At the PlayStation Experience, I was hesitant to get my hands on The Tomorrow Children. To be completely honest, the trailers that I had seen didn’t leave me with much interest in the game. But when one of Sony’s reps ushered me over to the devs, I thought I would give it a shot. I’m glad I did. My preconceived notions about The Tomorrow Children were far from what my experience finally trying out this game ended up being.
An experiment gone wrong leaves the world an empty void of white. I play as a soul contained within the clone of a little girl trying to help rebuild the world. Upon initially entering the game, I select my class which can give me a variety of different abilities and equipment to begin the rebuilding process. I select the one with the pickaxe, feeling like that will help me do some mining, which seems like a good thing for assisting in a rebuilding effort. The very small community I start in seems strangely empty, yet filled with life. Avatars of other players blink in and out of existence around me, and this is when I am told that I am actually a part of an online community all working to rebuild our little town.
The Soviet inspired feeling is ever present, from the visuals, to the music, and even right down to the very themes of the game. Everything is shared in The Tomorrow Children. When I mine materials out of that island, or cut down that tree, or gather that apple, anyone in the town can use those materials to help with other efforts and projects around the town. Or perhaps I need to do a little repair or rebuilding after a monster comes smashing through our little piece of the world. In that case, I can use materials already gathered by other players. While this may scare some players who want to reap the rewards for their own, it didn’t take me long before I was happily doing my part to rebuild.
Players who seek reward won’t need to fear however, as everything that I do in The Tomorrow Children is fed into a work log that I get paid out on. I can then use the rations to upgrade my character to help increase my output for the good of the town. I upgrade a few attributes, buy a new better pickaxe and set out for the closest island. I don’t have a jet pack, or other way to get around, so my options are limited on where I can initially go. Reaching the bit of land, I see a mined out cave that has already been started and rush inside, but as I do, my avatar starts to flash. Apparently the clones must stay in the light or they will desycnhronize, so I move to the outer edge of the cave to let more light in.
The Light of Tomorrow
The lighting is all dynamic and affected accurately by the environment, and the game is graphically stunning because of this. The characters all look like they are dolls carved out of wood, inspired by Czech styles to make the Soviet feel endure. The islands off of your community are made from unique materials and are in unique shapes, and although I didn’t see it, I have heard that when the islands break down to make way for new ones, they do so in a stunning show of particle effects.
The Tomorrow Children is part Minecraft, part strategy, part RPG, part sim, but wholly unlike anything else I’ve played. I wasn’t excited for The Tomorrow Children, but after my brief time with it and some explanation from the developers, I feel like I have barely scratched the surface on what is looking to be a deep and intricate shared experience that you could lose yourself in for hours on end, and I can’t wait to contribute my part to the betterment of the dystopian society.