Ossuary

Ossuary is a PC game created by Future Proof Games. Within the game you find yourself in a place known as the Ossuary or the place of bones, whose bones no one knows. Based on the introducing quote to the game, one can assume that this place is located somewhere lower than Hell. At its core Ossuary is a puzzler, as you traverse through the game talking with others and completing the objectives given to you by them. Each puzzle is intertwined with another, as the player must complete one task before completing another. But encompassing that core is a deep and thought-provoking narrative. This narrative involves themes of order & chaos, justice, wisdom, power, war, and politics. Future Proof Games drew a lot from the Discordian tradition for Ossuary. It tackles a lot; however, not to the extent that it is overwhelming. Ossuary tosses out ideas and concepts that cause the player to contemplate different perspectives.

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The game itself is designed with an uncomplicated art style, which can especially be seen as the people/ creatures you come across within the game appear as various shapes with legs, arms, and a face. When you begin to talk with these people, you are given a closer look at their appearances. Some have tears streaming down their faces, some look as though their face was stitched together, while others appear perfectly normal. Which seems to insinuate the different types of people that can be found in an underworld. The distressed, the broken, and the ‘normal’. Then there is the concept of a cabbage. Based on my own understanding, a cabbage is someone who lacks a brain and the ability to think for themselves, those who merely repeat things others say without their own opinion. One of the given objectives within the game is to expose the cabbages throughout the Ossuary.

One of the most significant and interesting aspects of Ossuary is its concept of sins. As you converse with people within the game, you can be corrupted with a sin. Do not fret when you are in a place below Hell, being corrupted by sin is a good thing. Once corrupted with a sin, you can use it to your advantage. By paying close attention in your conversations with others, you can accurately choose the right sin within your collection, to corrupt them with. Thus you have the ability to bend people to your will, and gain the reactions that you need.

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The descriptions provided for each sin are detailed and quite accurate, giving the player ample information for how each sin corrupts its victims. For example, the sin of Wrath “provokes feelings and expressions of displeasure at things others have done wrong. It can push a person to action when they should remain complacent and accept the wrongs being done to them.”

As you start the game, you talk to a person who tells you that no mistake is permanent. Luckily this remains true. If you try to corrupt someone with the wrong sin, instead of being punished you can merely try again with another sin. It’d be a nice challenge and twist if there was a possibility to play only being able to corrupt someone once.

After completing all other objectives, the only one that stumped me involved setting demons free. Other than the frustration of not completing 100% of the game, I really enjoyed myself while playing. Ossuary made me laugh, ponder, and sometimes even question my own beliefs. Plus its ending is open for interpretation and I love stories that leave you hanging with only your ideas to fill in the blanks.

Just to give you a taste of some of the thought-provoking statements from Ossuary, I’ll leave you with a quote from the end of the game.
“The human race will begin solving its problems on the day that it ceases taking itself so seriously.” ~Principia Discordia

Ossuary is available on Steam on May 27, 2015.

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About Taylor Barkley
It’s actually quite simple. I love writing. I love playing video games. So, why not combine the two? When I’m not focusing on my academics, I’m either writing or playing video games. As a writer and avid reader I love a good story, because of this I tend to lean towards games that have a strong narrative aspect. Currently, I am studying Computer Science and Game Design in North Carolina. My ultimate goal being to one day make a name for myself in the game narrative field.