12 people found this review helpful
Recommended
0.0 hrs last two weeks / 7.2 hrs on record
Posted: Jan 4 @ 9:26pm
Updated: Jan 5 @ 1:28am
Product received for free

“You truly feel the drop of suffering by knowing the peak of happiness.”
-Kyoya

Trigger Warning: Death, Written Gore, Child Death, Little Girl Impaled, Blood, Animal Death, Just lots of death.

https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=3131767848

Plot

Everything is dead. There are no more living beings on the Earth. There’s no grass, plants, flowers, no microorganisms, no animals, and certainly no humans. The only two living beings left are a young girl and a boy named Kyoya. Humans had started a war that had wiped out everything. Dilapidated buildings and endless sand was all that remained. The young girl was created by one named the Creator, who needed her to take on the sins of humanity. She was created to die in the horrible ways that mammals did, to remove those sins. These deaths included being crushed by something that isn’t there, being burned alive by fire that spontaneously combusts on her, filled with holes by invisible bullets, etc. After her death, she revives and continues to die, tens of hundreds of times, until she has removed the sins of the dead in those areas. She then moves on to the next, repeating these same steps. For Kyoya, he does not recall how he got there. All he can remember is his father pulling him out to the car with talk of war, and that was it. He woke up in a desolate building, watching the young girl die over and over. Kyoya cannot move his body. He can only look around with his eyes and talk with his mouth. He asks the young girl to carry him around with her, because it is much better than being left all alone without being able to move.

This story lets you see through the eyes and mind of Kyoya. You experience his thoughts and feelings on what is happening around him. You get to see him grow, see how he reacts to the young girl and deals with her Purpose. Kyoya helps the young girl, who he names Asagiri, experience new things aside from her Purpose of dying. He teaches her shapes and how to play and have fun. The two of them grow together in different ways. That is the story. Their journey where Asagiri completes her Purpose of dying, and Kyoya’s on his search for others that may be in his situation while also trying to help Asagiri out.

https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=3131768937

At first, you do not experience the deaths that Asagiri experiences. You just watch helplessly from the sidelines as she dies. At one point though, Kyoya figures out how to experience them for himself with her. These deaths are detailed. They are filled with gore and depression. I would not be remiss to say that these are probably deaths that people in real life have dealt with, especially during times of war. This game is not for the faint of heart. It is a game of life and a game of death. A game of happy moments and sad moments. It is a journey of one’s Purpose. Why did the Creator create Asagiri to experience the deaths and atone for the sins of all mammals? Why must this young girl experience this? She looks like a child, and yet she does not act like one. She is monotonous in her way of speaking. She has no emotion. All she knows is what the Creator has taught her and what her Purpose is. It is only when she meets Kyoya, that her life starts to change, although she still continues her Purpose. Kyoya is another oddity. How did he get there? Why is he suddenly the only other person here in this desolate world, devoid of all life except for Asagiri?

When I originally started the game, I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to feel about it. I knew it was going to be about death with the young girl. What I didn’t know is that we are viewing this story from someone else besides her. The story has me asking so many questions that are thankfully answered as I go through the plot. It had hooked me. I wanted to see how it ended. I needed to know the full truth.

Translation

I did not play the game before the update with the fixed translations. I do not know how abhorrent it was, but the current version of the game is completely fine and understandable. There are some mistakes with spelling and grammar, as well as the sentence structures are sometimes stiff. They typically aren’t always written in a way that someone who is a native English speaker would use, but everything is still completely understandable. When you read the story, you know what is going on and what is happening. There is no confusion, most of the time anyways. I did find a handful, especially later in the game where the translation suffered a bit more and a few words were wrong. For example, the word “dairy” was written, but it was supposed to be “diary”.

Emotional

This game really knows how to play with your emotions and tug on the heartstrings. One minute you’re getting excited, maybe a little nervous. The next minute you’re shocked and then your feelings are stomped on and feelings of sadness and loneliness are the only feelings remaining.

I do not know how to feel about the ending. I feel unhappy, yet happy. Satisfied yet not satisfied. I want more. I want an epilogue to the epilogue. Throughout this journey, most of my questions have been answered. Even with the ending credits scenes, which tell a story, seem to answer some questions, I feel like I still have some that have gone unanswered. I could probably make a guess as to what is true, as I’m sure that is what is intended, but I am not a fan of some things being left up to interpretation and open-ended. I think some things truly did need to be answered by the story, but I know that’s probably not what they were going for when this story was written. Overall, I truly enjoyed this game and I am going to be thinking about it for a while to come.

Overall

There’s not much more that I can write about it without spoiling anything. Together We Live is a kinetic visual novel. There are no choices. You just read it, like a book with pictures and sounds. You experience the world through the eyes of Kyoya, who does not have a voice actor. Only Asagiri does and it is done exceptionally well. The art and Asagiri’s sprites are very simple. Her hair and maybe the watch, are probably the only things really detailed. The background art is recycled quite a few times. Even the majority of the CGs are very simple in terms of art and backgrounds, but hoo boy there sure are a lot of them. I’m not sure if I wish for more detailed CGs or the amount that we got. Some are very similar, with slight variations and some are probably unneeded, but I enjoyed them all the same. The ending credits CGs are by far my favorite. They are gorgeous and like another reviewer stated, definitely wallpaper worthy. There is not much in terms of an OST soundtrack, I believe only 12 tracks total, but each fits the theme for the game very well. Although some repeat more often than others, the melancholic tone it portrays does it justice. The feelings the music imbues in the reader of despair, hope, fear, is done so well I can’t think of many other games that do it so skillfully.

This is a story about death, sadness, happiness, suffering, growth, learning, etc. Above all though, this is a game about life and the two people that experience it together. Even if you don’t think this game might be for you, I suggest giving it a try. I assumed I would not like it, and if it weren’t for the curator copy that was received, I may have never given it a chance. I am quite grateful for the opportunity I was given to experience this wonderful game, characters, and story.

https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=3131767204

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5 Comments
Squall Jan 10 @ 12:23pm 
I already added it to the topper part of my Excel Wishlist. That's my actual Wishlist. Not the ones on Steam. My two other accounts got out of hand, and one has over 10k on it, and the other one has about 7k. But this account is the closest one to my actual wishlist although it's missing a lot of stuff that I haven't had time to transfer over. :bunnyinablanket:
♊︎ JeminiJess ☾ Jan 5 @ 9:01pm 
@Francisca: Yeah it def was a bit of an intense game and really isn't for the faint of heart. My own heart probably needs a break from the amount of times it beat while playing this xD It was really good tho.

@Squall: Thank you! I hope you get the chance to try this visual novel out some day!
Squall Jan 5 @ 12:53pm 
This VN is right up my alley... I would LOVE to try it if the opportunity arises.

@♊︎ JeminiJess ☾ : Loved your review. :happystar2022:
I am not brave enough to try it. Thanks for the in-depth review
What an intense "game".