Some Thoughts on Harmony The Fall of Reverie

Harmony The Fall of Reverie is such a weird game to try and explain to someone.  I mean, I was drawn to it because it is a Don’t Nod game, which immediately put it high on my radar.  I have loved every game they have done, and they are always willing to try new things with their adventure games, or even different genres.  So when I jumped into Harmony and started into it, I was kind of baffled.  It’s not a bad game by any means, but it takes some time to warm up to it design and game play.

In Harmony, you step into the shoes of Polly, a woman that is coming back home after being away for five years due to disagreements with her mother.  But with her mother now missing, Poly returns home and is shocked by an amulet that she found.  The amulet opens up a new world, or plane of existence where beings that represent themes like Truth, or Power.  This world, called Reverie, is linked to our real world, and these beings have been influencing events in the real world for eons.  This all presents itself as a revolution and battle is about to form over the residents of a nation and a monolithic corporation called MK.

If this sounds a little messy, I can agree with you.  Harmony jumps into the premise of Reverie very quickly and it took me a bit of time before I started to wrap my head around all of it.  It was a very confusing plot to follow, and that is only complicated by its mechanics.  Harmony uses a flowchart that you choose your choices from to beginning to craft your story.  In this sense, the game is different from a normal, choice driven adventure game.  With the flowchart system in Harmony, you can see all the different choices in front of you for each chapter.  So you could try to plan a path to get to a best possible outcome.  However, there are roadblocks that make this a little more difficult.  You earn gems with each choice you make, and some paths require specific amounts of gems to be collected.  Don’t have the gems – that path is blocked off from your choice.

While the flowchart system of Harmony is a bit confusing, the art style used is really well done.  The scenes and characters used in Harmony are really well done, with both the color and the animations.  It gives Harmony a visual novel feel, but there are far more choices being made.  The visuals are the thing that kept me going with Harmony in the beginning, before the story and the decision process all clicked together.

As you progress, a larger story unfolds, with multiple levels happening throughout Harmony.  You have the battle and struggle between Polly and her mother, a large corporation and the citizens, and even between Polly and her sister.  All of these story beats is a lot to put together at first, but they come together quite nicely as you make your way to the climactic sequences near the end of the game.  It makes for a compelling narrative, all built by the choices that you unlock and choose.

I did enjoy my time with Harmony The Fall of Reverie, but it took a lot to get to that point, and I can see where a lot of people would not give the time a chance to get that far.  The idea of the flowchart is cool, but I feel like I am playing a complex spreadsheet simulator at that point, and it does take some of the surprise away from you knowing all the choices available to you.  If you can work your way through that rough start, you will get a great story that mixes all the elements of the game together quite nicely.


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