Feedback in gaming is important. How many FPS games have been stuck in the pits of mediocrity because of terrible weapon feedback? The *ping* noise from Half-Life when you smack something has a lot to do with why combat in that game feels so satisfying.
So what happens when you remove the feedback completely? You get Korsakovia. Korsakovia is a game where you play as Christopher, a man suffering from Korsakoff's syndrome, a disease marked by severe memory loss and invented memories that fill in the gaps. The game plays out in Christopher's invented dreamscape, while a garbled voice-over of discussions between Christopher and his psychiatrist play out in the background.
It's from The Chinese Room mod group, creators of Dear Esther, and the voice acting and writing have a similar quality—which is to say they're amazing. The conversations between the doctor and Christopher are compelling because of the wonderful voice-over work. They're your only link to the real world. That's not to say they're real. You really can't be sure of what's real; Christopher isn't exactly a reliable witness.
One area where Korsakovia stands apart from Dear Esther is that it's actually a game. This means it can get difficult at times, especially in the jumping sections. I'd brush up on how to turn on “noclip” if you plan on beating the game—which you should. There are enemies this time and you can hit them with a crowbar to kill them—at least when you actually have the crowbar. If not you'll spend a lot of time running away.
Korsakovia is a game about removing the normal cues to the player that the world they're dealing with is real. Health kits don't make noise. Enemies don't have a defined body. You don't get any feedback when you hit one. There's no health bar. The enemies are blobs of undefined black mist that will lunge at you immediately when they see you. Vague, amorphous and noiseless when you hit them. It's almost like they're not even there. You're adrift in a sea of images and sounds that may or may not make any sense, unsure of which ones you can depend on.
Why You Should Check This Out: It's a game about a man who doesn't know if what he remembers as real is actually real. Nothing you experience in Korsakovia is real, but all of it is real to Christopher—the man with Korsakoff's syndrome. While Korsakovia is sometimes frustrating, it's also subtle and nuanced and that's a rare thing in gaming.
[size=20]Download Now[/size] (Requires Half-Life 2: Episode 2)