Désiré Review

Adventure games are considered to be the best genre of games through which to tell stories. Over the years, we’ve seen many different kinds of tales told via an adventure game, but, as with most video games, there have not been many stories taking place in today’s world. Désiré, made primarily by Sylvain Seccia, comes to change that, giving us a deep story about today’s world and its problems.

In Désiré we assume control of a little kid called Désiré, who is black and white colourblind. This affliction makes him distant from his peers and lacking in confidence. Through four different chapters in his life, which will take place from 1992 to 2020, we will see Désiré grow up as a person and face his fears. Generally, the game deals with some quite heavy matters, which is why it advises us to be over 16 to play.

Désiré is a point and click adventure game. Since it is seen through the eyes of its titular character, everything is in black and white. The game has many riddles for us to solve, which is done by clicking the named points of interest on each screen and seeing how we can interact with them. Reading what characters say to us is a pretty good way to get hints as to what we can do. I’d say Désiré has done a really good job in keeping its riddles tough but fair, making us struggle for a while but never getting frustrated.

Apart from the basic point and click gameplay, Désiré has a lot of emphasis on its narrative. Themes such as consumerism and the general ills of society are explored throughout the game, since most characters Désiré will speak to have something to say on the matter. All in all however, although I did like the game’s narrative and the fact that it dared to explore such themes, I found the execution a little bit too much in my face. I do understand that these themes are probably why the game was made, but I would certainly have liked it a lot more if the game was a bit more subtle with them. For example, in the first chapter Désiré is still a little kid. Having him talk to an old man about both sexuality and the ills of television is probably a conversation saved for when he is a bit older.

Regarding the game’s graphics, the black and white aesthetic suits the game pretty well. The animation is very pretty and fluid, while the attention to detail in the background improves every scene by a mile. The game’s music is also great, with a haunting piano theme. What I didn’t like about the game was the complete lack of sound assets. You can’t hear the characters walking, you can’t hear a kid talking to another, you can’t hear a TV, you can’t hear anything apart from the piano theme. This might be by decision, so as to not distract from the rest of the game, but personally the total absence of sound was more jarring than hearing sound effects when something is happening.

Apart from the issues I described above, Désiré is a very interesting game. The story it tells is something that you rarely see in the medium of video games. However, it’s like reading a really dense book. Some might enjoy it, but some will also grow tired of it very quickly. Personally, I found the story of Désiré intriguing, if a bit too hard to read through at points. In the end, however, I’d say it was worth it.

You can find Désiré on Steam for 9 euros.


Verdict

Désiré is a very interesting game about growing up in a society that is, in many ways, wrong. Although the game is a bit too over the top in denoting that, it still manages to make you think and wonder. Its graphic style is also a very big plus in immersing us in the game, making Désiré’s journey one worth following.


+ Interesting theme.

+ Beatiful art style.

Sometimes overbearing in its rhetoric.

No sound assets.

Score: 7.6/10

– Philip “Snowchill” Alexandris

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