Virginia is told from the perspective of newly minted FBI Agent Anne Tarver, an ambitious rookie plagued by nightmares about her career and a recent loss in the family. Tarver is easily controlled in the first-person, with either a typical keyboard and mouse setup or just the mouse, with left-click to interact and right-click to conveniently walk forward. This is the extent of your control in this interactive story, which essentially has you acting out linear roles in scenes punctuated by clean cinematic cuts.
It’s easy to pick up and dive right into, though there’s a strange motion blur effect that my GTX 760 didn’t like, creating some annoying input lag. Reducing settings to medium resolved that (without much sacrifice considering the low-poly art style still looks good on medium settings), as did playing on a GTX 980. But even with the lag, I soon found myself so engrossed by Tarver’s journey to the small town of Kingdom, Virginia that I hardly noticed.
Virginia Review Gameplay
On her first day at the FBI, Tarver is partner up with the secretive, stone-face Maria Halperin to investigate a missing persons case, but also given a confidential directive from Internal Affairs to monitor Agent Halperin on the side. This sets Tarver and Halperin’s tense partnership into motion, giving every subtle, wordless gesture and awkward interaction between the two an exciting importance.
In one scene, you wander into the dark, hallways of the FBI’s headquarter trying to find Halperin’s office, only to be greet with an unimpres glare and the cold shoulder from your strange new partner. Halperin will impatiently switch off the radio in her car if you try to turn it on, and make a prominent display of dining and dashing at a small-town cafe, leaving you, the pitiful rookie, with the bill.
But despite her coldness towards you she also has a lot going on inside that makes her more than the cool, uncaring partner — she wears a cherished locket with an unidentified woman’s photo inside, entrusts you with her wedding ring during a mid-week visit to a bar, and lets you crash on her couch after a night of drinking beers on the water tower overlooking the town.
In the morning, she cooks you two eggs and herself just one. Watching Tarver and Halperin’s friendship develop under the strain of an unsolved mystery and the looming possibility of your betrayal is one of the more riveting stories I’ve experienced in a game this year.
Virginia’s nuanced storytelling extends beyond just the relationship between Halperin and Tarver. A stick of lipstick tossed bitterly into the trash, two separate beds in a married couple’s bedroom, a father refusing to hug his son — details carry so much weight that missing a single second can be like skipping an entire cutscene or tearing a page from a book. Every little thing is deliberate and demands contemplation.
This all culminates in an emotionally climactic ending that delivers satisfying answers to some questions, but also raises a few new ones, demanding I return to it twice as observant as before. Three complete playthroughs later I find myself still dwelling on even its most unassuming mysteries as I try to fully piece together the latter half of its increasingly surreal story.
Multiple playthroughs is easy thanks to Virginia’s brisk pace and option to skip ahead to any one of its 41 chapters. It’s a story you can complete in under two hours if you don’t take it slow, though if you do choose to there are a number of collectable feathers and flowers scatter around certain scenes that give additional incentive to replay. While I had fun collecting them, I found that the frantic pixel-hunting required to track them down felt at odds with the somber tone or carefully crafted flow of most scenes. The story itself is enough of a reward for making a return visit. Other game you may like Star Citizen Gameplay 2017 TBA
- CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 940 or Inyrl Pentium G4400.
- OS: Windows 7 and higher, 32-bit or 64 bit.
- VIDEO CARD: Radeon R7 250 or GeForce GTX 650, 1GB VRAM.
- FREE DISK SPACE: 5 GB.