So, I just finished the game and it's absolutely wonderful! The writing is beautiful and the world and lore is extremely immersive. I found myself wanting to know more and more about it even after I finished the game. I am definitely not opposed to some sort of spiritual sequel set in the same kind of world but with a different scenario! It just seems like there's so much potential just in one little world!
The game was a lot shorter than I was expecting, as well, not that it's necessarily a bad thing, mind, I just thought it would be longer. However, it got done what it needed to in the time it did, and the game never felt rushed or dragged out. I guess I was disappointed because I wanted more, is all. As I've said, the lore about the creatures and the Falconers themselves were so interesting, that I didn't really notice the time going by, and before I knew it, the game had ended!
For the characters:
She was a wonderful protagonist. She was realistic in her views, and somewhat cynical, but not cloyingly so, nor did she have the "tragic backstory" every hardened protagonist seems to have. And it was a very nice touch to have the game make fun of that trope, too, so I very much enjoyed playing as her. I was glad that we got to choose between being forceful and being almost clever in a way, and much more calm. A lot of writers think that in order to have a "strong female lead" she has to be an asshole to everyone and be aggressive, so Cassie was a nice change from that. She was hard when she had to be, but she could also be open-minded and witty, especially in her dialogue (flirting) with Weka and her interactions with Biddy. I enjoyed her because she was also vulnerable and strong. Sure, you could make her into a coward at the end, but I think she was a very realistic person, even with that choice, maybe even BECAUSE of that choice. This was her first solo mission and she ends up letting details slip, she compromises the town and everyone's safety, and she isn't always sure of herself, but that's what makes her a good protagonist. If we had a lead that always did the right thing and knew exactly what they were doing all the time, we wouldn't have a story. Well, we would, but it would be a pretty crappy one.
He was an extremely interesting character. I like that he was very real in his thoughts and actions. He wasn't an outright evil man like Biddy had thought, but he wasn't a saint, either. He was also a very good red herring. Of course most of the suspicion would draw onto the namesake of the town who seemed too good to be true. So when we find out the seeder is Sunlight, I was actually drawn into a false sense of security. I thought, well he must be a really good guy, then, because he's not the seeder, but then we find out about the deal between him and Margaret, and suddenly, he's "evil" again! He kept me guessing, which is why I really liked him, especially when he wants to rebuild Moonlight at the end, if he lives. He was a cool dude.
WHAT. A. QUEEN. UGH. I loved Biddy so much. Usually, I'm annoyed by the elderly character who is sort of crazy and done with everyone's crap, but Biddy was refreshing. She was set in her ways, but she also backed down when she needed to, which I really admired, especially for someone her age. Along with George, she also seemed to be a red herring, especially when she ran away after the explosion in the mine, but I never really suspected her, mostly because the seeder would probably have a hard time keeping up her character lol she would be extremely exhausting to impersonate! When she died, I did kind of cry out in surprise. I wasn't expecting it. Well, I expected her to die in the game, just not so brutally, but honestly, it kind of fits her character haha.
Well, I can't really comment on her character, simply because it was never actually her haha. You did a wonderful job keeping her identity a secret, though. In a way, I was sort of suspecting her, especially after the comment Cassie made about her boots, but I also wasn't, so it surprised me when it was revealed she was the seeder. Honestly, I suspected her on the grounds of what Biddy said, "no way someone can be that happy all the time", and I agreed. The irony in her name was wonderful, especially since it clashed with George's (and they were together, too, which is funny), but when she was giving Cassie her backstory, I thought maybe she has caused her son and her husband's death, because it seemed too convenient. Obviously, I was wrong in that respect, but it did make me suspect her.
When Cassie found her body, I was not expecting it! You did such a great job building her up as a character we would eventually meet, from the promos and in the beginning of the game, and then, BAM, she's dead. After we see the scene in the beginning, I thought maybe we'd find her tied up somewhere, but nope, she's already gone, and although it was shocking and gruesome, I thought it worked really well. This whole game felt like "The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street" from The Twilight Zone, in that, there was so much blame and finger pointing that we never knew who to believe, and Maggie was the catalyst in that, and having her already dead raises the stakes, because she can't add in her two cents or anything, and so it adds on to the mounting tension and speculation, so great job with that!
OH MY GOD ALL I WANTED TO DO WAS SMOOCH WEKA. At the end, I first gave Weka Cassie's pistol because I thought George would slow us down with his injured shoulder, and I thought he'd be emotionally compromised and wouldn't be able to shoot Sunlight because he loved her, SO WHEN WEKA DIED, YOU BETTER BELIEVE I SCREAMED AND WENT ALL THE WAY BACK AND GAVE GEORGE THE PISTOL INSTEAD. That being said, I loved Weka. He was handsome and besides the gambling, he was a pretty standup guy. The tension with him and Cassie, though unresolved, was wonderful, and the ending comradery between the three of them (maybe four if you count Biddy before her untimely demise) was really nice. Did I mention I loved Weka? Because I DO.
The music and visual were great, too! The music was very haunting in some scenes, and the art itself was wonderful and really added the time period of the game because it was so realistic!
I think I finished two ends (one with both of the variants), and I got nine out of the eleven achievements, so I still have some playing to do, but this is an absolutely delightful game and I can't wait to see more from this developer!