Fragments of Him is not a game, it’s an interactive story based around Will, a young man who dies suddenly in a car accident leaving behind devastated loved ones. It’s through their memories we experience Will’s story & the events that helped shape the man he became.
Ugly and bland, you click on items that are highlighted to hear the person’s thoughts about Will and some of the significant events that occurred as he was growing up. His grandmother, a traditional (read – close minded) woman who is shocked and disappointed when Will comes out as gay, an ex-girlfriend that fell madly in love with him but had to let him go and his current boyfriend, the man he shares his life with.
A story about love and loss with gameplay based around the removal of items, things that were important to Will and the other characters, as the story progresses the overall picture becomes clearer.
The thing is after a short amount of playtime, it becomes painfully obvious that it’s not going to get any better. Simply put, it’s boring…the story isn’t heart-wrenching and I felt no connection to Will. His grandmother, I outright disliked for our outdated views and his ex-girlfriend I saw as nothing more than a fool. Will’s boyfriend’s thoughts only come into it at the end of the story, briefly and by that stage it’s been dragging on far too long.
The gameplay is so basic, so empty that I find it amazing that many major sites are praising it. I understand it’s a story about the mundane parts of life, having a shower, brushing teeth etc. I get that, but having me do that in painfully slow segments, waiting for Will to stop talking so I could click on the next item, is depressingly boring. Gaming isn’t supposed to feel like that & the lack of a skip option for lengthy pieces of dialogue is unforgivable.
One section even repeats itself, doing the same tasks again. All while Will drones on about exercise and how he feels about his boyfriend.
Sure the voice acting is good but when characters look so terrible it doesn’t matter. They look like plastic shop models and for some reason no-one has eyes!
The story, where the ‘games’ strengths should lie come up woefully short. It’s just not that interesting and some segments drag on far too long. The absence of Will’s parents is strange as well, they pop up as shadows occasionally & I guess it’s meant to imply that they were never that supportive but they are around so why aren’t their memories used? Why when Will dies do we see nothing of their reactions?
The music is nice, the haunting and sorrowful soundtrack fits the game well but it will fade out as you search around for the next clickable item in the room or house. That can be quite frustrating; several times I spent far too long trying to find what piece of grey furniture, grey book, grey picture and so on would help me progress the story.
It can be completed in a matter of hours, less if you’re more committed than I was. For achievement hunters…this is one of the easiest 1000 you’ll ever earn. I can’t recommend that you buy this though, it’s too basic and lacks so much in almost all departments.
Fragments of Him