We all have things we regret, times where we wonder what could have been if we had only done something different. I was faced with these thoughts when I got my first look at the story driven game, Last Day of June, at E3 2017.
Beautiful and touching; the first seconds of gameplay instantly had me invested in the love between the games main characters: Carl and June. Sitting on a pier while the sun set, I was able to pick a flower to give to June as she sat drawing a picture.These simple acts between Carl and June had such a different and powerful feeling compared to what I typically get to see from a video game. There was no conflict or goal, just two people living and loving.
Unfortunately, not all love stories get to have a happy ending, and sometimes things don’t work out the way that we want them to. I sat in anticipation, painstakingly waiting for what I knew was going to happen next. During the drive home from the pier, Carl and June are in a tragic accident, which kills June and puts Carl in a wheelchair. This is where the game truly begins, as Carl must try and cope with the loss of June.
In stark contrast to the lovely opening that had me smiling from ear to ear, I now controlled a crippled Carl as he wheeled himself around his dimly lit and desolate house. Controlling Carl, I came across a room which reminded him of June; he couldn’t will himself to go in. This moment was heartbreaking to experience. The character that I had seen just minutes before smiling and picking flowers was now depressed and defeated.
Moving on to the kitchen, Carl finds a can of food to eat. He instantly knows where the can opener is. It is in June’s room, the one he wouldn’t go into. As I approached the door I was cheering for Carl in my head. “Go in, you can do it” I thought. Carl stared at the door, then took a deep breath and pushed through it. This small, but substantial, victory filled me with so much happiness and has me eagerly waiting to see what the future holds for Carl.
I only had a short time with the game, but every second I spent with it was emotional and intriguing. A roller coaster of joy and sadness, Last Day of June looks like it will be something special.