The 12 Minutes analysis immerses us in a graphic adventure based on time loops, which, like other Annapurna Interactive games, relies on narrative and emotional impact.
Annapurna Interactive has given us some of the most original and moving “indie” experiences we’ve ever had in front of a console. It is a distributor that is characterized by supporting unique games, especially narrative and with an artistic approach.
If you have played titles like What Remains of Edith Finch or Florence , you will know what we are talking about. Perhaps the playable part is the least of it. The important thing is to provoke the emotions of the player, and in that sense, 12 Minutes does not disappoint . So much so that it has captivated Hideo Kojima himself .
With 12 Minutes, a production by the Luis Antonio studio (responsible for the artistic section of The Witness) we find a completely unusual “point and click” graphic adventure. Something that we notice from the first moment, when we observe that everything happens from a zenith perspective … and that the pattern of the carpet is the same as in the Overlook hotel in El Resplandor.
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Our goal is to solve a mystery story in which there are only three participants: the protagonist (played by James McAvoy), his wife (voiced by Daisy Ridley) and a policeman, to whom Willem Dafoe lends his lines, who has already participated. in Beyond Two Souls by Quantic Dream.
Deathloop’s looping gameplay: you die, you reboot, you learn
In fact, there are two more protagonists, but they are mute. The first one is the stage ; a small two-room apartment where the action takes place and from which we cannot escape. And the second is time. A time that inexorably advances and that is the absolute owner of the action .
Why? Well, because we are caught in a loop, which we have to repeat incessantly until the puzzle is solved . In a way, it’s a look that’s reminiscent of PT, and its endless hallway. The first time we may find ourselves a little lost.
A warm greeting from our wife, a surprise … and from then on things rush until we die (in just a few minutes). Well, maybe we haven’t died, because the loop repeats itself, only this time we have some more information.
Thus, loop after loop, conversation after conversation, object after object, we build the story in our heads , collecting useful objects, studying the interactive parts of the scene. They are not too many pieces, but it will cost us more or less attempts depending on our ingenuity.
We have talked about ingenuity, but it is more about observation, paying attention to small details, and conversations. A loop may only serve us to get some information with which to slightly change how things are going to happen in the next attempt. Sometimes, in exchange for this piece of information, we will have to behave in a reprehensible way.
But when we manage to advance a little in the puzzle (which can be overcome in a few hours without problem) it is enormously satisfying. It is also true that some of these rounds can be frustrating if what we had thought does not work.
The best thing is to play without haste, entering the 12 Minutes rules, and paying attention to each comment, to the changes in the dialogues … in the end, the mystery will catch us, and we play eagerly to discover new details about this gruesome story, which extends far beyond the four walls in which it takes place.
If it is an exciting story or if it is too twisted is a decision of each one of us.
A great work, which is not for all audiences
Like the games we mentioned at the beginning of the text, 12 Minutes is peppered with genius. It is quite a lesson in how a great story can be built starting from very few elements, and from the sensations that we go through with each loop.
Some of these loops are tremendously revealing, others seem eternal (although none lasts too long), we assume that we feel exactly the same as the protagonist. This pace may be perfect for some players, but we also understand that others find it slow and repetitive.
What we do guarantee is that we had not played a graphic adventure like this. The interpretation (only in the voices) is excellent and the script manages to catch us and surprise us with a few plot twists.
The fact of being so minimalist in the visual section gives it personality, and throughout our game we have not missed more detail, except perhaps to see the facial expressions of the characters before some revelations.
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The soundtrack, which mixes Gardel’s songs with his own songs, also fits perfectly with the dark tone of the game and we especially highlight the sound effects that help us imagine what will be happening on the street or on the next floor.
It’s hard to recommend a game like 12 Minutes. It is a very particular game, whose experience depends a lot on the type of player we are. We can get caught in a loop because we have “missed” a line of dialogue, and get frustrated … and likewise, enjoy when we manage to take a good step in the right direction.
Since the game has been on Game Pass since launch (with a version optimized for Xbox Series X with 4K resolution), we recommend that you give it a try, because the experience is worth it.
If you make it to the end, the revelations that await along the way are sure to blow your mind.