2064: Read Only Memories Integral (Review)
We received a review code for 2064: Read Only Memories Integral on the Switch.
2064: Read Only Memories Integral is an adventure game that takes place in a cyberpunk futures where robotic helpers called ROMs have become commonplace and advanced gene therapy has led to a number of people becoming hybrids. When you wake up one morning to find the world’s first sapient ROM, Turing, in your apartment asking for help after the disappearance of their creator, you’re swept into a conspiracy that goes far deeper than just one man’s disappearance.
The game often comes across as more of a visual novel, with the bulk of your time spent reading and selecting dialogue choices. Your choices sometimes influence the way other characters view you, but although there are multiple endings based on a few key points, you shouldn’t go into 2064 expecting large branching paths. The main story is somewhat linear, with smaller changes along the way.
There were times when I was tempted to say it would have been better as a visual novel entirely. The puzzles are few in number, and you rarely need to look far to find the items you need. The controls are also a bit awkward, as you move from one selected item to the next instead of having free control over your cursor.
However, if there’s one thing that makes the point-and-click gameplay worthwhile, it’s the descriptions. There are four basic actions you can perform on a highlighted option: look at it, use an item on it, touch it, or talk to it. Since the puzzles are simple, the range of interactions isn’t as overwhelming as it might seem at first – instead, it allows for a large number of humorous explanations for why you shouldn’t touch the NPC in front of you or the results of your one-sided conversation with a plant. I made sure to use the “talk” option on everything to see what would happen.
But a game like this really lives or dies based on its story and characters, and 2064: Read Only Memories has varying degrees of success in that area. The story is enjoyable enough, even if I felt railroaded into certain paths, and it presents an interesting world where hybrids are at odds with “Human Revolution” that opposes genetic changes. It also should be mentioned that 2064 went out of its way to include many LGBT characters – whether this feels natural or not again varies depending on the characters in question.
Moving on to the cast, the protagonist is more or less a nonentity. Even your background as a journalist only comes into play a handful of times. You’re there to follow Turing’s story and influence Turing’s views, and that’s fine since the story focuses so much on AI technology and sapience. To me, Turing started out annoying but grew more likable over time. The rest of the cast is mixed. There were a handful of characters I really got to like, while others were either unlikable or just not in the story enough for me to feel like I knew them. Some minor characters also exist just to throw out references… included a surprising number of nods to video games I didn’t expect to see referenced.
The game features voice acting and HD Rumble, both of which can be turned off. Once the main story is complete, there’s also a playable epilogue after one of the endings that lets you re-visit characters and see the aftermath of your actions. Finally, there is a short side story that focuses on two of the more memorable characters and gives a little more context to some of the story’s events.
2064: Read Only Memories might not have the most original plot, and the quality of its characters varies, but there’s enough humor and interesting points here to be worth a playthrough if you enjoy cyberpunk settings or story-driven games with humorous background descriptions.