Waking is a beautiful, emotional and very personal psychological third person action RPG adventure that takes place within your own comatose mind.
Waking takes place within the subconscious of your own mind as you lie in a hospital bed, trapped in coma. To escape you need to reconnect the synapses in your mind and discover what led you to be in the coma. It really is “your” mind that you’re delving into too – the game asks questions about your own memories, feelings, fears and personality to personalize the experience to you as you play.
The current demo build of Waking features well over an hour’s worth of content and sees you using your most treasured memories to help fight off the forces of darkness as you make your way through the bizarre dreamlike world of your subconscious. The combat is heavily reliant on you using telekinetic powers to grab and charge nearby objects, then propel them at enemies. You also unlock powerful melee and special attacks, and can even summon a companion to aid you in battle.
As you travel through your procedurally generated mindscape you’ll occasionally make choices – such as choosing the greatest desires or your greatest struggles in life. Your answers during these moments help the game tailor the experience to you, making it feel like you really are exploring your own subconscious. One particular highlight is when you describe an old pet and it then follows you and aids you in battle.
It’s not perfect – the combat is overcomplicated and dull, it can get a little confusing at times and sometimes feel quite pretentious. There is a lot to like about Waking however, with its interesting psychological narrative, unique gameplay and breathtaking visuals. It’s the way the game personalizes itself to your choices that really makes it feel special though – little things like being able to play alongside the spirit of an old pet can make for a particularly powerful experience. A beautiful and ambitious action RPG that delivers a very personal and emotional adventure.