Delve into a hyper-cinematic adventure. You are a clone. You live at the world's end. You worship the last surviving human: the Allmother. When a dangerous rumour shatters your faith, you phase through time and memory—to expose a 1000-year-old lie. Relive. Reclaim. Resist.


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1000xResist is a master of its own mythology. Like all of the great sci-fi stories, the game is about our real life and real issues, explored through the lens of a science fiction (and later cyberpunk) thriller. The narrative and themes are masterful, and it's so refreshing to play a game that is actually ABOUT something. The worldbuilding and mysteries and double meanings are a careful construction by writers who truly know what they're doing. At the same time, I am on the fence on whether or not this story needed to be a game - the interaction and choices seem minimal, and often time moving from point A to point B made the experience worse, rather than more engaging. Still, 1000xResist is a complete narrative achievement full of images, themes, and moments I will always remember, even if it doesn't justify its chosen medium.

Firstly I really enjoyed how experimental this game got with the method in which it told its story. Shifting perspectives, placing text in unique areas, manipulating time, that's some good shit.

Unfortunately I just really never was able to connect with the story despite my best efforts. I'm not sure if its the writing style, the pacing, or what. I enjoyed some of the themes like anti-authoritarianism, generational trauma, finding purpose, I got it. The choice segment at the end and how it was presented was kinda cool but I dunno. I just never really found a tantalizing thread to follow here. I never really cared about what was happening in the narrative.

Others clearly didn't feel that way and I envy them because without that through line this really just ended up as a pretty middling walking sim with some cool visual experiments to me. I love games like Nier, 13 Sentiments, and AI Somnium so I was all primed for this but it ended up a being mostly a bore. And man.... did the environments really have to be so big?

This review contains spoilers

Fascinating game. Clearly worked on a small budget by a small team as seen by the limited animation. The story and most of the voice work is fantastic.
Going in blind, the story unraveled in such an interesting way. Every time you thought you were understanding things, another twist would present itself. Some highlights were the story of the youngest (first watcher) and how she became the ancient sin. The reveal of the Jiao clone and Iris's reaction were particularly impactful. Watcher's outburst at the end of her communion with Knower followed by her killing Iris and the reveal on Principal as Youngest may have been the best group of scenes. Other highlights include the end of Healer's communion, Blue setting off the bomb, and Watcher's final communion.
There were so many interesting characters. Of course the leads Blue and Watcher were very good. Watcher started out not showing much emotion, but became quite a colorful character throughout the story (naming Mauve). Very cool twist finding out you were Blue most of the game reliving Watcher's memories.
I particularly found Knower to be a very interesting character. One my favorite voices in the game. Her insistence on survival by playing all sides despite the cost made her compelling in a weird way. She was a bit of a villain, tragic hero, coward, or mastermind.
I liked how some of the seemingly random shells you meet at the orchard become more important characters later. The nosy green become an earnest Fixer who is killed almost immediately after getting promoted. The play understudy becomes the lead in the future play that Blue watches. The unlucky shell becomes one of the ministers. And most notably, the creepy, silent observant shell becomes "Mauve" and turns into a more chatty and sinister character.
Too many interesting characters to discuss. Jiao's unrequited (in life) idolization on Iris. BBF's weird philosophising (and knock knock jokes). Healer's obsession of science and want for peace with the sisters.
Got the Blue ending. Very interesting choice to make in the end. Wasn't the most satisfying ending, but felt appropriate.
So many thoughts about this game. One of the most interesting scifi experiences ever. One I don't want to forget.
Hair to hair.
https://www.pastemagazine.com/games/1000xresist/1000xresist-on-endings-and-evangelion
https://youtu.be/S6Zxj_5Yofw?si=Hz0AU5CT-MzC6mOn

1000xResist is the single greatest page-turner in the history of video games, with a barnburner of a story that's somehow both epic in scale and dense with detail. Speaking of this game even just purely in the lineage of the sci-fi timeline-hopping genre fiction of which it is a part, it is so profoundly good that it makes me mad at it. I don't want to just sit here and gush about it, but the fact that this game is as heady as it is, as emotionally resonant as it is, as beautifully written as it is, as imagistic as it is, and as structurally ingenious as it is, that it can exhibit so many authentically literary and cinematic qualities at once, is astounding.

And this is a game that asks some big questions! One of the most productive and fascinating questions 1000xResist asks is whether or not a person can do something that is truly, fundamentally unforgivable, a question that cuts to the heart of our current moment, and a question that's very difficult to answer.

1000xResist presents Iris, the last human woman granted immortality by a hivemind being beyond comprehension, as our vessel, or our framework, for the unforgivable act. Iris is a woman born into comfort who nevertheless is capable of cruelty, cruelty which her children - her clones - inherit, constructing an ever-growing chain of transgressions and consequences, a self-perpetuating cruelty which blossoms outward into all life in the new world.

A brief list of Iris' direct acts of cruelty, both big and small, includes, in chronological order: the exploding of a hamster, the bullying of a close friend, the murder of a scientist unshackled from morality for the perceived benefit of mankind, the genocide of the final remnants of the human race, and the removal of immunity from a deadly virus for the entirety of the new human race.

In short, Iris is responsible for the end of all human life - maybe all life, in total - as we know it. But in spite of the fact that 1000xResist takes place largely within Iris' memories, it won't open the door to her soul; it won't show you her regret, or her pride, only her actions and the immediate context for her actions as she experienced them in the moment. All of the sins Iris commits are catastrophic beyond reason, but they don't explain her to us. We don't get the satisfaction of knowing, beyond a shadow of a doubt, Iris' intentions.

1000xResist not only gives us imperfect information about Iris' actions, but it always leaves contradictory information lingering along the edges of each new act of cruelty. Through the 'communion' in which Watcher experiences Iris' memories, we learn that, when Iris was a child, she put her hamster in the microwave and exploded it. Pointless acts of cruelty towards animals typically signify sociopathy or psychopathy in fiction - they're symbolically used as a kind of raw, unfettered example of evil, and so we initially experience Iris' murder of the hamster as evidence of her monstrousness. Yet, we don't experience Iris' memories of the actual killing of the hamster. Instead, we experience a memory from before the killing, in which she lovingly interacts with the hamster, and a memory from after the killing, in which she overhears her parents discuss how to punish her. If you pay close attention, you'll also catch the fact that, later in life, Iris became a vegetarian.

In the immediate, witnessing Iris' actions instantly morally condemns her, that her antipathy towards animal life demonstrates a general antipathy to others. But upon reflection, Iris' relationship with animals becomes opaque. Would we linger on the memory of Iris’ parents, who are disturbed by her actions, if she was disinterested in how she affects others? Is she really a person who doesn’t care about animal welfare but nevertheless becomes vegetarian? It’s only through these indirect details that we can parse together what might be regret. But then again, we also learn midway through the story that Iris can choose to omit memories during communions. She chose to show these memories to her children - or, at least, she was OK with her children seeing them, this potentially regretful action. And so the pendulum also swings the other way, and the evidence seems to further condemn her rather than absolve her. Many of Iris' oldest children obey Iris not out of love, but out of fear for her power and cruelty, power and cruelty which these memories, potentially tinged with regret as they might be, also demonstrate. So are they regrets? Or are they implicit threats? Can you say for sure whether one or the other interpretation is correct?

Of course, the killing of the hamster is only the tip of the iceberg, and action of relatively little consequence in an exponentially more consequential series of cruelties. We get another, similar series of memories involving Jiao, Iris' best friend and receptacle for her callousness; Iris literally refers to her as a 'dumpster.' Iris bullies and psychologically abuses Jiao, but always keeps a picture of her nearby after the apocalypse, speaking with it, conjuring Jiao's ghost in her mind for moral support. And so, we're to understand, in spite of her cruelty towards them, that Iris loved Jiao. She indicates as much in her diary, which is read to us within Iris' memories. But we also learn that Jiao, on their deathbed, very specifically pleads to Iris: "I don't want to be a picture." And this is exactly how Iris conjures Jiao, in her mind, as a picture in a frame. Jiao, being a memory, is immaterial, can take any shape within Iris' mind, but Iris conjures Jiao exactly within the form that Jiao did not want to embody.

These maddening ambiguities ultimately do not assuage the intensity of Iris' cruelty, which her children - most especially her oldest/youngest child - inherit. All that's left of society is Iris' children and Iris' memories, and these relatively small moments of consequence possess huge repercussions, because Iris’ clones are all that's left. When one human being is rude to another, in the real world, it's a matter of small consequence, but in a world in which only, say, six people exist, that rudeness is only the beginning of a history that will evolve into exponentially bigger friction within what remains of society. Those little moments of friction are suddenly of dire importance; they are, as we learn, the seeds of authoritarianism.

As the Watcher, the player is made to play the dual role of critical analyst and judge. As Iris' psychological makeup, attitudes, relationships and material actions evolve through the vector of her clones into discrete factions upon which a society develops, the player is tasked with arbitrating forgiveness, not particularly for Iris or for the society which was born from Iris, but arbitrating forgiveness as a concept, determining the exact boundaries between which forgiveness is productive or necessary. You have to figure out, for yourself, where the buck stops. What cannot be allowed to prosper, ideologically-speaking, in order for a better world to exist?

Writers typically communicate to their audience, in broad and direct terms, who/what they're supposed to think is good, and who/what they're supposed to think is bad. Even in works which explore 'morally grey' characters, a set of values and ethics are inevitably communicated to the reader, and value judgements on which transgressions are necessary and which aren't are usually easy to make. In Hamlet, we know Claudius, the man who killed Hamlet’s father to steal his throne, is wrong not only because he killed the king, but because he knew, as its communicated to us via monologue, that doing so was wrong, and only to satisfy selfish desires. If an antagonist doesn't know what they've done is wrong, or if they actually experience, in good faith, what they've done as good, and if the work itself won't communicate indirectly to the audience its set of ethics, then it gets closer to approximating the actual function of justice in the world as we understand it. During the finale, the moral qualities of an individuals’ actions are set aside in favor of exploring the ideological root cause of them, to determining where oppression begins within the social.

1000xResist doesn't give us easy answers to its questions, but it does gives us one concrete antagonistic force upon which we can make our moral judgements: it emphatically does not believe in authoritarianism, of domination, of any kind. The engine which drives every act of cruelty in this game is force, either physical, psychological or structural. In doing so, it uses its ambiguity productively. Regardless of the outcome, the necessary component upon which all good outcomes are reliant upon is our ability to resist tyranny. Even the killing of Iris, a woman capable of profound cruelty who through sheer accident became both an angel of death announcing the end times and a Christ-like embodiment of sin and redemption, doesn’t actually, fundamentally alter the oppressive dynamics of power within the world. And during the ending sequence, in which the player gets to literally turn off the light switch on a variety of characters representing different ideological positions, the player can choose wrong by leaving some of the figures of oppression alive, and surrender the world once again to a dialectic of masters and slaves.

In a very powerful and illustrative fashion, 1000xResist demonstrates that there are hard limits on forgiveness as a utility. It is unfortunate, but true, that being a good person means having to fight back.

Without a doubt one of the most impressive games of the year.

Look, a lot of things irked me with in 1000xResist. It's so text heavy it becomes a slog on multiple occasions. It's tedious to get through some interminable sections. The main hub is impossible to navigate and generally a nest of dead ends. The game is quite ugly in some instances and runs quite poorly.

But.

Everything here sticks like super glue because of the quality of the writing. The world imagined in this game can only be seen to be believed. A lot flew over head since it's so dense with ideas, crisscrossing timelines and characters, but it's always legible. It never veers into bullshit territory.

It explores so many themes that it's useless to try to list them here, but it has a lot of very intelligent ways of speaking to certain topics that make the whole journey worthwhile.

A lot of chapters seemed too long to me, but their importance reveals itself later on as more of the story is uncovered. It's a bit more enjoyable to look back at what happen than to be showered with dialogue for minutes on end.

Oh and a lot of set pieces are jaw dropping, even if the materials and character tech aren't up to snuff. There's one magical scene in the middle of the game that totally broke my brain.

So anyways, I'd have to write a novel to say all I have to say about 1000xResist. Suffice it to say that it's a game that takes gigantic swings at a lot of things and nails most of them. It has its fair share of problems, but its heart and the boundless creativity on display make it one of the best examples of writing and narrative I've ever had the chance to witness in a video game.

1000xResist is a well-crafted but somewhat obtuse VN-style experience that I generally enjoyed.

The narrative is split up into three parts - "Watcher" and her daily life in the Orchard, Iris and her struggles with her family / friends before the events of the game, and a third part that requires spoilers to say. The stuff with Iris, Jiao, and her family was the strongest here in my opinion, a very deep narrative that has the potential to impact people on a personal level. The stuff with Watcher was also good, but it was much closer to "generic, vague, lore-heavy sci-fi" than the other part.

The game plays out like a "walking simulator" with more dialogue. Go to a place, talk to a person, go to another place, talk to the "right" person, advance the story. Very simple.

However, the layout of the Orchard is completely nonsensical and wastes the player's time, even with a map. Waypoints don't help a whole lot because a waypoint could be directly ahead of you, but you still have to go halfway around the circle, then come back around, to reach it. Unfortunately this isn't something that can be fixed, it's an integral part of the game.

The game's narrative is presented somewhat non-linearly. This makes it interesting and intriguing, but very hard to keep track of. In a future update, I would love to see some sort of "recall" feature where you can just view summaries of what Watcher has experienced, and the communions you've went through. There were lots of times when an old plot point was brought up and my first reaction was, "huh?" because I didn't note other plot points down.

The game is visually distinctive, though falls short in some lighting scenarios, especially in the Orchard. Some of the cinematic scenes are very successful. The character designs are appropriately urban-punk. But what took me out of it sometimes was that characters' mouths do not move when they speak. That's not a problem when all but a few of the characters in the game wear face masks, but for Watcher, Iris, Jiao, and the parents, it breaks the immersion for sure.

I'd be interested in going through the game again after more updates have been made, and I certainly intend on snagging a physical copy once one is released. But in its current state, 1000xResist is a good but flawed 3D visual novel with an interesting hook.

I give 1000xResist 4 stars, or a "B". I completed the final chapter in approximately 10 hours, exploring a bit and talking to other NPCs off the main story path, but not all of them, throughout the game.