To analyze Dull Gray, we first need to establish a basis both to be fair with the production and so that you, our readers, understand what the title is and don’t be surprised after you acquire it. This production developed by Explorer games and distributed by Sometimes You is not a game in itself, but an interactive adventure where we have to choose the options we want for our character through a text that is presented to us on the screen, something very similar to this that we had seen in El Cinders last year, but with a more grown-up and dark vibe, not only because of the graphics.
Our character in this adventure will be Kiryusha, a boy who faces a journey with his mother to find the Navigator that determines people’s professions for life (something like college, more or less) but with fewer options. : you can be a lamplighter or an accountant, options that will be repeated ad nauseam. The journey, as you can imagine, is not easy. We will pass through frozen lands plagued by environmental disasters and geysers appearing out of nowhere wreaking havoc on the population, in fact, under these circumstances, our unfortunate character’s father dies.
As if that weren’t enough, another of the recurring protagonists of the saga is the State of this World, a form of totalitarian government in the extreme which goes by the name of “advancement program” and which controls absolutely everything, even the communications. , in a clear nod to Orwell’s 1984.
Graphically, the title lives up to the name it bears. Each of the scenes that this interactive novel does not take is designed in shades of gray combined with a black that marks, with very raw lines, several buildings that have some relevance in the story. As our character, through the on-screen narrative, approaches one of these structures, a zoom will put us in front of certain scenes that show this disturbing world a little more.
A lot of these scenes add value to the story and you can see the vision of the artist who worked on the visual aspect of Dull Gray, it’s a shame they didn’t include more of this type of graphics since they are missed when they are. no and they would have prolonged the title further, another of the factors which are not convincing and which we will discuss later in this analysis.
What the graphics section does very well at capturing the melancholy of the character and the world they find themselves in. In every corner you can feel the hostile monotony and oppression of the environment you find yourself in, be it atmospheric or political.
Beyond these points, the game is completely impersonal. We’ll never clearly see the faces of any of the characters, and perhaps the most visually-related thing to get a feel for what the protagonists look like are just a few silhouettes scattered around with very little detail.
The music for its part takes care of punctuating this melancholy setting with melodies that you would never reproduce at a party, unless, of course, you want all the guests to leave or fight to the death, however, this type of rhythm does. does not come up against the title proposition.
A key aspect for everyone to enjoy this title is the localization and here I have to say it is very well done, at least in Spanish, this is how I tried it on my Xbox Series S. With the few factors that this production is on hand to attract the player, the narrative must be very high as well as the translation, and the professionals who have worked in this section do not disappoint.
The playable aspect here relies on the selection of options, as if it were a ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ book, but on an interactive level. The problem here is that in most options you will feel that your decision does not matter much since we will always come back to the same question of what career we want to pursue. Moreover, in many sequences, it will not even be our character who answers but his mother, who has as much control over our lives as the totalitarian state that rules the place.
Other paths will often lead us to choose between helping the inhabitants of the place or the State itself or exploring different moors which do not bode well for our physical integrity. Some routes will give you a reward in the form of achievements although it is never clear why we are rewarded.
Without a doubt, the lowest point in the title, in fact I think it’s the fastest game I’ve completed in my playing life, and it’s been at least 32 years since I got my first console. This production can well be compared to a story of Saki or of an author famous for his short stories.
Completing the story at a perfectly normal pace took an astonishing amount of 17 minutes in totalYes, it can be replayed multiple times but already knowing what will happen on a general level, not only does the story not have the same appeal, but it can also shorten the plot even more.
The value of replayability is to obtain previously unavailable paths to select and thus unlock alternate endings and the achievements that accompany them. In any case, the options chosen do not matter much in the story since the ending will vary only in a few paragraphs of the last section, which for this type of production is very disappointing.
For the price, Dull Gray can be a good title to spend a few minutes reading a short, very short story with digital interaction. Unfortunately, the length means that many of the characteristics that give this production its own identity are diluted into a solid narrative but ultimately seem to ignore most of the decisions the player has made throughout the game.