Know I'm late to the party but whatever. I'd say I'm both satisfied and disappointed. I did like and enjoy this game like all Rem Michalski's games but won't deny that as final installment of the trilogy it was mostly disappointing. It would be ok as spin-off of the series or even stand-alone title but not as grande finale. First of all there are barely any ties with previous titles, something that I hoped for most - to see some facts from two other games explained or something that would bind them all nicely together. Except Queen of Maggots and meaningless Cat Lady's cameo (I deliberately not mention Joe's/axeman cameo) there is pretty much nothing connecting it with the rest. So, one would think, at least we should know something more about QoM as she has the most screen time of all games here and seems to be main theme (name Lorelai) but nope. She is as mysterious as always additionally raising new questions and inconsistencies (what's up with this magic shark soup?!).
Atmosphere of this game is also very different. It's more like dark fairy tale in vein of Pan's Labyrinth rather than gruesome and twisted psychological horror. It wouldn't be necessarily bad thing if other elements wouldn't lacking but sadly they are. Story is neither as complex as in TCL nor as convoluted and symbolic as in Downfall. Themes are heavy as usual (domestic violence, loneliness, alcoholism) but somehow don't hit as much as they should. In terms of puzzles it's step back as well. Not that previous titles were some hardcore adventure games but this one really feels like "walking simulator" most of the time - good comparison of gamedesign would be the chapter with psycho couple in TCL vs the factory chapter here. Preeetty big difference.
Finally, the endings. I really hoped that there will be ending where Lorelai might become the true new Queen/Princess of Maggots as game seems suggesting from the beginning and even before (title). I was sure of that after reaching bad ending in Al's chapter. But again, nope. At the end player is always forced to kill monster and come back to reality which makes this whole, seemingly crucial, chapter pretty much pointless. It doesn't matter AT ALL if you force the poor chap to drink and commit suicide or not, you can still reach all the endings including "golden" one. It's hard to believe that was Michalski's real intention, I'd rather think that there was no time or money and they had to cut out content. Perhaps taming the new engine was more problematic than expected. If that's the case I would be really excited to see some kind of "Director's Cut" in the future.
As I said in the beginning I still enjoyed this game and don't regret buying it. It was pleasant and captivating enough few hours, technically and artistically game was great even if lacking in other aspects. I'd just rather treat it as spin-off.
Post edited October 02, 2020 by ssling