12 minute exam
In a medium filled with constantly updated online shooters, open-world action and RPG adventures, annual sports iterations and more, it sometimes feels like truly unique games are rare. Not only is it difficult for games to break into new genres, but new emotional and game mechanics encounters seem rare. However, 12 minutes is exactly that type of title. Although it is not perfect, 12 minutes is a separate experience that provides a narrative rarely seen in games. The end result is a roller coaster of a story through a literal, at times frustrating but overall satisfying gameplay loop.
The sixty second step of 12 minutes is that an unnamed man is trapped in a never-ending twelve-minute loop, and he must escape by uncovering an incredibly tense mystery. What starts off as a sweet romantic evening with his unnamed wife quickly turns into a nightmare, as a “cop” comes to the door and claims his wife murdered her father eight years ago. Things turn quickly from there, and the “time loop” resets if the husband / gamer dies, or when the twelve minutes are up. It’s a fascinating idea for a game, and developer Luis Antonio has put it together really well, as even Hideo Kojima praises it. 12 minutes.
In trying to figure out what is going on, the player should take full advantage of each loop to find clues and information. Talking to the woman and letting her know that the player is in a time loop will not help at all if the player has yet to find reasons to prove that they are in a loop, for example. The player walks through the apartment as a point-and-click adventure, although with an Xbox controller it feels like using a mouse would have been more natural. The puzzles themselves are more about discovery and understanding than a true definition of a puzzle genre video game. Each piece tells its own story and is important in one way or another, although the game is certainly tricky, as players might want a few tips for 12 minutes from time to time in the event of a blockage.
Some 12 minutes tasks can be performed with multiple tools or in different ways. However, there are other tasks that are extremely specific and can seem almost broken. It can be very frustrating to be stuck in the same time loop over and over again because an item was given to the wife too early or the husband had to look at something before handing it to someone else. . In fgeneral, 12 minutes can be very complicated at times. But the feeling of being stuck in a time loop is exactly what the husband probably feels in the game, so maybe developer Luis Antonio was trying to convey that emotion.
A big positive point for 12 minutes is how it handles its time loop design. A set of tasks in a time loop can take the entire twelve minutes, and players can barely complete everything within the allotted time. However, in the next loop, the husband will remember this and apply it to his questioning, reasoning, etc. For example, very early on, the husband must prove to the wife that he is indeed in a time loop. It takes several steps to do and is quite complex. However, in subsequent loops, as the character now has new information at their fingertips, the player can prove that they are in a loop within moments. With any game where there is a timer that resets the clock (like The Legend of Zelda: The Mask of Majora), time can almost become one of the enemies. Due to the overall smart loop design, it doesn’t feel too unfair (unless there comes a point where the player gets stuck in a loop or two).
In addition to looking for clues, the most important part of the game is dialogue. Players will use the dialogue to gather information, and more clues will be discovered – both by finding things in the apartment and speaking during various loops – more new conversation branches will be revealed. Communication between the star-studded cast of 12 minutes this is where the story is primarily told.
The dubbing of this puzzling story is very strong. James McAvoy is the protagonist of 12 minutes and Daisy Ridley plays the caring woman with a possibly tragic and twisted background. Meanwhile, Willem Dafoe is the voice of the dangerous cop. Each character plays his role very well and most of the lines hit the mark. Whether the husband battles the madness of being stuck in an endless loop, the wife lovingly offers a dessert she made for the sentimental evening, or the cop is threatening and screaming, the performances usually immerse the player. directly into the heartbreaking story. There are times when moments fall flat, or when the time loop element pulls players away after hearing the same lines multiple times (which can sometimes be sped up), but overall this element of 12 minutes is strong, and it’s exciting to see three big name actors in an independently developed game.
Ultimately, the story is the most important part of 12 minutes. The reason the player will want to keep looking for answers and go a little deeper into the next loop is to solve the mystery. 12 minutes‘ the story is told across the world itself, but mainly through dialogue. And the end of 12 minutes, spoiler-free, worth getting stuck in many time loops. While some keen-eyed players may see hints of the final turn to come, the ending is a punch and it has the potential to be talked about for years to come.
In a story-based game, the journey is incredibly important, but the ending is often the most important part. 12 minutes allows multiple endings, which unlock many achievements for 12 minutes along the way. However, regardless of the various end-game paths, the reality of the shocking story is set in stone. Players simply have a choice of how they want to react based on the information they have now learned.
12 minutes is a special game. The design of the time loop game is crafted very eloquently, although there are slight hiccups that can get frustrating. The voice actors do a great job of putting the tense narrative together, and there’s always a feeling the next clue will be what unearths this unimaginable mystery. While the game’s visuals leave something to be desired, the art style and vibe makes up for it. There is always a strange underlying tone in 12 minutes it even goes beyond the horrors within the apartment walls and those 720 seconds. And it rings true forever in the icy end of 12 minutes.
12 minutes is available now on PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X / S. Game Rant has reviewed the game on Xbox Series X.
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