Twelve Minutes is among the most anticipated indie video games of 2021, with developer Luis Antonio and writer Annapurna Interactive having constructed up a groundswell of buzz over a interval of years. The interactive thriller launches Thursday, Aug. 19, on Home windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Sequence X — together with by way of Xbox Recreation Cross, which implies that it’ll be accessible for “free” to the service’s large subscriber base.
These unsuspecting gamers ought to know what they’re stepping into. Twelve Minutes is rated M for Mature, and carries 4 ESRB content material descriptors: Blood and Gore; Sexual Content material; Robust Language; and Violence. However frankly, these generic phrases don’t seize the grim nature of the story and its many ugly and unsettling occasions.
Twelve Minutes is performed from a top-down perspective with stylized, non-photorealistic graphics, and the characters’ faces aren’t seen. However that doesn’t rob these scenes of their brutality — they really feel extra actual and grounded than most bloody first-person shooters.
For some members of Polygon, the diploma of violence served the story. For others, it was in the end off-putting.
After all, it’s troublesome to debate the specifics right here with out stepping into spoiler territory, which we don’t need to do — and received’t. Nonetheless, if you wish to go in with out figuring out any particulars in any respect, be happy to cease studying right here.
One factor that you simply’ve seemingly observed in case you’ve seen any trailers for Twelve Minutes is that the violence, blood, and gore talked about by the ESRB occurs to the unnamed lady within the story — the protagonist’s spouse, who’s voiced by Daisy Ridley. In the event you discover it laborious to abdomen violence in opposition to girls, this might not be the sport for you, since making progress in Twelve Minutes requires that the participant powerlessly watch a number of violent incidents in opposition to her.
Twelve Minutes’ story additionally offers with familial violence and sexual taboos. These aren’t simply background particulars or themes; the sport generally implicates the principle characters in methods that may really feel — for lack of a extra particular time period — icky. After all, the subject of content material warnings has come up not too long ago with one other indie challenge, Kitfox Video games’ Boyfriend Dungeon, however that recreation does already embody an advisory upfront that the developer is updating to be extra particular.
Twelve Minutes doesn’t embody any content material warnings. We requested the developer and writer why there isn’t a content material warning inside the recreation, and whether or not they had thought-about together with one. Each events declined to touch upon the report to Polygon, though an Annapurna consultant identified the M for Mature score.
The arrival of each video games might additional the continued dialog in regards to the expectation and limitations of such warnings in video video games. To Antonio’s and Annapurna’s credit score, they’ve taken care in interviews and advertising and marketing to characterize Twelve Minutes as a recreation with an adult-oriented story. It definitely is that.