Uncanny Valley | Cowardly Creations
THE WEIRDNESS OF UNCANNY VALLEY
There are Some Strange Things Going On.
by Felipe Parada
Uncanny Valley is a very odd game but not in a bad way. Once you boot up the game you are greeted with a message from the developers telling you that you'll get the most out the game if you play through it multiple times. Your choices do matter and they will have meaningful consequences to the story. I always liked games that provide you with multiple endings and Uncanny Valley is one of those games.
The game starts you off in an anxiety-induced nightmare with very little backstory. Here we are introduced to our protagonist, Tom, who is being chased through the streets by a horde of dark mysterious figures. You cannot escape them, and just as the mass of shadows overwhelms you, Tom wakes from his nightmare onboard a train. This is just the first couple of minutes of the game where you begin to realize that this game is not your run of the mill horror game.
One part The Shining and one part Five Nights at Freddys, Uncanny Valley gives you the freedom of exploration while reminding you that you have a job to do. You are the new night security guard at Melior - an abandoned robotics facility and it's your job to keep the place up and running until the place gets bought by the new owners. It sounds simple enough but Uncanny valley is far from being a simple game.
This is all you have to go by because the game doesn't really give you any objective to follow other than to make sure nothing happens in the robotics facility. I found this a bit difficult at first because you don't really know what's going on nor do you have the slightest clue of where to go. I remember having the same difficulty with Bloodborne due to its lack of an objective marker but I ended up absolutely loving that game. So I decided to really put fourth the effort of trying to figure out what to do and I ended up really enjoying this weird journey into a robotics factory.
Even though it is a 2D pixelated title, it still offers an eerie feeling.
Uncanny Valley | Cowardly Creations
Once Tom's shift begun I found myself doing a lot of wandering, more wandering than I expected. There were some shifts where I didnt do anything at all which is strange for a video game. Then after several boring shifts, time management is suddenly removed in favour of a more traditional survival horror experience. It's a weird design choice but it keeps you moving forward as one moment you're your investigating a power outage before your shift ends, and the next, you're finding tapes littered in odd locations with all the time in the world.
Strangely enough, I couldn't put down the controller because I wanted to see what was in the next room, even if the room was empty. This is where the game does a good job. You don't know what's on the next floor and depending on your choices, they change. Even if the game doesn't give you an exact goal or place to go, the beauty is in the journey not the destination. The atmosphere is eerie enough that you constantly second guess moving forward.
I've played through the game roughly 3 times now and received a different ending each time. I'm not sure if this game has a 100% ending or how many endings it offers but I discover more each time I play. I do know that there are still some trophies I'm missing so I will have a go at it a couple of more times. I do wish that more games would give the player the ability to figure it out on their own instead of holding their hand along the way. It serves for a more engaging and unique experience. At first I thought Uncanny Valley was weird because I knew very little of the game. But after a couple of hours of exploration and moments of anxiety I happy to say that weird is good, weird is unique, weird is uncanny.
I would rate this as a TRY for the mere fact that it was more about the journey rather than the destination.