Games of 2022: Hindsight was the best for invoking the brilliance of Terence Malick and Wong Kar Wai

Games of 2022: Hindsight was the best for invoking the brilliance of Terence Malick and Wong Kar Wai

In a year of innovative games that didn’t quite land or super polished blockbusters that left me cold when it comes to considering Game of the Year contenders, I found it increasingly important to prioritize my heart choices. In 2022, Hindsight was that game for me.

I’d say it’s become harder to find a game that can hit you in the feels when many indie games feel compelled, sometimes in a cutesy way, to make players cry. Hindsight also has the unfortunate position of being Annapurna Interactive’s second joint released this year that focuses on a similarly conflicted parent-child relationship, although the premise is immediately more heartbreaking, as protagonist Mary’s introspective journey is provoked. by the sudden news of the death of his mother. The images evoked, however, make it one of the most cinematic experiences of the year.

I’m not talking about Hollywood-style or MCU-style cinema, but more about operatic arthouse fare that’s often on a smaller scale while still addressing big themes like time and the human condition. For me, the dreamlike cinema of Wong Kar Wai and Terence Malick comes to mind, not just because both filmmakers tend to rely on voice-over narration to articulate the inner lives of their characters, a bit like Mary. Indeed, one of Wong’s signature styles is playing with his characters’ perception of time with edits that speed up, slow down, or even repeat what we see.

Retrospective trailer.

This is despite the fact that the key and arguably the only mechanism of Hindsight is more related to photography. With free control of the camera, you circle around the arrays of Mary’s memories, until a bright object catches your eye, or more effectively, another image appears as a double exposure. These hidden openings in the scene transport you as if by magic from one memory to another. Essentially, it’s like a match cut from a movie, incidentally the core mechanic of another very cinematic game this year, Immortality. Sometimes there is a direct association or a deliberate juxtaposition, or sometimes no clear correlation. But isn’t that how memory works? Different fragments of our lives arise unexpectedly, just as a current of thought can end up entirely elsewhere.

But going back to dream film makers, it is perhaps Malick and his semi-autobiographical masterpiece The Tree of Life that has the most narrative parallels. Hindsight doesn’t quite come down to considering the beginning of space and time, or dinosaurs, but his images convey a lifetime, then return to the first cries of a newborn baby before focusing on a house. suburban idyllic, with a porch and a swing. which becomes the emotional battleground between parent and child.

I realize I spend more words here writing about movies when I should be focusing on games. In part, I think, it’s because Hindsight shares a place with the movies and shows that resonated with me the most this year, from Pixar’s Turning Red to sci-fi drama After Yang to the multi-generational Pachinko saga of ‘Apple TV + to the sublime and ridiculous Everything Everywhere all at once. Regardless of genre or medium, these works each have something to say about the Asian immigrant experience, the intergenerational and cross-cultural conflict that can ensue, but also that simple yet powerful realization that those who have long been part of your life have their own lives that have always been there, even if you are only beginning to understand.

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