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12 Nov 2023 : Playing Draugen in the Autumn #
My computer game activities have taken a bit of a hit recently due to time spent on gecko, but I nevertheless did finally manage to complete Metro Exodus recently after 48 hours of play time spread over three months of calendar time (according to Steam). It was a great game: atmospheric, gameplay-heavy and unexpectedly diverse in its play styles and environments. But while it's in no way an afterthought, story isn't the central focus.

That contrasts nicely with Draugen which is the game I started playing this weekend as a replacement. Draugen is a 'walking simulator' where story takes precedence over gameplay mechanics.
My desk with a laptop and screen; on the screen is a scene from Draugen showing a view out of the window beyond which a silver birch with orange leaves; behind my monitor the view out of my window showing trees with autumnal leaves as well (more yellow than orange).

I've been a fan of Red Thread and games by Ragnar Tørnquist ever since The Longest Journey and Dreamfall games, with their captivating characters and brilliantly realised worlds.

So far I'm loving Draugen too. It's atmospheric and I find the setting of a small town in Norway hemmed in on all sides by fjord really draws me in. After just a few hours of play I'm only just getting into some of the more psychological aspects of the game so I'm holding off judgement on these story elements for now. But from what I've seen so far the story is holding together, despite the limited cast of on-set characters.

But what I'm loving most about the game is the autumnal setting. I've written before about how the switch between seasons shows nature at its best. The shift from Summer to Autumn as the leaves pass through their various hues enthrals me.

The yellow trees visible outside my window, which I see daily peaking above my monitor, don't quite yet match the vibrant orange colours from Draugen's game world. But they're getting there. The similarity helps make the game world more absorbing. It feels like I could almost — almost — be there in the nature-filled solitude of the Norwegian fjords.


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