, go into the forest. A strange girl clad in white tries to guide you further away from the path, and strange white distortion on the edge of your screen guides your character to other spots. You can pick up flowers along the way (which do nothing but increase a counter -- really, you don't get a thing for picking them all up) and also find strange items. Some of these can be interacted with, many cannot as they are meant for another sister. Each item you can interact with gets added to the basket.
Eventually you will find the Wolf. The Wolf takes on a form which is meaningful to the sister you're playing as, and leads her to her death. These deaths range from the obvious (little girl gets eaten) to the vaguely implied (talent agent destroys her? Woodsman rapes her?) -- a lot of this is left to interpretation.
After each wolf encounter the girl is back on the path, but the only way to go is move forward -- slowly, limping -- to grandmother's house. If you picked up the right items along the way the house becomes a kind of horror slideshow with distorted graphics and sounds reminiscent of what you found in the forest...
It is a strange and unique game definitely worth playing. Just don't think you'll fully understand all of it.
Also of note is that the game's demo is actually a fully separate "level", where you play as the Girl in White in a very different form of the forest. Fortunately it can be installed even if you own The Path.
41 of 55 people (75%) found this review helpful 2 people found this review funny
12.9 hrs on record
Posted: June 10, 2014
This was my very first steam game and I've never regretted the purchase. The music, scenery and underlying message in each character's journey was something that I honestly didn't expect from what was supposed to be some kind of "gothic Red Riding Hood" game. I'll admit, at first I wasn't sure what I was supposed to be doing but after a quick run-through I got the hang of it. This game is more relaxed than most and I guess that's what caught me off guard. It's a game where the more things you discover the more warped the world turns out to be. It's a tale of innocence, destruction, pain, and discovery. Not something for everyone, but it's still one hell of a fun ride!
34 of 45 people (76%) found this review helpful 3 people found this review funny
1.8 hrs on record
Posted: June 22
In any discussion about art, you’re almost destined to find someone who proudly declares that true art is subjective. This is the argument that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure; that what is a Picasso to one, is a crude finger painting to another. It's also most likely the argument The Path's defenders have ready to deploy, for when you finally stumble to its conclusion and begin to wildly question everyone as to why it’s so terrible... It’s all “subjective”, they'll proudly declare. You just don’t get it. The reality, however, is that this couldn’t be further from the truth – put simply, The Path’s a really bad game.
It’s a total mess of ideas from the very beginning. Pick a character, and you’re thrown into the wild with instructions to visit your Grandmother and – crucially – to stay on the path. If by some chance you actually like following instructions and adhere to this command, all the game ever entails is walking in a straight line and then slowly plodding through a house. Do this, and the ending screen promptly screams “FAILURE” at you without ever explaining why, leaving you with nothing but a mix of confusion and boredom to slowly try and make sense of in your head.
Things don’t get much better in the much more likely scenario that you defy orders and wander off into the woods. You’re faced with a bland and repetitive landscape, desperately trying to seek one of the sparse points of interest that are scattered within. All the while, things happen around you seemingly without rhyme or reason. To list; Cryptic text and images flash on the screen seemingly at random, with the camera spinning around erratically the moment you find anything that might be remotely interesting. There’s 144 collectables dotted around that truly and honestly serve no purpose whatsoever. Sometimes a girl appears and sometimes she doesn’t. Add on top of that a soundtrack that aims to be unsettling but just proves annoying, and you've got a cacophony of ideas that - put simply - combine together in a way that made me want to cry out in physical pain.
It’s only via finding a guide online that I actually achieved a semblance of what I was meant to be trying to do, which says a lot as to how vague this game really is with its concept. The aim, you see, is to use each girl to track down something that represents their “wolf”. Do so, and you’ll be treated to a scene whereupon… Uh… Things happen. Then you wake up outside your grandmother’s house, walk up to it at a pace which is so criminally slow it made me want to toss my computer out the window, then wander through its interior as… Well… More stuff occurs, I guess?
I’m not just joking around here. I honestly had no real idea what was meant to be going on most of the time. Never mind what it meant - half the time I couldn't even work out what the heck I was supposed to be looking at in the first place. Manage to complete this torment with one character and you’re simply looped back to the start to do it with someone else. And, with only another mess of random imagery to look forward to, it’s going to take a herculean effort to power playing through everyone and reaching the actual ending. It’s never fun, never interesting, and only achieves the lofty goal of being confusing on a never-ending basis.
This, as you may have guessed already, creates a situation whereupon it’s impossible for your journey to have any sort of meaning to it. Trying to pick apart a deeper meaning to all of this is incredibly difficult; the astute among you may have picked up on the parallels between this game and the tale of Little Red Riding Hood, with the mentions of wolves and grandmothers, but to be honest that’s by far the easiest thing to pluck from the chaos. The real Aesop seems to be that you shouldn’t stray from the path of innocence and virtue into sin… Yet it was only by deciphering the few pieces of content I could possibly hope to understand, as well as reading way too much discussion about the game online, that I ever really reached this conclusion. Before that, I simply didn’t have a clue.
And that’s the biggest problem, in the end. The Path is just too vague, too buried within its own pretentiousness and artistic beliefs, to even begin to qualify as anything that has actual emotional impact or – more importantly – simply be fun to play. Just don’t buy this. There are so many other indie games out there which manage to be more powerful or entertaining than this by a country mile; and it’s those paths that you should really be setting your sights on to walk down in the future.
19 of 20 people (95%) found this review helpful 1 person found this review funny
7.2 hrs on record
Posted: June 12
Not going to lie, it IS a walking simulator. So, if you're looking for combat, stealth, or any form of difficulty, go elsewhere. However, fi you don't mind sitting back and getting to watch/play an interesting story, then this game is quite good.
You control up to six sisters and leade them down the path individually to grandmother's house. There is only one rule: Stay on the path. Naturally, you need to break this rule in order to play the game. But beware... There are wolves in the woods. Each wolf is different for each of the girls, and the encounter both during and after (once inside Grandmother's house) will change to reflect that.
Like I said earlier, if you don't mind an interactive symbolic story, then go ahead and play the game. Just be prepared to do a lot of walking and not much else. All that said, I do like this game.
48 of 71 people (68%) found this review helpful 2 people found this review funny
16.2 hrs on record
Posted: June 19, 2014
!No spoilers, just my honest review!
I honestly dont think this should be classified as a horror game. But yolo whatever. ANYWAY, If you expect: A good story, pretty music, solid characters, spooky settings and something that keeps you guessing, this is the game. If you expect: Jump scares, ghosts, a straight foward story, a challenge and being a wolf and eating little girls, this is NOT the game. I love The Path and support it with all of my heart. But this should not of been a video game.It should of been more of maybe an interactive comic, or even a book. Even so, this is great all around. Not great as a video game but great as a story. It is very powerful. There is a lot of different ways you could take the story and it still make sense and be…well, a good story. So if you haven’t noticed by now, ITS A REALLY GOOD STORY. There is still a spooky atmosphere and sometimes you might catch yourself sitting there for a moment and thinking, “That is creepy wow okay” but never should you feel threatened or scared by anything that happens. Each girl (there is 6) experiences life in a different light. Which is beautiful. Now something that I want to say about the description of the game:
"There is one rule in the game. And it needs to be broken.” This rule is; stay on the path. For new comers, my suggestion is (If you have the time) play your first round of the game staying on the path right to grandmothers house. And think about the things you see there as each sister. Then, after you have went to grandmothers house as every girl, replay the game and immediately leave the path to then find your own way around.
"There is one goal. And when you attain it, you die. “ Each girls ‘death' is not as straight forward as the other. For me, some of the girls ‘deaths’ don’t seem like dying at all, but more of realizing something important in their life. (Some are obvious deaths though) Also, You do not get to see the girls die, you get to see what happens right before their deaths, if they die at all.
Thats all I really have to say, but by all means, I love this game and it is wonderful. Some tips and fun things to try out: The flowers you find show you the map once in a while, so when lost, look for flowers. The path disappears if you stay off it too long. The “girl in white”s intentions are different with each girl. There is only one way to die so do not be afraid. Dont base the game on the demo. All of the sisters names are a type of red which I thought was cool. There is a saving option in the pause menu, (Its not obvious and I kinda didn’t figure it out until my 4th play through so I thought this tip would help.)
Just a warning. This game is obviously not for everyone. I know Steam is in no way related to Ps3, but if you know “Journey” the game or have played it and liked it then this is a lot like that. A really relaxing game when you don’t want a challenge, but something to reflect on. This is more for people who like artsy games. Some people call it pretentious and that’s fine to have that opinion. I personally have poured hours into this after long days and like to discover the symbolism and weave my own story with the pieces I find. There is really a lot you can figure out or imagine if you are into characters and stories. Basically this purely explorative. Just walk, run, look and observe. That’s all there is to it. Some people find this too basic, but I think there should be both complex and simple games out there. If you don’t like easy stories and easy games- then don’t get this. But if you’re like me and love a little exploration than this is for you. My only problem? The camera sometimes gets a little wonky when I’m observing. But it isn’t every time and it’s not like you’re going to be in one place for long. This game is otherwise beautiful! The game will tell you to stay on the path. But here is the moral of the story; if you take the road where everything is paved out for you, then you don’t earn any experiences and you don’t learn anything about life. Everything is too safe and you will never know real life. Going off the path leads you to both good and bad experiences. The story is going for a bit of a darker theme and some people might think it’s too dark, but I think you can interpret it as something a little bit less so. I don’t really want to get into spoiler territory, but I’ll just say this; death in these types of games doesn’t always literally mean death, but death to a part of a character’s personality or how they look at life. The real objective is to find each of the girls their own “wolf” which symbolizes different things. These wolves are the main even that will change their lives for better or worse. You decide. There are plenty of people who have come up with awesome theories. And that’s part of the fun!
32 of 46 people (70%) found this review helpful 2 people found this review funny
3.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 28, 2014
The Path could be considered an 'art' game, which basically means you just walk around, explore and enjoy the sceneries. The game is based on a dark version of Red Riding Hood.
You start by picking one of the six sisters (Red Riding Hood's) and the game tells you to stay on the path to your grandmother's house. If you stay on the path the game ends once you've reached grandmother's house, so it's best to go and explore the woods. In the woods you will find things like gravestones, campfires, humans or notes, most of them trigger some kind of interaction but are not essential for completing the game (as stated before).
The Path is a game you play when you want to forget real life for a bit and just want to enter a strange but beautiful fantasy world.
I would recommend this game over other 'art' games like Proteus, everyone who's into these kind of games should try this one.
32 of 50 people (64%) found this review helpful 1 person found this review funny
35.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 13, 2015
This is my favourite game. It's slow and there is no "action" at all, it's more like an interactive story, but I always find it fascinating and have done since it came out when I was about 15. Five years later and I still think it's beautiful and kind of sad. But you have to go into it knowing that it's less like a game and more like a story. I view it as being all about the loss of innocence and how we lose it in different ways, some of the endings seem simple and suburban, but some suggest horrible, traumatic things happen. While I understand how people can't get into it or don't like it, to me it's beautiful.