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Review: The Longest Road on Earth (Nintendo Switch)By Ofisil At 31.07.2022 18:13

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Here's a picture of an old lady holding a picture frame of her deceased husband. There's no dialogue, just her looking at him. Now here's a scene where she stares at her husband's grave. Next scene: she does the dishes. Slowly. As if suffering from arthritis. She rests a bit. Sighs. Was that enough to warrant an emotion from you? Congratulations, you are the target audience for The Longest Road on Earth. Ok, maybe that's an unfair exaggeration - but there's some truth to that example.

This follows the stories of four anthropomorphic animal characters, but don't expect any dialogue of any sort. It's a silent movie, with a sombre soundtrack filling the audio gap, which enhances the already melancholic mood of it all. The four chapters are all open to interpretation, but whatever your mind offers as an explanation, these are mostly stories that deal with sadness and loneliness, as well as the mundane aspects of life.

…But maybe the game took this 'mundane' part a bit too far. The bulk of the experience revolves around doing menial tasks. Laundry; taking orders; making coffee. In practice, you push left or right, the protagonist walks as slow as possible, and when he/she reaches an interactive point, a button must be pressed for said protagonist to do the laundry, take the orders, or make the darn coffee. The problem is that these moments are twice as boring for the simple fact that it's hard to feel anything for what's on screen.

If you want to be cynical, this is one more of those pretentious, "artsy" walking sims where you are supposed to "feel things." If you want to sugar-coat it, it's a perfect example of game that shouldn't be a game. Not all experiences fit into the medium. This would be an ok, short, animated movie, but not something that asks for player input. Imagine watching a movie, which would pause every minute, waiting for you to press 'Play' for it to resume playing. That's what The Longest Road on Earth feels like.

In the end, you can forget all that whining for the extremely slow and unexciting gameplay (if you can call it that). This is all about the story and how it is presented… and that's were the actual failure of the game truly lies. What will be shown here just doesn't manage to pull any emotional strings. Sure, it's all subjective. Some might find this an emotional journey - a deep look at life and all that. Other will simply get bored.

There are some good things to talk about here. The greyscale pixel art is very good, and the many music tracks available aren't just background noise, as the lyrics complement what's happening on screen, to the point that this is less of a video game, and more like a 90-minute-long music video. That being said, all 20+ songs are almost identical, so much so that after a while they blend together in your head, creating a strong feeling of repetitiveness, which can literally put you to sleep.

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Final Score
Those looking for a "traditional" video game, with levels to beat, enemies to fight, and overall goals that must be achieved, should stay as far as possible from [i]The Longest Day on Earth[/i]. This is more like a short movie, which just happens to ask for a little bit of interactivity. Sadly, it's painfully boring, and the "storytelling" fails to evoke whatever feelings it wanted to evoke.

4

/10

User Comments
#1 jesusraz (News Editor) - on 31.07.2022 at 21:54

It started off slightly intriguing... but quickly descended into boredom and frustration because it plays out so slowly, and then it was all over, and I was like 'Huh? What was that?!'


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