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Like, yeah it's pretty emotionally effective to kill off the only character who's gotten any emotional development for the whole game in a gratuitous and yet almost completely offhanded way. But uh...I dunno, I don't think that worked for me on a "is this a satisfying story?" level. I was kind of hoping for at least some amount of closure and/or interaction between any of the main characters who were destined for death (which I may also be reacting a bit poorly to the only main female character in the game basically only existing to be imperiled and killed) instead of just "welp, they're dead now, doop doop doop". I dunno, it just felt like a really jarring (in the bad way, not like a "oh shit things just got realer" way) way to have that whole situation play out is all, and It's kind of soured me on the whole rest of the game in retrospect (and I was even totally prepared for betrayal, main character deaths, and multiple grey endings).
You really should make sure to warn everyone about spoilers before they click, not everyone pays attention to the meaning of thread titles before they open them (even though it is obvious this thread is about a major plot point).

I can totally see why you didn't enjoy the twist/reveal/world-turning-upside-down moment. I didn't exactly have a negative or indifferent reaction to it happening, but looking closer I think the timing was off. It happens just after a big emotional and for me very satisfying reveal (Anna's father). This big emotional reveal was then immediately wasted by the twist and left me thinking the game was being awfully cruel rather than engaging. Kind of like when you wake up from an awesome dream where you have everything you want and everyone you love, only to wake up and remember it is monday and it's time to go to work. Suddenly the then so satisfying dream isn't enough to keep your spirits and excitement up.

What the big twist did for me however was to shake me up and introduce the idea that I need to be genuinely concerned for all the main characters. Unfortunately the game never really did become emotionally engaging and pleasant after this. The whole last act is very bleak and unsettling. I think a subtle problem with this sudden change of tone is that it made everything up to this point seem a bit pointless. The majority of the game was the characters getting together to solve a mystery, then the game quickly throws the idea out the window and has you chase a new plot development which was hinted at but no emotional tension was built up for this. It's like if the last 10 minutes of Mass Effect 3 was stretched out an hour longer, stripped of all the things that made the game enjoyable and having to suffer the bummer of a twist a little longer and never really getting any hope and emtional highs back again.

Resonance certainly does not fizzle out in the end, but it's like the game is telling me not to be happy again. Someone once said there is a difference between liking and enjoying a story, and Resonance makes for a good case study. It is one of the best adventure games I've ever played and it provides a very different end-game feel from anything I've ever played before. I'm intrigued by it and I think it is a great modern day story, but it isn't an enjoyable experience. That is not to say it is a bad experience. Quite the contrary actually.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that the twist is not the reason you should experience the story. Many stories relies on the twist to make everything leading up to it enjoyable. Imagine Fight Club or Sixth Sense without their twists and they are no longer very satisfying stories. Resonance uses it's twist to destroy everything that comes before it, but not in a bad way because the twist was a matter-of-fact part of the story, not the sole reason for why the story is being told.
Killing the only character with any significant emotional development (and at the very moment that this development comes to its denouement) was the point. It's a simple trick to make the death of a fictional character (and one sharing a four-way spotlight) hit home and start the next phase of the game where Ed is the villain.

Having Ed go from playable character to antagonist is a big shift and I think something like this was needed to get players invested in the change immediately and therefore motivated to track Ed down and stop him.

If by "closure and/or interaction between any of the main characters who were destined for death" you mean Anna and Ed (though he doesn't have to die) I think the lack of closure is important. Ed was never interacting with Anna for the sake of it; he was never actually acting as her friend. When he shot her, he totally discarded his apparent, altruistic motives with her and displayed his real ones. It's another thing in service of the intended moment of shock.

I think you're being a little unfair about "the only main female character in the game basically only existing to be imperiled and killed". Anna mostly exists to engage in a family history drama. It's a device to make her death hit harder, but it is its own story.

Though I have to admit that Anna is excluded from the moral/ethical side of the sci-fi story about the new technology. She does what she does because of her family connection, not because of knowing or caring about Resonance. Ed worked on it and values it highly, Bennett is deeply concerned about the potential for misuse, and Ray wants to learn its secrets simply because they're new. This is all present before the techno-thriller switches into high gear after Anna's murder so that doesn't really explain it.
I feel much the same, the twist completely ruined the game for me. Not only was it a pretty pointless and lazy twist, it also didn't make a whole much of sense. For example Ed acted surprised at the power outage in the beginning, even so he was the guy who caused it. Later on Ed lets Anna lock herself in the vault and shoots her while the vault is still looked. Kind of stupid given that the vault is supposed to self destruct when tempered with. He then of course opens up the vault by shooting the control panel... yeah. And when the situation ends, Ed himself is locked up in the vault. How exactly did he get out of that?

On top of that of course the twist completely ruins player agency in more then a few ways and because it's the only women character that get killed the whole thing feels very much like "Women in Refrigerators" kind of trope.

The end game also has a few issue, for example why does one waste a whole lot of time trying to find the warehouse by tracing phone calls? At that point one knows that the Ed's apartment had one device and where the explosion occurred, so finding the warehouse is a trivial matter of drawing a line on the map.

But either way, even ignoring all that, the twist makes for an incredible unsatisfying gaming experience. Large parts of the first half of the game are wasted on Anna's memory and family, all of which is completely irrelevant in the end. Furthermore the main antagonists in the game never gets any screen time whatsoever, you meet them once and that's it, you never see them again and you never explore their backgrounds in any serious way. All the interesting stuff is simply not part of the game, but just some computer behind a door that you aren't allowed to touch.

Long story short, I don't like twists that ruin everything that come before them without replacing it with something even better.
^
I agree. That's why i'm hesitate to recommend this game to anybody. As far as the storyline concerned, it make no sense, lots of plot hole, weak characters build up and underwhelming conclusion. For me storyline is absolutely the most important in adventure genre. I see Resonance as one highly ambitious project try to tackle real-world agenda like terrorism, secret society, politics and WMD. Sadly apart from the innovative gameplay, it fails to deliver on other aspect.

Gemini Rue and The Blackwell definitely have better writing.
Post edited May 27, 2013 by wormholewizards
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grumbel: Not only was it a pretty pointless and lazy twist...
Pointless? That's being too harsh. Ed needs to transition from one of the protagonists to the antagonist and the player needs to be motivated to want to stop him.
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grumbel: For example Ed acted surprised at the power outage in the beginning, even so he was the guy who caused it.
The commentary explains that Ed didn't know that a Resonance reaction would cause an EMP pulse that caused the black-out. An answer that needs to be given in the commentary isn't a very good one, though.
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grumbel: Later on Ed lets Anna lock herself in the vault and shoots her while the vault is still looked. Kind of stupid given that the vault is supposed to self destruct when tempered with. He then of course opens up the vault by shooting the control panel... yeah. And when the situation ends, Ed himself is locked up in the vault. How exactly did he get out of that?
I think Ed is supposed to be desperate and irrational; he shoots Anna regardless of what she (i.e. the player) decides to do with the vault.

I agree that that sequence (especially shooting the panel to open the door) was kind of stupid, though. It really looks bad in comparison to the rest of the game.
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grumbel: On top of that of course the twist completely ruins player agency in more then a few ways...
Ed leaving the player's control, you mean? I think that's a tough question. Ed beginning to act without player input is necessary for the story. Do you think this kind of story, where a player character has motivation that is hidden from the player and eventually acts on it without player input can't work?
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grumbel: ...because it's the only women character that get killed the whole thing feels very much like "Women in Refrigerators" kind of trope.
I think that's a little unfair. She's there to get killed and her death is supposed to provide motivation, but she gets nearly all the characterization in the game and it's the loss of that character, not just a woman being murdered, that is supposed to shock the player. Her murder is also not the only motivation for the last act; Ed is going to set off another explosion.
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grumbel: Large parts of the first half of the game are wasted on Anna's memory and family, all of which is completely irrelevant in the end.
The story had really run its course when Anna gains final access to the vault and sees the message Javier left for her. Where else is it going to go? And I say the way it's cut off is supposed to emphasis Anna's death. It doesn't matter any more because Anna is dead.
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grumbel: Furthermore the main antagonists in the game never gets any screen time whatsoever, you meet them once and that's it, you never see them again and you never explore their backgrounds in any serious way.
Amul and Reno do feel like an appendix, and it is annoying how much they drive the events of the last act despite this. I think the developer (his name is Vince) intended to bring them back in another game. He needed a lot of help from Wadjet Eye Games to get this one out, so who knows if that'll ever happen. Sequel-baiting is also a pretty annoying thing to do.
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grumbel: All the interesting stuff is simply not part of the game, but just some computer behind a door that you aren't allowed to touch.
You're saying the secret DNA database is the only interesting part? I wouldn't agree because it's so poorly developed and goes nowhere, like Amul and Reno.

I derived a lot of interest from Ed's misguided motivations and just the fact that Bennett and Ray are fun characters to pilot around.
I understand the criticisms and I agree that Anna's treatment in the story was unfair - her choices don't matter and her death is a device to drive the development of the male characters. And I personally feel as though Anna didn't have much of a personality of her own; she was defined by her relationship to Dr. Morales and secondarily by her relationship to Ed. So I'm not saying she shouldn't have been killed off, just that this combination of factors makes it a bit disappointing.

An even bigger plot hole (unless I misunderstood it) came to my mind, which is: if Ed already knew how to exploit Resonance as a weapon right from the start, then what information was in the vault that was so crucial? Even if the vault was destroyed, well, Ed still knew how to blow things up with the technology and was able to tell the Eleven Foundation about it, so surely it wouldn't have made any difference whatsoever. Am I missing something?
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Barentity: An even bigger plot hole (unless I misunderstood it) came to my mind, which is: if Ed already knew how to exploit Resonance as a weapon right from the start, then what information was in the vault that was so crucial? Even if the vault was destroyed, well, Ed still knew how to blow things up with the technology and was able to tell the Eleven Foundation about it, so surely it wouldn't have made any difference whatsoever. Am I missing something?
Ed wanted to use Resonance to permanently solve the world's need for energy, not build weapons out of it, and he doesn't know enough to be able to do that. He was only the assistant, after all. He's not even a physicist.

Building a Resonance bomb only required him to have two Resonance particles in cages, placing them correctly, and then opening the cages. Pretty simple.
The story could have made more sense if the game had given a few hints. For me the situation was just utterly strange when Ed shot Anna. It doesn't made any sense for me at this time, since I choosed to save the data! Ed wanted it so badly and I felt Anna wanted to preserve it, because of what she just found out about her family. It would have if there had been a tiny connection between those people around Antevorta and Ed before. But there's none. And what about the letter in Bennets Pockets? The note they find near the vault gets explained somehow but the letter? Where did it come from what does it really mean? There's just missing a part in midst the game.

Missing connections, the story could have been really awesome but it just missed the goal by a few inches. Nevertheless a great adventure game I appreciated playing. But I've also to admit that I felt disconnected to the story after Ed shot Anna. As it turns out, Ed was a victim himself but the way he acted was just over the top and you just had no clue what was going on with him before. Shooting Anna just after she actually kissed him? Is he utterly gone insane? Of course, at the end, I just felt pressed to kill him. I saw the option in the last dialog "show him the device" but I ignored it. Ed just went berserk without any scruples and I was angry. Whatever he said after that felt just pointless, felt artificial and constructed.

The alternate ending, when you save Ed, he kills Bennet. WTF? Just over the top.