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Twin Mirror Puts New Twist on Self-Reflection

by Jacob Bukacek

What happens if you go looking for yourself and you actually succeed?

Dontnod’s next game, Twin Mirror, takes its players on a journey into the mind of protagonist Sam Higgs as he unravels the web of intrigue surrounding the nondescript town of Basswood and his own foggy memories. Twin Mirror’s E3 announcement trailer gave the initial impression that its more metaphysical elements would be contained to the fractured world of Sam’s memories, but with the reveal of “the double,” it looks as though Sam’s separation of reality and imaginary has started to fail.

It was the death of Sam’s best friend that drew him back into Basswood and instigated this entire sequence of events. It also doesn’t help that Sam is still reeling from a recent break-up, which could account for his deteriorate mental state and the presence of his overly-confident and obnoxious alter ego. What it doesn’t account for is the apparently inexplicable gap in Sam’s memories and his very bloodstained shirt. Fortunately for Sam, he has access to a tool that just about anyone would love to have: a mind palace.

In this heightened mental plane, Sam can pick through the memories he still has and accurately follow the lines of cause and effect that follow from his array of possible decisions. This will look very familiar to anyone who played Remember Me, a game Dontnod released back in 2013 . That game also featured a mechanic where players could scrub through the memories of an individual and see how things would play out if minor adjustments were made. However, Sam isn’t trying to alter his own memories, but is instead examining them and determining which potential chain of event makes the most logical sense.

Based on what’s shown and discussed in this trailer, it sounds like gameplay in Twin Mirror will primarily revolve around examining crime scenes, light puzzle solving, and piecing events together in the mind palace. Some form of combat wouldn’t be unheard of given Dontnod’s recent releases like Vampyr, but for now it looks like they’re aiming for a much more cerebral experience with Twin Mirror.

Twin Mirror’s first episode, “Lost on Arrival,” launches for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One in 2019.

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