Imagine the one thing that's most important to you in the world. Got it? Now imagine it's been forcefully removed from your possession. Gone. Probably forever. In the case of Red, a famous songstress, that one important thing is her voice--and it's been stolen by a group known as The Process. She's devastated, but alive; the same can't be said for the other prominent voices of the cyberpunk city she inhabits. And now? The Process wants her dead. For a game whose world is being forcefully stripped of speech, Transistor sure conveys a lot of emotion.
We've already talked about how Transistor is an intriguing strategy game, detailing its combat mechanics and basic premise. But our PAX demo made it very clear that this game resonates on an emotional level in unexpected ways, especially through its haunting music. Take, for instance, the very moment Red found the sentient Transistor after having narrowly escaped an assassination attempt on her life.
A series of digital notes played to the backdrop of her panicked breaths, perfectly conveying her sense of confusion and fear. As the demo progressed, that tune gave way to a looping guitar riff that was a bit more relaxed, as Red had become acquainted with fighting the robotic forces of The Process. Pausing combat to queue up a series of attacks unveiled a wonderfully unexpected surprise: While this mode was activated, certain notes of the audio track were replaced by gentle hums of the very voice Red had lost. It sounded as though she was trying to sing, but just couldn't muster the strength. It was heartbreaking.
But there was nothing more powerful than when Red stumbled upon a promotional poster of herself, advertising the very performance she'd narrowly escaped with her life. At that exact moment, the mournful music erupted with powerful vocals, another indicator of what Red had lost--and it was enough to send her charging straight back toward the forces that had tried to steal her life for some good ol' fashioned revenge.
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