Who says you can’t go back? Those who don’t know you, that’s who, although sometimes the past is best left behind. Chances are that last bit also holds true for The Dead Tree of Ranchiuna‘s protagonist, as his return to the village where he grew up doesn’t quite bring about a positive vibe. Quite the opposite in fact as no one is to be found. Anywhere. All that remains are visions of an incident from a while ago, but… what do they mean?
Over the course of a couple of hours, it’s up to you, the player, to search for an answer to that very question and other lingering mysteries. Maybe you won’t like what you find, or maybe it’ll be something that redefines your entire existence. Who knows? At least there won’t be any loading screens to break the immersion, as you wander across the huge map, either in first or third person, exploring every nook and cranny in search of information.
The Dead Tree of Ranchiuna makes us question how unfair society can be both in a direct and realistic manner and with the power of fantasy elements.
Oh, before I forget: this is a “walking simulator”, but so what? If the tale told within is compelling enough, I’d say ditching action, health, upgrades, etc. in favor of letting players explore freely with only “light puzzle and platforming elements” is perfectly fine. This might still be off-putting to some – especially those looking to experience absolutely everything in The Dead Tree of Ranchiuna. Well, story completion actually unlocks fast travel, enabling you to go much further than before, potentially witnessing events previously out of reach – for only then shall the whole truth be revealed (or so it would seem, anyway).