Review: The Tomorrow Children (PS4).

Communism did not work out, and today’s variations of it in the form of open-air museums like North Korea cause Marx to topple his grave at the speed of a turbine in a power plant. Well, if we can go on a trip and snap pictures of Kim’s statues, why not experience it in a video game?

The Tomorrow Children (PS4) is a virtual gulag simulator. The plot assumptions are as follows: in the Soviet Union, an experiment was carried out to create a common human consciousness, as a result of which the world ended. What’s left? A mysterious white void in which our task is to rebuild human civilization. Wanting to do it arduous – and how! – a task, we will play the role of a “clone made of thoughts”, specifically a girl. Our goal is simple – we are to establish housing estates in this void and then bring them to a state where they can be settled.

Review: The Tomorrow Children (PS4)

There are three things you must do to do this. First and foremost, mine the resources. We start the game in one of the cities set in white space, and we will find a few buildings and a bus stop that will take us to the islands in a given instance (each city and surrounding area is a separate instance with several dozen players). The nature of the void causes islands to literally appear out of thin air, and likewise to disappear. After we get there, if the island can be dug out, we go to work. But don’t be fooled by appearances, this is not Minecraft! Digging is limited to choosing a direction and pressing a button – the character digs in the ground by himself. What’s interesting about that? Well, nothing, which is one of my biggest objections to this title. While digging, press a button every few seconds, hoping that you will find a resource or a matryoshka, which, when taken to the city, will generate a new NPC in the city.

Task number two is to defend the city and kill monsters, because the void is not deserted at all and it is inhabited by dangerous monsters, the largest of which are Godzilla copied alive. We will defend ourselves against damage with the use of rocket launchers and cannons located around the city. And here, unfortunately, another production weakness comes out. The creatures do not pose a special threat to the player, even Godzilla focuses primarily on destroying the city. The second thing is that fighting the slow beasts is terribly tedious (it can take up to ten minutes before they arrive!). They are also a bullet sponge. Picture it as monotonous target shooting.

Review: The Tomorrow Children (PS4)

The third and final task is the rebuilding itself. Again – don’t expect Minecraft. The buildings are prefabricated, which means that if the city has the right amount of resources (more on that in a moment), then after the annoying mini-game that accompanies each creation of an item, we will get a construction diagram. After all, there are not many buildings, and building them – again – is not a particularly busy task. They build themselves and we only choose a place.

I must admit that I’m cheating a bit here, creating a vision of the game straight from the project to pass, since I lose its main idea. Namely, it is a sense of community with other players. All these activities are performed together with other companions of misery with whom, although we can only communicate through gestures like in Souls, we still work together. Imagine it as working on some common plan with people you don’t know. All our efforts are combined, we all put the resources in the same city cache, and monsters attack our city. And so, when a monster approaches, players rush to the cannons to prevent the efforts of the last few hours of the community from being destroyed. There are also so few islands that we will all be digging the same ore, going to work on the same bus, and then building structures that we will all use. I have to admit that it was the game that performed sensational, the players really cooperate, and if there are laughs who want to destroy everything, the game will quickly eliminate them by locking them in a cell or removing them from the instance.

Review: The Tomorrow Children (PS4)

The whole communist envelope is really interesting with details such as propaganda posters, bribes, black market or standing in lines. And this serves primarily as a leitmotif, which is supposed to bind the authors’ intention to create a game encouraging unfamiliar players to pursue a goal together. Of course, something like that needed a fictional explanation, so I can understand why communism was used. They also did it well enough that we feel the dark atmosphere of this system. Of course, the game does not contain any drastic chapters, but I have the impression that the character of the local Big Brother who introduces us to the game is so unpleasant that no one will get the impression that the game would glorify anything. This is definitely not the case.

Especially that the atmosphere created by the graphics and music at each stage is terribly depressing. The white background of the void, on which we can see the colors of faded pastels, can really lead to depression, the more so as the speakers we hear perfectly match the ambient mood. The world is over and all we have left is communism. This is called an apocalyptic vision!

Review: The Tomorrow Children (PS4)

Still, it’s a bit too little to talk about a successful video game. While the authors’ intentions have been perfectly reflected, and the game is really what it was supposed to be from the beginning, the amount of content after just a few hours will lead to weariness of even the toughest players. Because it is clear – there is a sense of community, it worked. The dark mood of the whole is felt at every step. But what if the fun in the game comes down to repeating the same – literally several – activities? There is no creativity here, recreating the cities is only a matter of time. Seeing the green meadows gives you a certain amount of satisfaction, but is it large enough that we will shoot the same monsters and dig the same ore for many hours? I have the impression that not.

Yes, there is also a simplified character development system and the ability to buy items for cards that we get by digging or fighting monsters. There is also an array of “work leaders” so we can be appreciated somehow. Well, maybe someone will even choose us as mayor! But there is simply not enough of all of this, and the whole thing ultimately boils down to the aforementioned few activities, which are in no way interesting or absorbing. I made a reference to the virtual gulag for a reason, because that’s how I felt about the arduous gameplay. But what’s in it for the player? Here is another big problem with this game – the activities performed do not give any satisfaction or reward. If you insist, you could say that communism doesn’t either, and considering the game world, it should even be considered a plus … but it’s still just a game. And a game, by definition, must have fun one way or another. We even play horror movies because we want to be afraid. The Tomorrow Children (PS4) is not fun in the long run, after the first or second city we have refurbished, we have already seen everything, and there is no point in continuing the game.

I don’t know what the authors intend to do with it. At the moment, it is planned to make the game available in the “free-to-play” model. I am afraid that without diversifying the content, it will not help her in any way, because even now I have the impression that the game is emptied with great speed, due to the number of instances. Certain elements are made really well and if you would like to feel at least a little bit as if you were in a virtual gulag, The Tomorrow Children (PS4) will provide such an experience. Unfortunately, boredom and other negative feelings are part of this kit. Instead of buying the game blind, I suggest waiting for it to go “free-to-play”. Currently, spending money on this title misses the point. Although unique, it is not a very playable production.

Review: The Tomorrow Children (PS4)