Holy shit. I did not see that ending coming. The twitterverse exploded over the unforeseen twist ending in episode 4 Dark Room. The latest installment to what is becoming my favorite episodic game and contender for game of the year cranks it up to eleven throughout most of its duration. Without spoiling much episode 3 ends with you in an alternate reality. A reality where saving the life of one person doesn’t really save them because they end up drowning in the alternate consequences that take place. Saving one life takes another if you choose to do so and doesn’t leave any characters better off.

The first major decision you’re met with is gut wrenching. I put the controller down and pondered for a bit how my choice could ripple out. After giving it some thought I made my decision but in the end my choice carried zero weight since you end up reverting back to a point before the events happened. While the alternate reality carried a weightless choice it was interesting to see the what if scenario. Dark Room doesn’t have much action and generally moves at a snale’s pace with some of the moments, one in particular with Frank, leaving me scratching my head in disbelief. It felt out of place….especially when he sends Max a text towards the end of the episode wishing Max and Chloe luck. With that said the between Frank, Chloe, and Max revealed how much your decisions in previous episodes matter. Does Chloe still have posession of the gun? Were you able to help Kate a couple episodes back? Did you decide to spare Frank’s aggressive guard dog? All of these choices reveal their consequences to you throughout this episode.

Regarding pacing the beginning of Dark Room is slow but that’s due to it being full of narrative which didn’t bother me. What I did mind, and the lowest point of episode 4 for me, was relating the clues you’ve gathered. You reach a point where Max has to sort out and connect everything from Nathan, David, and others in an attempt to locate where Kate was taken. It’s obtuse and I had to wait for Max’s voiceover a few times to help me out. It simply took too long and reminded me of when I hunted everywhere to find the last bottle in the junk yard. At least with the clue puzzle I was making progress until I figured it out. When I did put the pieces together Max and Chloe immediately headed to the location and that’s when the tone turned dark. Very very dark. It made my heart sink and left me feeling uneasy. Not long after was the shocking twist ending. I usually skip the credits so I can see the teaser for the next episode sooner but I didn’t this time around. Instead I needed time to take everything in. When the teaser for the final episode played I didn’t feel any better. I felt worse.

Even with the low points in this episode it’s one of the strongest in the saga. It hits you hard with emotions and leaves things looking grim. To my surprise I don’t have the slightest idea how this rollercoaster ride will end or how the supernatural events fit into the story but I sure can’t wait to find out and really am hoping for a happy ending.

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