The Wreck review Junon and her sister in elevator

The Wreck review – always crashing in the same car

Junon gets out of her car to visit her mother at the hospital, but she really doesn’t want to be there. She can’t wait to get in her car and drive away, but every time she drives away, there is something wrong. She can’t seem to get away from her responsibilities and her life. It’s like she’s always crashing in the same car, over and over. We sit down right next to her in our The Wreck review.

Basically, without spoiling too much, our protagonist Junon is a young woman who has been having several traumas in her life, the last of which is her mother being in a coma. It all unfurls from the hospital asking her to decide what to do with the life support of her mother, a difficult question which makes all of Junon’s traumatic memories act up. We’ll have to wade through these issues to find the light again.

At its core, The Wreck functions like a very stylish visual novel on a time loop, with a juxtaposition between the script Junon herself is writing and the game itself. There are many creative ideas, both visually and narrative, which help keep The Wreck from feeling too much like we are simply standing around and clicking to make the story progress.

For example, every time we hit pause the game gets out and goes back to a page of the script that we were just playing. A nifty little idea, for sure, but one which does not seem to function much if not to give a more unique narrative framework. The time loop itself is an interesting idea, but it ends up being a little too frustrating, feeling almost like a game over because we picked the wrong choices in our dialogue. But that’s not up to us, Junon has to go back on her choices to realize what she did wrong with her sister, her former husband and so on.

The basic gameplay mechanics are “wading” through little vignettes from Junon’s past, looking for words to interact with. This is easy, as – for example – the controller will vibrate to tell you there is something that needs to be interacted with. In some vignettes, this works better than in others, for example when there is a slideshow in the bathroom of different moments in the life of Junon and her family. In others, it feels like you’re just rewinding and fast-forwarding, hoping to progress the story.

Still, the narrative in The Wreck is unequivocally strong, with very passionate writing and great care for the character of Junon: while at the start, it seems like she’s the victim, by playing we will discover that is not exactly the truth. While still The Wreck allows us to feel sorry for her, we also realize she needed to take a strong look at herself, her life and her family and try to grow and keep her head up, instead of just being dragged through it.

Graphically, The Wreck is a collection of quite beautiful scenes, it feels definitely very cinematic (especially with the way the script drops the names of several movies here and there). The voice acting is also top-notch, even though I probably would have preferred if the developers just kept it in French, with subtitles, in order to allow the language to shine through.

The developers have previously worked on Bury Me, My Love and, overall, I feel The Wreck works much better in the message it wants to convey to its public. It is a strong story conveyed via a fascinating visual novel package, at times slightly frustrating and repetitive, but the writers have done a great job in fleshing out characters and their story. Their passion still strongly shines through so it is easily recommended to lovers of a good narrative.

Our The Wreck review was made possible with a PC key made available by the PR studio, The Wreck is available on Steam, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4/5 and Xbox Series X/S.

The Wreck: The Wreck presents a broken main protagonist who needs to be put pack together. Despite limited gameplay mechanics, the story of personal drama and redemption still manages to shine through. Damiano Gerli

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Damiano Gerli

Damiano Gerli was born with a faithful Commodore 64 by his side. It taught him how to program basic adventure games and introduced him to new genres. Then, he fell in love with Sega -- while the Master System wasn't as powerful as the Genesis, it was where he played Sonic and Outrun. Years later, he got the idea that he was the most Sega-knowledgeable person in the world, so he opened a website in 1997, The Genesis Temple. Damiano is a gaming industry professional and historian, loves adventure and indie titles, but he never shies away from action and triple-A RPGs. Basically, Damiano is been writing about videogames for 20 years, with no plans to stop. Say hi to him on X at @damgentemp.