Asemblance is an exploration adventure game, developed and published by Nilo Studios, releasing in June 2016 on PC and PS4. The game was inspired by American TV series such as The X-Files and The Twilight Zone, as well as Black Mirror and other video games like The Stanley Parable or P.T. You play as a protagonist trapped in a machine which is capable of memory generation and simulation.
The game play consists of exploring different scenes for clues and objects which will jog your character’s memory in order to progress onto the next memory. Some people will class this as a walking simulator, and whilst that would be true in some aspects of Asemblance, there is a much more sinister feel about this game when compared to other games in that genre. It is worth mentioning that this type of game isn’t usually my favorite but I still found the game to be interesting and immersive throughout. The puzzles and memories you find yourself in require you to remember points of importance throughout the plot and piece them together in order to figure out the ultimate puzzle; you’ll also have free reign on which memory to enter too; whilst they are on a small scale, they still present an interesting environment to explore. This game does not contain action or thrilling scenes, it is purely a narrative experience.
Visually, Asemblance is stunning. The initial scenes you enter look almost photorealistic as you enter the wilderness. Upon closer inspection of some items in the world though you will find very pixelated items and textures which is a little disappointing given you are almost encouraged to zoom in on features of the game. The narration is spot on, and if you are playing with headphones, will completely immerse you in the world you are exploring. The narrator has a calm but sinister voice which reminded me much of the narrator from The Stanley Parable.
The game doesn’t really have a difficult level, like I said above it is purely an experience which is meant to be explored by the player. I only had one situation where I was a little lost on what to do in order to progress but this was easily passed by simply exploring the world a little more. Asemblance is well equipped for a little replayability too. The game offers multiple different endings which you are almost encouraged to do towards the end of your first playthrough. A quick search online will find that even so long after it’s initial release, people are still struggling to figure out a couple of the endings, which just goes to show how in depth this experience actually is. One playthrough of this game took me just under an hour, and I will for sure be jumping in for a second playthrough after writing this review to see the alternative endings.
Asemblance is not going to be everyone’s cup of tea; there is virtually no game play elements on offer, and normally that is a complete no no in my books, but the pure immersion factor of this game allowed me to be intrigued with finding out more from the story and plot. Is it worth the £6.99? Sure, it’s going to give you an evening's worth of entertainment, and you’d pay more than that at the cinema but you are going to get a more immersive experience from Asemblance.