The Town Of Light is based on real events in Italy and is set during the early 20th century. You play in first person, and relive the life of a 16 year old girl and her time in a mental hospital. At its core the game is a psychological tale, and that is the game’s strongest component.
As you explore your surroundings, you can interact with various objects in the world and the story keeps unfolding. The whole place has a very creepy feel to it and it adds a lot to the overall tension. The girl’s narration is also spot-on and does a very good job of relaying a young girl’s fear and confusion, as well as her mental issues.
Renee suffers from severe anxiety and blackouts, and later on is a victim of sexual abuse. She is then admitted to the Ospedale Psichiatrico di Volterra, an asylum in Italy. You explore the asylum, going through various section of it, while Renee recall her time spent there. As you progress further into the game, some truly horrifying accounts of how early medicine and hospitals functioned are revealed.
The story in The Town Of Light is consistently engaging and interesting, offering twists and turns often enough to keep you engaged till the end. There’s is a lot to see here, including the many rooms, interactive objects, documents and so on. While the exploration is great, the game often tends to look dated, and suffers because of it.
Visually, the game is not impressive, mostly because of some low texture work and drab colors overall. You’ll be playing this game mostly for the story, but I really would have liked to see some better graphics here. The game’s representation of mental illness and how it tackles these issues is highly commendable. It’s eerily accurate, and I am glad to see video games exploring these issues in a sensitive and realistic manner.
The Town Of Light is a thought provoking and insightful tale of mental illness and how those issues need to be handled sensitively. Despite some dated visuals and lengthy load times, the game is worth playing for anyone looking for an interesting story. The fact that it’s all based on real life events makes it all the more compelling.