Braid was the first game I ever bought on XBLA. I did so at the behest of Megan, who played through the trial and loved it. I had also enjoyed the trial version even though I thought some of the puzzles were too hard to execute (of course, she benefits from having the reflexes of a thirteen-year-old).
So we’re playing Braid, right? We’re having a good amount of fun figuring out the puzzles and unlocking new worlds and seeing how time changes in each world. Some of the puzzles are just ridiculously difficult, but the game isn’t that long so if you keep at it you’re sure to finish it eventually. It’s going pretty good.
And then it ends.
I guess it’s just not possible for an indie game to have a satisfying, upbeat ending. While the maudlin text throughout the game alerted me that the ending was probably going to be a downer, it didn’t prepare me for the game becoming a lecture on the evils of the creation of the atomic bomb. No, seriously. I am not making this up. Johnathan Blow even includes the director of the Manhattan Project‘s famous “Now we are all sons of bitches” line in the ending, which came as quite a surprise to me and Megan. Lest you think I’m spoiling it, believe me – it’s pre-spoiled.
If I want to be lectured on the evils of nuclear weapons, I’ll…you know what? I grew up in the 80’s. I’m never going to want to be lectured on the evils of nuclear weapons.
So overall: excellent concept, fairly well executed, with an ending that gives Metal Gear Solid 2 a run for its money. Hopefully Blow will realize that propaganda is the enemy of art and his next game will be more satisfying.