But first, for something truly horrifying. A video of me playing Papers, Please. Cue thunder and lightning. Alright, see you after the page split.
Ok, are all those non-page split viewers gone? Excellent. Upon hearing of Papers, Please Harvey is quoted saying "That sounds really boring", however, after watching me play Papers, Please he said "that looked pretty boring", a one plus improvement in the relative scale of good and bad from really to pretty. Hopefully you also had your expectations of Papers, Please raised by that stellar performance on youtube (Which you should totally reward with your viewership).
Glory Comrades, Glory!
Now, having played more of Papers, Please (which I will now call PP because typing it is surprisingly annoying), two things have occurred A) I have become way more involved in the storyline and B) I have got slightly better at checking passports. I think there are definitely two camps on this game, and while I like to assume people would transition from camp A to camp B after playing it, I have no basis for that claim.
Camp A) Upon hearing the concept of the game you were like "shit that sounds tedious, no way"
Camp B) Upon hearing the concept of the game you were like "wow, that's neat, I'd totally play that"
Even this guy, the game even made me like this dick(watch the video and find out)
So yeah, much more than just a simple bureaucracy them up, though even that part of it is really immersive, depressing and well thought out. I was right in that the criteria for checking does get harder, and they start to weave in story-lines, of which you are a small part of, including our dear Jorji up there, and several others including a very touching love story.
It also does a pet favourite thing of mine which is reveal little parts of the story via in-game dialogue when you complete some of these bonus characters, including the war Arstotzka was in, the petitioning process and the state of the border countries.
Also, if you are wondering, I managed to keep my family alive...mostly...barely.
I suppose if you are looking for a review, it might simply come down to my above demographic highlighting. Upon hearing about a game where you play a soviet-esque passport checker for a bleak, dictatorial communist state if you think "excellent", then yes, you'll enjoy this very much and its everything you never realised you wanted. If you think "what the fuck is that for an idea", then maybe not, but hey, maybe, it is still a good story-line, you even get to sort of wield a gun at a few points.
Overall, Papers, Please is one of the most human stories that has come to gaming in recent years, the blurry graphics (which sometimes makes you think women are men) add to the sense that while each of these is a unique human being, to you they are just paperwork to be processed, forms to be filled. Right after that moment it'll violently yank you out of that mentality as a locket is passed to your booth, or a desperate plea for help given and you are faced with a choice. My family and my job, or this persons future?
Any game that can make that choice legitimately hard for me to decide, gets a good review from me.