THE FOLLOWING IS A REVIEW OF A GAME THAT IS CURRENTLY IN ITS BEGINNING STAGES OF COMPLETION. SCREENSHOTS AND DESCRIPTIONS GIVEN MAY NOT NECESSARILY DEPICT THE FINAL PRODUCT.
Almost eleven years ago, the cult film sensation, Tommy Wiseau’s The Room, took the world by storm. In the years since, the film has been reviewed, ridiculed, parodied, what have you, giving this kitschy film a place in popular culture. Needless to say, Tommy Wiseau’s little pet project has earned him millions of dollars. What did he put all that money into? A video game, of course. Our esteemed journalistic team at Video Entertainment Analysis Group has done it again, and we are privileged to receive a beta copy of The Room: The Experience for the PlayStation 4.
Being developed by Quantic Dream, the team behind the critically-acclaimed Heavy Rain, The Room: The Experience follows a largely similar gameplay style riddled with quick time events that determine the path the player progresses. As of now, only one path, a retelling of the original plot from the movie, is available. However, we are told that there will include paths where Denny gets to watch Johnny and Lisa have sex, Claudette’s breast cancer kills her, and Lisa orders a double pepperoni stuffed-crust instead of artichoke and pesto.
The first part of the game is as you expect: Johnny (voiced by Wiseau) returns home from a hard day at work. After denying Denny the pleasure of, well, your pleasure, we finally have our first minigame.
The object is to rotate the left analog stick until you position your man meat into various parts of her body, including her navel, her nostril, and her ear. You then tap the X button to deliver pleasure. Be warned, however, as making contact with her vagina or anus will deduct pleasure, which will end the game.
After several similar sex minigames in which you play as Mark, we have the next part of the story. The first new minigame involves going into the flower store, dodging customers, and buying a dozen red roses in under 60 seconds. If you can pet the doggy, you get an achievement. From here, we go to the rooftop, where we see Denny is getting hassled for some drug money.This is one of the first major branching points of the game. There were several smaller ones before hand, but this is the first quick time event that determines how the game will end. If you pull the trigger, Denny is killed, and a sad Johnny and Lisa reconcile their differences, leading to a bittersweet ending. Since this is only the beta, we had to rescue the little creep. I was really looking forward to some gore too…
The next part of the game features the preparation of Johnny and Lisa’s upcoming wedding. The first part of this section includes a minigame in which two of Johnny’s friends sneak into his apartment to have sex. The object is to /not/ have a premature orgasm before getting a blowjob, which was probably the hardest part of the game so far. After this, Johnny and Lisa get into a fight, in what is probably the strangest quick time sequence ever.
After hours of failing at a football minigame between Mark, Denny, Peter, and Johnny, we finally reach the climax of the story. Johnny and Mark have a confrontation at his wedding party, and the two duke it out in a fist fight. The controls are very similar to EA’s Fight Night series, though not quite as intuitive. Special attacks are relegated to the face buttons, such as the Chicken Punch, the Football Toss, and the Bottle Smash. Failing this fight will result in Mark marrying Lisa instead of Johnny.
After said fight, Johnny retreats to his room, and listens to a tape of his future wife begging Mark for sex. This leads to another minigame, where the object is to smash as many objects in the room as possible. After this, you’re given a choice: either kill yourself, or kill Mark and Lisa. This is the only part of the Beta where I was allowed to make a choice, and since we all know what happens if Johnny commits suicide, I decided to unleash his inner rage on his oppressors.
So Johnny drives over to Mark’s house, gun in hand, where he catches Lisa and Mark in the middle of making love. Johnny points the gun to Mark’s head, and says that he is literally going to tear them apart. However, before he can do so, Peter, who was noticeably missing in the final scene of the original movie, comes in and opens fire on Johnny, protecting the adulterous couple from any harm. The two get married, and the final scene of the game shows Denny removing the gun from Johnny’s corpse, saying that there’s unfinished business.
Simply put, The Room: The Experience has all the makings of a bonafide classic. Quantic Dream did a wonderful job recreating the dramatic atmosphere of The Room. The graphics are lifelike, and if I didn’t know any better, I’d say they were just photoshopped screengrabs from the movie. The voice acting is phenomenal, and choosing Sir Troy Baker to play the role of Mark was a wise decision. The only area that needs improvement is the gameplay, because at times, there are a lot of unintentional flubs, and it doesn’t know what kind of game it wants to be. Knowing Wiseau’s track record, he’ll lead us to believe it was meant to be a collection of minigames all along.
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