Even though sometimes flawed, hard to understand, and many times just plain shocking, experimental music, literature, and even filmmaking have been driving forces for new forms of expression, and have therefore earned exceptional respect from their respective public. Residue: Final Cut has experimental written all over it and raises the question, why shouldn’t there be a parallel creative line in the gaming industry?
I will be honest. This 2D platform adventure, developed by The Working Parts, is far from being the common type of game we are used to playing. It might even be considered a bit shocking.
There is also a warning to be made: Residue is heavily story-based. There is an important historical background to be taken into account, and playing the game without at least having seen the trailer might prove to be confusing. This title delves into real life political and geographical issues that might not be well known for western audiences, including the disappearance of the Aral Sea, once the fourth largest lake in the world, due to cotton farming irrigation and humanity’s carelessness.
As can be easily seen, the game’s visuals are very unique and seem a bit old. These, added to the somewhat ethnic music, create a very interesting and essential timeless atmosphere that becomes ideal for the story itself. Time seems to stand still in the remains of the Aral Sea, and even though the general feeling is that of a Soviet era, there seems to be a conscious chronological misdirection that suggests that things have been lost now and forever.
As I embarked on this journey, I was immediately introduced to the core game mechanics. Instead of a tutorial, there is a short prologue and then a few free-play seconds based in different game situations. After that, the actual game begins.