Gerda A Flame In Winter Preview 1

I feel like it hasn’t been all that long since I played a dialogue-heavy game that primarily focused on World War II. I feel that way because I recently reviewed Syberia: The World BeforeGerda: A Flame in Winter isn’t all that similar, though, based on what I experienced in the preview. The game is coming out later this year on September 1, and I got to spend a couple of hours with its story. I walked away extremely impressed and very much wanting to play more. Gerda impresses with strong dialogue and plethora of seemingly meaningful choices.

Gerda: A Flame in Winter sees you playing as the titular character. She’s half Danish and half German, and lives in an occupied Danish town in 1945. Gerda’s husband has been working with the resistance to dismantle the local German war machine, but he gets caught. You spend the game trying to walk a tightrope with Danes and Germans on either side. How you go about things is up to you. There’s very little voice acting in the game, save for Gerda’s monologues. All other text is non-voiced, at least currently. The writing is of very high quality, though, and there’s a lot of dialogue.

 

The game is played with a dynamic camera angle that varies between top-down and wider viewpoints as Gerda moves through the environments. Visuals are simple yet evocative, resembling a pixelated watercolor painting, which may or may not be hard to picture. Gerda can be moved either directly or by clicking locations in the world. You’ll mostly be talking to people, sure, but this is very much a game. All major characters have trust points. When you choose certain options, their trust in Gerda will either increase or decrease, which can lead to notably different results.

Gerda A Flame In Winter Preview 2

Choose your way

And it’s not only individuals you’ll be affecting with your decisions. Your actions will influence how the Danes and Germans see you as groups. I mentioned Gerda’s monologues earlier, and these occur once you’ve completed a segment. Gerda shares her thoughts in her diary, and you pick the way she closes the entry. What you pick will give her a point in compassion, insight, or wit. Points in this will allow you to spend them on certain actions. They can also be used as stats in dice rolls alongside individual trust and the way a group feels about you.

These options can fail, but you have a higher chance of success depending on the numbers. Similarly, you’ll also get more dialogue options. You’re able to almost constantly raise or lower these based on your responses, which gives the player a ton of agency in the proceedings — even if it’s just dialogue. It’s more akin to a talky, complex RPG than any narrative game I’ve ever played. It’s also partially up to you how you want to navigate the situations, which will also massively increase replay value.

Gerda: A Flame in Winter is a truly promising game with a lot of writing and game design talent behind it, so doing this preview has certainly bumped it up my most-wanted list for this year. Actually being able to take part in a story beyond surface-level interactions is less common than I’d like, so seeing it executed so well is extremely tantalizing.

Gerda A Flame In Winter Preview 3

Andrew Farrell
Andrew Farrell has an extreme hearing sensitivity called hyperacusis that keeps him away from all loud noises.  Please do not throw rocks at his window.  That is rude.  He loves action and rpg games, whether they be AAA or indie.  He does not like sports games unless the sport is BASEketball. He will not respond to Journey psych-outs.

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