Gemini Rue Review

Gemini Rue

In his book, “Free Will,” neuroscientist Sam Harris writes about the non-existence of that universally accepted concept, arguing, with convincing evidence, that it is a false construct of the human mind. Every decision a person will ever make, he asserts, is predetermined by specific chemical and electrical agents affecting change from within, like the instruments of some internal puppeteer. When Gemini Rue, a point-and-click adventure from Wadjet Eye Games, suggests similar ideas, it calls into question free will and personal identity, and highlights potentially discouraging truths about the virtual worlds and characters that players routinely inhabit.

While many modern video games labor to uphold the illusion of player agency in the authored space, Gemini Rue‘s compelling, neo-noir, sci-fi narrative, about an organization that plays god with prisoners’ minds, demonstrates that video games and their creators instead act as agents of change on player behavior. Having crafted the game’s story, the author actually directs the player, sometimes presenting the illusion of choice, but ultimately controlling the story’s outcome.

Gemini Rue

Gemini Rue‘s author, Joshua Nuernberger, directs a compelling tale about a drifting ex-assassin-turned-lawman with an unknown past who is on a mission to find and rescue his captive brother. He’s at odds with his ex-employers, the galaxy-controlling and drug-purveying crime syndicate know as the Boryokudan, but with carefully chosen words and actions – precisely those the author has already chosen for the player – hero Azriel Odin can enlist help, gather information, and reach the mysterious Center 7 “rehabilitation” center.

Delta-Six – author Nuernberger’s other primary agent of change in the player – struggles as an inmate in Center 7, and is played concomitantly with free-man Azriel’s efforts to reach the very place Delta-Six seeks to escape. He is, in turn, at the mercy of The Director, the man controlling – in more ways than one – all of the space facility’s prisoners. The author, of course, controls them all.

Gemini Rue

Both Delta-Six and Azriel observe, speak to, manipulate, and step through the author’s simple, three-setting world and thick, dramatic atmosphere, but these few options, when applied to this meticulously crafted world, afford players the opportunity to explore and interact within wide operational boundaries before inevitably being drawn back into the suspenseful plot and singular resolution. It is a premeditated freedom… or illusion of freedom.

Gemini Rue instills a sense of urgency and immerses the player in its world, its two protagonists, the rescue, and the escape through efficient mechanics and an engaging, well-acted cast. The final plot revelations via confrontation with the masterminding Director nest everything together and inspire contemplation about free will, identity, and what it means to play video games – or have them play you.

The free man was under control, the prisoner was free, and the player had no choice but to do, see, and think exactly what The Author wanted him to.


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Author: Eddie Inzauto View all posts by
Eddie has been writing about games on the interwebz for over ten years. You can find him Editor-in-Chiefing around these parts, or talking nonsense on Twitter @eddieinzauto.

2 Comments on "Gemini Rue Review"

  1. Dan Crabtree February 15, 2012 at 1:01 pm -

    I feel like I’ve heard a similar story before… “a man chooses” and whatnot. Now where was it? Mmmm… Thief? No. Maybe Singularity? No, that was the “can’t change the past” shpiel. OH WAIT.

    *Cue violins*

    Gemini Rue sounds good too. But, you know, just sayin’.

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