Beautifully animated and filled with mystical intrigue, Harmony: The Fall of Reverie is a must-see
Harmony: In due time, the truth will emerge. The Fall of Reverie deviates slightly from what we’ve heard from Don’t Nod before. The studio is well-known for paranormal mysteries like Life is Strange and Tell Me Why, so the setting isn’t to blame. Harmony’s visual style and the structure of the story both contribute to the uniqueness and interest of this new offering from Don’t Nod.
The opening of Harmony immediately sets itself apart. The stunning animation continues as main character Polly begins her day surrounded by futuristic gadgets. Early on, the contrast between the futuristic world and the dwellings built on decommissioned swimming pools is striking. Polly has returned to her hometown to aid in the search for her missing mother, Ursula, but finds herself drawn deeper into the mysterious world of the Reverie than she ever imagined possible.
Reverie is a parallel universe where different human aspirations, such as bliss, power, bond, glory, and chaos, can be realised. Here, Polly transforms into Harmony, an entity with the ability to use clairvoyant skills in concert with these Aspirations to forge a path forward for Reverie and the globe.
Time will tell
The stunning visuals and the divine plotline brought to mind The Wicked + The Divine. Polly’s quest to understand why she can access Reverie and what capabilities it’s given her, as well as the connections it has to her mother’s abduction, creates an intriguing sense of balance between the two stories.
The actual result is something that resembles a visual novel. Apart from the aforementioned beautiful cutscenes, the majority of the story is conveyed through speech boxes between characters as Polly explores the universe in quest of clues and interacts with what appear to be more primitive beings in the other world.
The timetable is an essential part of this. Don’t Nod visually lays out the road ahead, revealing all possible forks in the road. Each choice can lead to new avenues of exploration, while some can shut down previously explored territories. Harmony: The Fall of Reverie takes use of the clean framework that is becoming more popular in branching story-driven adventures and does some fascinating things with it, particularly in connecting the branching routes with its characters.
A life of pure joy
Depending on your decisions in the story, you’ll be shown crystals that correspond to the many deities and the emotions and goals they symbolise. You’ll eventually get to decide how the story unfolds based on your choices, such as whether you value Power or the bonds you form with others more. Those parts interested me, and I felt the physical representation of Polly’s attitude to conflict was clever.
For me, the problem is in the implementation of such crystals. The Outcomes, a more satisfying conclusion to the arc you’re on, are determined by the crystals you’ve collected during the game. Certain icons on the flowchart may be unavailable if you don’t have enough of them.