First Impressions: Last Day of June
When I arrived for my E3 appointment with Last Day of June, we discussed gaming interests. To be more specific, we discussed how some people out there, no matter what we do, just aren’t interested in games. There could be a million reasons why someone does not play games. With Last Day of June, the team doesn’t just want to make a simple game. They want everyone, even those who don’t play games, to try it an experience an emotional journey.
Last Day of June features an all-star team of creators including critically acclaimed director Massimo Guarini (Murasaki Baby, Shadows of the Damned) and award-winning musician and record producer Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree), featuring a collaboration with writer/director Jess Cope (animator on “Frankenweenie”, director for Metallica’s “Here Comes Revenge” music video).
Again, this is not a simple game. Last Day of June is an interactive tale about love and loss. You start the game with Carl and June. It’s a picturesque day sitting on the dock. It’s their favorite spot, and their interactions show their love for each other. The Carl and June act like any couple that are madly in love with each other, and as you control Carl, you will have the chance to get June a flower and a blanket when she gets cold. Right at the start, you are emotionally invested in these characters, which makes the next part all the more painful.
In the demo, I didn’t get to see what exactly happened to June, but some clues let you know that something happened to June as they left their spot on the lake. The first clue is the amazing music, which has subtle hints of sadness as they drive away from their favorite spot. But the biggest shock comes when you go forward in time and realize the Carl is in a wheelchair. Their home, once filled with beautiful paintings created by June, is dark, bleak, and empty. You see Carl struggle with grabbing cans of food and opening food. It’s a really crushing moment when you realize how bleak and depressed Carl is. It is a stark contrast to what you see at the lake.
My demo was relatively short because we wanted to avoid spoilers. What I can tell you is Carl will be able to travel back in time using June’s paintings. The game will have you attempt to change what happened to your beloved June. As you travel back in time, there will be emotionally challenging puzzles that will hopefully help you change things. Of course, as you navigate in the past, you will have to deal with consequences that may create new dilemmas or create new opportunities.
I can’t really talk about the gameplay, because I was required to move around at hit X. I’m sure there will be more to the gameplay when the game is released. I will say that the hand painted art in Last Day of June is phenominal. The characters are unique and the colors just blend perfectly. This is important because you need that environment and art design to truly feel the changes that Carl is going through.
Last Day of June will be an emotional journey, one that will no doubt make you feel happiness and sorrow. Don’t really go into this thinking that it will be a typical game. The team is focused on creating an interactive storytelling experience, one that will stay with you a long time after you complete the game. Last Day of June will be released sometime in 2017, and I honestly cannot wait to play through the game. Unique gaming experiences, like Last Day of June, are extremely important to the industry and I want it to be successful. Ovosonico has created something truly special, and I can’t wait to help Carl find answers and hopeful bring his June back to him. What would you do to save the one you love? We’ll find out soon in Last Day of June.