Experiencing life in space has recently become a common trend video games. We had No Man’s Sky, where you explore an open sandbox, then we had the space western Rebel Galaxy, and now Tacoma; a game where space living meets AR storytelling. In Tacoma, you play as a contracted AI communications specialist, sent aboard the ship conveniently named Tacoma, to retrieve the AI ODIN. While on your way to retrieve the AI, you find out some history on the 6 crew members and learn that not all is peaceful up on Tacoma.
Tacoma is a First-Person Storytelling game brought to you by the guys over at Fullbright. Tacoma tells the story of 6 passengers aboard the ship Tacoma and what happened to them there. The story starts with you getting out of your ship and making your way to a panel, where you pick up two AR earbuds, which allow you to see all the AR situations throughout the game. Watching the different situations gives you awesome insight into the lives these people lead during their time on the station.
One thing that really sets Fullbright apart from other developers is their ability to tell a story that really gets you involved in the lives of the characters they create. You find out about love between characters of different and same genders, a feat not often accomplished by other creators. While observing the AR situations of the on-board crew members, you see how even in the darkest of hours there is still love, trust, and hope.
The main issue that gets encountered early on is the fact that the oxygen levels aboard the Tacoma are dropping fast, and everyone on the station immediately starts panicking (and rightfully so). The medic states there is only one way of preventing everyone from dying due to oxygen loss, and that is to be cryogenically frozen to preserve what little oxygen they had left. This also stirs panic, as being in that form of stasis is still not totally safe and there are possible issues that come with doing so.
Before you start actually watching the AR encounters, you carry this book-like tablet thing around with you, placing it at certain stations, to gather information on the AI ODEN and the passengers. The tablet gathers this information while you are off seeing the AR events.
Tacoma is a great story telling game where you are put in the passenger seat while you experience the lives of everyone on board. While the little music it has to offer really gives you a futuristic feel and really adds to the realism of being on a space station, I didn’t exactly feel like the storytelling of Tacoma was better than that of Gone Home. Trying to get involved and learn about the characters (all 6 of them) in such a short span of time was very hard to do and I personally didn’t feel that attached to them. The voice acting was great, though, and you really felt a sense of distress and fear while watching things unfold. Having played it once already, another time through might be all I need to really have my fill of being on Tacoma and wanting to leave the station for good.
Totally Awesome Concept Only Mostly Acceptable