Home Lates The time loop mystery of 12 Minutes fails to escape the monotony it presents

The time loop mystery of 12 Minutes fails to escape the monotony it presents

The time loop mystery of 12 Minutes fails to escape the monotony it presents

This captivating time loop has some wonderful moments, but at the conclusion, you’re forced to question if the main concept is really that brilliant.
While 12 Minutes isn’t the only game this year with a time loop, it is the most similar to Groundhog Day, the most well-known time loop story. Time loop mysteries are enduringly popular. In addition, the setup feels like a one-room play or, to honor Antonio’s love of Hitchcock, like the 1948 “limited-setting” thriller Rope, which is set entirely in one apartment, just like the game. This is just one example of how developer Luis Antonio wears his love for other forms of storytelling on his sleeve. In the opening sequence, you walk across the hall on The Shining’s carpet.

Everything begins when James McAvoy, who plays your character, an anonymous guy, returns from his job to his tiny apartment with Daisy Ridley, his wife. Wilem Dafoe, a police officer, storms into the couple’s house as they are about to have a peaceful evening together and accuses the wife of murder. You can’t interrupt him without being knocked out.

That’s how you find out you’re trapped in a time loop: ever since your unexplained resurrection, you’ve been unable to leave the flat and are certain to turn become someone’s lifelong punching bag when they’re having a rough day. He murders you if you attempt to fight back. He also murders you if he doesn’t get his way or acquire what he wants within his desired time limit. So you start searching for the important piece of proof he’s been looking for.

As a passive filmgoer, I believe the appeal of time loop movies stems from the notion that, actually, you’d be much more adept at all of this if it were you. You have 12 minutes to test that, and I promise you that I am just as horrible as every unfortunate schmuck who has ever found himself in a time loop. From top down, this is basically a point-and-click adventure game. You may use your mouse to move your character to the desired location, make a full cup of water vanish from his pants pockets, and remove items from your inventory.

However, even if the first few insights are quite simple to understand, 12 Minutes quickly becomes tedious. Naturally, irritation is a crucial component of every time loop story since it drives the protagonist to either murder themselves or others or improve their situation in life, which often results in the loop breaking. But when you apply that concept to me as a player, all I can do in irritation is shut off the computer and go.

The cast of 12 Minutes has been widely pushed, not just to help bolster the notion that this is more than simply a game but also, holy heck, three real celebrities in a non-Quantic Dream game. Of course, they’re doing a fantastic job; forgive my prejudice, but I believe Daisy Ridley and James McAvoy, in particular, are underestimated and both do a fantastic job with the American accent. Since the game is set in the type of flat that any dishonest London landlord would try to sell you as a luxury loft, the three actors must do the heavy lifting of creating atmosphere in a piece that may otherwise come off as a little dull. Sadly, the fact that James McAvoy just says a few words makes it clear that this interactive film experience is really a very traditional videogame.

The issue with 12 Minutes is basically the same as it is with many other point-and-click games: you’re stuck if you can’t locate the correct pixel to click on. And nobody enjoys being stuck, especially when it means they have to keep setting out dessert plates and getting the knife off the counter. Time really does fly by almost exactly like real time, but every so often I feel like 12 Minutes grabs hold of me and rips the reins away. For example, no matter how fast I attempt to get my wife out of the apartment, she always ends up meeting the policeman in the hallway. After a while, I start using things haphazardly and in whatever manner I can just to get by.

Moving forward nevertheless proves to be somewhat tiresome; I learn so little new information every time and seem to spend so much time doing the same thing that the loop fell more heavily on me than on the protagonist, who never once displays signs of fatigue from his monotonous routine. Unavoidably, I start to notice the wires that support the entire setup. As a mere player attempting to alter the computer-generated path of a few puppets, which occasionally react awkwardly when I do things out of order—though to their credit, they do react—my wife will probably ask me why I’m opening all the apartment’s vents before she leaves me alone. If I start pressuring her, she’ll become upset, but if I ask one of the earlier questions on the list, she’ll immediately calm down. However, I get tired with 12 Minutes mostly because I already know what has to be done; I simply need to figure out how to execute it. Adventures in time loops include deviating from the intended path, but a game’s flexibility is limited.

Because the game is played from a top-down viewpoint and you are unable to see the faces of the characters, 12 Minutes aims to be as approachable as possible. Unfortunately, 12 Minutes also seems impersonal as a result of these actions. If there had been a stronger motivation for me to continue, I would have been much less irritated with a game and far more ready to do so. Every two-hour film has a scene when a character deals with their time a lot and shares a lot of their personality. I want them to stop the cycle because I have grown to care about them as individuals.

In comparison, the only thing that makes me care about what happens in 12 Minutes is that if I don’t, my anonymous character will keep dying. That’s unfortunate, but once again, I can stand up and go. Strangely enough, as a player, I thought the stakes were quite minimal. I can’t even argue that 12 Minutes doesn’t accomplish its goals—for me, the boredom started much earlier.

The three A-list celebrities’ acting in this game, which bills itself as a cinematic adventure, is just superb. But you need to be more than just a story enthusiast—you need to be driven by a sometimes extremely stubborn enigma and have the attitude of a puzzler. The narrative payoff isn’t quite there, so you have to be content with taking the tale along little by little and be proud of your achievements. What the heck do I care, after all? I am a nameless guy married to a nameless woman.


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