The Fidelio Incident is the video game equivalent of a very good film. One of my benchmarks for what makes a good video game is if the nature of the medium enhances the experience of the art itself. The Fidelio Incident’s interactive nature absolutely enhances the tragic story of two lovers running from their past.
The Tale is Well Told
Personally, I felt very connected to Stanley and Leonore throughout my first playthrough. Learning about their pasts and how that affects their respective motivations for fleeing Ireland makes the emotional impact of this story quite poignant. Telling the story through journal entries and flashbacks allows character development to occur slowly and naturally. Leonore and Stanley’s characters are both well fleshed out and their individual pasts are explored from Leonore’s perspective through her lost journal pages and through Stanley’s reactions and flashbacks.
The Player Experience
As far as gameplay is concerned, it is fairly standard for a “walking simulator” type game. The player controls Stanley in first person and walks around solving puzzles while searching for Leonore. The puzzles are unique and quite fun to solve, but none of them feel out of place for the setting, nor do they detract from the story. Though the gameplay slows down occasionally, the sense of urgency is never lost.
The frozen setting is done very well, to say the least. The fact that Stanley reacts to the cold in such a genuinely human manner made the icy landscape feel so realistic and cold. Since playing The Fidelio Incident, I have not been able to immerse myself in the cold tundra of Skyrim because it’s not so nearly well cultivated as the snowy mountains of The Fidelio Incident.
I highly recommend this game to anyone who likes a good story. It’s a very short game, only lasting about two hours. However, it is a fantastic two hours worthy of the time and money. The Fidelio Incident is one of those hidden gems that I enjoy so much because it is truly deserving of being labelled as art.