One game that caught my eye throughout E3 is one that I seem to notice too late: the surreal RPG She Dreams Elsewhere. A new trailer with mock VHS effects showed its shopping mall level with a CGA-like palette and sure, that was interesting enough, but then there was a fight and WHAT HELLO THIS IS GORGEOUS.
Wait a second. Let’s go back to this battle montage in the middle:
That’s nice, that. Maybe my favorite JRPG-y battle screens since the claymation psychedelia of the Hylics games. She Dreams Elsewhere’s character art comes from Yanina Nesterova, and it’s great. Also in the close-up of the eyes. And the background. And the monsters. And the attack effects. And the rest. Yes, very nice.
She Dreams Elsewhere is about Thalia Sullivan, who is plagued by fear and oh, also in a coma. Yes, you can imagine what it’s up to, but the feelings sound real and the writing is good. Alice Bee and Sin Vega both praised the game after playing a demo a year ago.
“It doesn’t knock you over with it, but the subtext of it is clear,” Sin said. “If you win a fight, the festive text doesn’t say ‘You win!’ or ‘Victory!’, but ‘safe & sound’. The plot begins when Thalia chases her dog into a nightmare world without hesitation, which I can obviously understand. Thalia’s brief pep talk in the mirror is less of a case of ‘you can do it!’ and more ‘you can’t get out of that’, and even when her friend asks her what’s going on at the party, Thalia even with a hollow laugh denies the opportunity to ‘just say straight to her’, she combats intrusive thoughts and self-reproaches and constant worries that the smallest nothing must be a sign that she has somehow let someone down. Half of her struggle is to hide how much she struggles from the painful light of the people who care. The dialogues and narratives are concise but very real. I’ve literally said and thought some of these things. “
Do you love a great aesthetic combined with a great mood.
She Dreams Elsewhere is “soon” available for PC, Xboxes, Switch and Stadia. Creative Director Davionne Gooden has blogged about it Progress over the past year – and a little if you’re curious. You can still download this demo from steam and Itch.io, so i’m going to do just that. Bye!
E3 2021 may be over, but our memories live on – see it all on our E3 hub. Many more big game showcases and streams will follow this summer, right up to Gamescom.