Midway And Surreal Take Grandma To A Darker Place Than She's Willing To Go
I've started a save of my own now from morbid curiosity. What game could possibly freak her out so much?
The game is highly stylized for one, so it isn't as though the extreme realism; the gore left behind by the creatures proved too much for her to handle. This is a woman who has no problem with the graphics of some of the later Silent Hill series, who can sit in the dead of night with no other sound than that within her headphones and keep playing; the objectives of the game more important than the reluctance to enter the next house or open the next gate. She can handle gore and death.
In her words: "It was like I was... looking into the mind of someone who was crazy. I don't mean just, you know, ...the usual psychopath on a revenge streak, I mean FUCKED UP. All the people he was meeting that were still alive, the setting, it was just... I was actually uncomfortable by what I saw. I couldn't go on."
When she began the game, the flashbacks were acceptable blasts of exposition straight out of an Anton Ckekhov play, but after the story is established, they don't stop. It's the sort of seizure inducing montage of ugly one would expect from a photoplay prepared by a madman. In some ways it's really quite beautiful. To Grandma, however, it wasn't a tired device of storytelling. The flashbacks and static imagery were relentless attacks on her abilities to stay in the game; the comfort of looking away in the predictable fashion of grotesque cutscenes had been eliminated by their frequency and lack of warnings to their occurrence.
The Suffering: Ties That Bind, to Grandma, gave too much of a false hope of eventual sanity and calm; the cereal box UPC deal for a toy that never comes, or comes broken. Grandma sits shoveling the hallucinogenic dry cereal in her mouth, larger spoonfuls than necessary, eager to get that happy Trix Bunny wind up car, but a bad trip and a ride in an ambulance makes her forget all about the shipping and handling charges. The bunny never arrives, and she has a stomach full of rotten drugs, yet to be digested.
That place is where the game leaves you.