[PAX EAST] Hands On With Hindsight 20/20

Written by Derek Wright

Hindsight is 20/20

In gaming today, so much focus is put on triple A games or developers. Don’t get me wrong, many gamers have jumped on the indie train especially with the amount of them present on the Nintendo Switch. We personally love indie games here at Nintendad. Yet, it is always exciting when you can experience a group of former AAA developers branch out and create their own indie studio to try something new. While at PAX East this year, we were able to experience just that with the game Hindsight 20/20-Wrath of the Raakshasa by Triple I Games.

Hindsight 20/20 first struck me as different because of its stylized art. It isn’t going for hyper-realism or your average action game for that matter. Characters are small, almost “chibi” like and cute. Any surreal vibes this game will be for the kids is dashed when the combat begins. The player is given two style to choose from, ruthless and merciful. I had to choose ruthless to see just how crazy things could get. Needless to say, I was not expecting blood spatter and dismemberment, but the drastic violence superimposed with the characters made it seem more visceral.

The World isn’t Sunshine and Rainbows

After having a taste of blood, I switched to merciful combat, and just as it sounds, is not bloody at all. Instead of using a sword to take your opponents out piece by piece, you are using a magic staff. The staff will disarm opponents but leave them alive. This has giant ramifications on the world you play in. Hemanshu Chhabra, the creative director on Hindsight explained the team wanted to have a morality system based on player choices and it isn’t defined as a clearly good or bad archetype. “Shades of grey” leading to decisions that may seem merciful which could cost the town everything.

This morality system was seen not only in the combat choices, but also in the dialog choices. I was presented with a confrontation between myself and the captain of the soldiers I had just encountered. I had killed half of his men and spared the rest. He was understandably unhappy and had bloodlust in his eyes. After defeating him and sparing his life, he promised revenge. After my playthrough was over, Hemanshu showed me what would have happened if I had freed all the soldiers. The captain proved to be a different encounter altogether. I didn’t have to fight him, and I was able to spare his life.

Your Choices, Your Story

Why was I sparing his life? This captain had killed someone very dear to me for the greater good. There is a plague upon the land that this turning the world on its head. Men are turning into beasts and the knights were forced to kill them. Again, for the art style, this is quite a dark tale with all the characters showing complex emotions. Rewind back to my playthrough and after the captain was defeated, I went to check on my friend, who was infected and was currently being held prisoner. When I arrived, he had committed suicide, leaving behind a note stating his goodbyes.

Fast forward back to the alternate playthrough that the director showed me, and my friend was alive, but was on the verge of taking his life. Now the fates were allowing me to talk him out of it. I was given four prompts for dialog and I was told if I had given two wrong choices, then he would have taken his own life. Luckily, we kept our friend alive, but then Hemanshu asked if that was truly a good decision. The demo ended and now I just want to know what happens next.

Thankfully, Hindsight 20/20 is scheduled for a 2020 Switch release for Q2/Q3.

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