Game Review: Before I Forget (Xbox Series X)

Games that deal with emotional and real-life issues are not such the rare breed they once were. Many indie developers have crafted games and stories that deal with loss (Firewatch), anxiety (Fractured Minds), abuse (Sagebrush), cancer (I, Hope and That Dragon, Cancer) and a whole host of other real-life issues.

These are experiences that are often minimalistic in style and gameplay but tell stories that stick with you long afterwards. They are emotional games and very few people will come away unaffected.

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That applies to Before I Forget too. A game developed 3-Fold Games and one that tells the story of a woman dealing with dementia. One of the cruellest diseases to afflict humanity.

Lasting about an hour, Before I Forget might be a short experience but it’s an intense experience.

 

Played from the first-person perspective, Before I Forget puts you in the shoes of Dr. Sunita Appleby. A successful woman in the early stages of dementia. Explore her home and experience her struggle as her memories are muddled and her life confusing. Interact with items in rooms and her life’s story will begin to unfold.

It’s a joyful experience but also a harrowing one as Sunita has had incredible highs and devastating lows. What is confusing for us, the player at first, becomes clearer as we explore her life both now and before.

The visual style of the game also helps. As Sunita remembers and reminisces, colour returns to the world and it all starts to feel that little more ‘solid’.

This might make it sound like a simplified version of the early stages of dementia… forgetfulness. However, Before I Forget throws in several moments where other elements that come with the disease are represented. These are really clever touches that subtly hammer home just how debilitating the disease can be.

It’s a constantly emotional experience, something that you don’t need to have had real-world involvement in to appreciate. It’s capped off by soft and sweet piano melody throughout.

It’s always difficult to judge a game like this. On the one hand, it’s a walking simulator that lasts no more than an hour and has some notable frame-rate issues here and there. On the other hand, it tells a compelling and respectful tale dealing with real-life issues. It will have an effect on all who play it.




Before I Forget
  • The Final Score - 7.5/10
    7.5/10
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