Their local lake is infested with harpies so that even getting water is beyond them. About all they can do is slump in their cave and hope for a passing adventurer to take pity on them, train their pets, cage their chickens, guard them while they fetch water and finally see off the nasty ogres next-door.
|That's put the cat among the chickens!|
The writing itself is solid. Simple, declarative sentences describe their bleak existence with just enough self-knowledge to make it painful. These guys are beaten and they know it. The outside world is too much for them, they've done the best they know how to do and it just wasn't good enough. It never will be. You want to shake them.
|Life lessons from an Ogre|
|Just fill the barrels and run, can't you?|
With hindsight, I have come to revise my opinion. It is weird and discomfiting, but this is an alien species, behaving in a way that is alien to that species. At the same time it reflects a deeply depressed, hopeless mental state. As I tried to help the ogres and learned more about their miserable lives, her droning, desolate cadence really began to make sense.
|Will the harpies come back?|
All the voice acting is understated, almost thrown away. Coming to it without engagement with the characters, it sounds not just flat but dead. Once you become involved emotionally, though, it begins to press all the buttons.
|They always do.|
I have yet to succeed in driving off the Ogre bully attack. I don't even like to do that part any more. Seeing the pets I helped my ogre friends acquire and tame stolen by a bunch of thugs, pets that would have been loved and cherished, is too upsetting. As the peaceful ogres sink further into despair I realize that all I've done is made promises I couldn't keep, shown them a better life only so they could see it snatched away.
|Rewarded for failure :(|
|They always do...|
The personal storyline, while it has its moments, is a great big, clunking, linear, nose-leading nuisance. The voice-overs that accompany the stick-puppet cut-scenes range from risible to infuriating. Out in the world, though, there is story aplenty, accretive, naturalistic, unemphasized, all around. It's a patchy approach, yes, and it pales when compared to the complexity and sophistication of technique in The Secret World, but there's much to be admired all the same. I do think we are, slowly, heading in the right direction.