Harmony: The Fall of Reverie Impression
Anyone with an even passive interest in interactive narrative adventures will do well to keep Harmony: The Fall of Reverie on their radar.
Harmony: The Fall of Reverie is an upcoming narrative adventure from developer and publisher DON’T NOD. The game, which sees players warping back-and-forth between two worlds and restoring the delicate balance between them, is planned for release on PC and consoles this June. RPGamer was able to check out the first two hours or so of the game, getting an introduction to the mysterious realm of Reverie and the game’s interesting approach to choices and consequences.
Harmony: The Fall of Reverie begins in the near-future Mediterranean city of Alma, which has been all but taken over by the shadowy MK corporation. Protagonist Polly returns to her hometown following her mother’s disappearance, but she discovers a pendant and a clairvoyance that allow her to be whisked away to the connected otherworldly realm of Reverie. This realm is inhabited by the Aspirations of Humanity — Glory, Bliss, Power, Chaos, Bond, and Truth — who know Polly as Harmony, and she is told that she needs to restore the troubled realm and its balance, in the process cementing which Aspiration gets to rule over it.
The game quickly establishes that Harmony’s choices greatly impact how events play out. Practically, this is demonstrated through a weaving set of nodes of the Augural, and players are able to use knowledge as to which paths might lead where and to decide if there is a particular objective they wish to aim for. Each node will usually cover a small part of one conversation, and depending on how each chapter is intertwined, players will need to lead conversations down the paths they want to take. Certain choices will block off other options, while some others may require a number of previous actions to be turned, while others may be forced upon players if their prerequisites are met.
Choices can be restricted as direct consequences of past choices, while players can also be forced down certain paths based on the Aspiration crystals that Polly obtains through her choices, each of which often aligns with the wishes of one of the Aspirations. It’s an interesting system that forces players to think through the choices as well as accept what they’ve done before; there’s no trying all the conversation options available and then deciding at the last minute. The early sections do a good job showing how the choices and options can spread out before coming back together again, as well as how early choices can impact things considerably further down the line. How complicated it gets and how easy it is to reach desired outcomes down the line remains to be seen, but it’s clear that with so many different choices on the table, Harmony is absolutely one that will keep players guessing and have them coming back to see how different things can end up.
Emotions and relationships play a major part of the story, and Harmony: The Fall of Reverie quickly introduces some complexities within Polly’s own family. Other characters have their share of secrets and worries, and Polly will need to take into consideration their feelings when looking for help or trying to glean information. The Aspirations of Humanity have their own distinct desires and behaviour as well; Truth, Bond, etc. aren’t just names after all. Much of the world details is left to players to discover for themselves, but all the relevant information can be found in an in-game codex that builds as players encounter new characters, locations, or concepts. Harmony: The Fall of Reverie has a vibrant presentation, using animated character portraits with colourful backgrounds, as well as a decent share of fully animated scenes. The designs and visuals are engaging, and the full voice acting on offer does a strong job introducing and conveying the personalities and emotions of the characters.
The opening two hours do a nice job of introduing and building up the mysteries awaiting Polly and the various individuals and deities they will be dealing with in the game. It will be fascinating to see how the seemingly complex choice structure ends up linking together as well as what directions the main story and its different potential paths will end up taking. Anyone with an even passive interest in interactive narrative adventures will do well to keep Harmony: The Fall of Reverie on their radar. The game isn’t far away either, launching for PC (via Steam) and Nintendo Switch on June 8, 2023, and for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S on June 22, 2023.
Disclosure: This article is based on a preview build of the game provided by the publisher.