Westworld is an HBO series that raises many philosophical questions. Questions like, “What is life? What makes us human?” and, of course, “Is it right to play God?” If we look back through the entire history of literature, we will see that these are questions that are repeated time and time again. And for good reason.
Questioning what makes us humans is intrinsically human. It’s a question that will be asked a lot more as technologies like cloning, artificial intelligence, and possibly making digital copies of the human mind will advance. That’s the question that might answer us what it means to be a person.
The original Westworld showed us the consequences of indulging in our lowest instincts, how it can change a person and the dangers of what happens when robots finally decide to rebel. HBO approached this by humanizing robots and showing viewers a disturbing behind-the-scenes look. They showed us what happens to the psyche when you become aware that you are being killed for fun almost every day.
Instead of playing in the role of a guest at Westworld Park, you will experience the world through the eyes of one of the characters – a woman named Kate. Westworld Awakening begins with you reliving a nightmare story in which a classic horror villain chases you through a huge house. Every time you die, you wake up in Delos Narrative Design’s lab and hear staff discuss ways to tweak the scene to enhance the guest experience.
For all fans of the Westworld series, this is a fairly familiar course of events. As for your control over the game, it doesn’t matter what you do or how you try to escape. Either way, you’ll be killed, and the scene will start anew with a slightly different twist. It’s a great way to experience the nature of this world. In addition, if you take some time each time to explore your surroundings, you will find various hidden figurines from the series that unlock various achievements. These initial moments of the game are perhaps the most disturbing of all because, aside from violence, there’s an unwavering sense that you’re just a toy you throw away after playing.
The second chapter begins with your awakening in the Delos institution itself. You’re incredibly confused, which is unsurprising given the sudden jump in time. This is where the game actually begins. From now on you will be sneaking around various offices and laboratories, hiding from various enemies and all this while trying to solve puzzles or follow the instructions given to you.
Hiding from the enemy is very simple. You need to crouch behind walls, hide under tables and climb through air vents. These are all ways of avoiding your pursuers. Fortunately, enemies have trouble searching under objects. So, you can hide very effectively by getting out of sight of the enemy.
Puzzles in Westworld Awakening become more difficult as you progress in the game and rely on your ability to react quickly when ordered to do so. The puzzles look like this: you scan something, track where that trail leads you, discover the solution, and do what’s asked of you. The atmosphere itself is extremely disturbing because you have to solve puzzles while fleeing enemies who want to kill you.
Some puzzles are extremely interesting. Like those that involve controlling other robots, which definitely has a psychological impact because you’re one of them yourself. This is where various philosophical questions are drawn, and puzzles like this are found in key moments to push the story further, not to be just another puzzle that needs to be solved.
Westworld Awakening is a pretty good game. One of its flaws is a short duration – the game lasts only 3 hours. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy those 3 hours. The main attraction of this game is a story that is well told and very compelling. Each twist in the story entails some philosophical questions, but does not necessarily answer them, but only provides answers to the plot points that trigger the game. This means that even after the end of this game, you will realize that you are really questioning not only the events that took place in it, but also your real life.
The complete experience of the game is haunting and fascinating at the same time, and very valuable. Westworld Awakening is one excellent story laid out as a solid VR experience that is a good indicator of what can be done with increasingly advanced VR technology. The game, although a little short, is very good and a must for all those who enjoyed the series. For those who haven’t watched the series, it’s a good thriller game that shouldn’t be ignored. Who knows, maybe this game will make you a fan of the show.
Image source: Steam