Title: Tell Me Why: Chapter 3
Developer: DONTNOD Entertainment
Publisher: Xbox Game Studios
Genre: Narrative Adventure
Available on: PC, Xbox One
Version Tested: PC
Official Site: Tell Me Why
Release Date: September 10th, 2020
Tell Me Why: Chapter 2 focused on the idea of coming to terms with one’s part to play in death. Many of the residents of Delos Crossing were unwilling to divulge information surrounding Mary-Ann, which lead Tyler and Alyson on the quest to get the truth themselves. While the truth wasn’t always pretty, they got it from most. That is, except for Alyson herself. The emotional weight of reliving that fateful night proves too much for her, causing her to walk away. That leaves us on the morning of that choice for Chapter 3, with much left to uncover.
Impact of the Truth
I’ll admit, I walked into Chapter 3 more skeptical than anything. Chapter 2 leaves us with so much to cover, not to mention a cliffhanger that has to be taken care of. Would Tell Me Why be able to cover all this in just one chapter? To my surprise, it not only covers every plot point but goes beyond that with Chapter 3. With only three hours to do so, DONTNOD beautifully weaves in everything they can while not making things seem unnaturally rushed.
To do so, you have to speed things up a bit. You can’t fit everything without some things being covered fast. Instead of lazily rushing it though, Tell Me Why wears this like a badge of honor. Things get covered in a fast-paced nature, one that feels as emotionally gripping as it should. It becomes increasingly clear that Alyson goes through a lot mentally because of that day. Due to that, her heart pounding moments feel just as intense for you as it does for her. If she’s stressing out, you are too as you work to calm her down. There are a few moments where it doesn’t work, but where it does overshadows them beautifully. Every moment of stress is an emotional thrill ride you can’t help but keep your eyes on.
As I hoped for in this chapter, everything feels more impactful and gripping than it did before. Trying to figure out the mystery of Tell Me Why’s third chapter is an interesting exploration that gives choices more powerful than Life is Strange. There may be less at stake, but the impact feels that much more apparent. Much of these decisions, once again, pertain to the power of memories given to the siblings. The differences used in previous chapters are much stronger now, having more of an impact on their future thoughts.
Tell Me Why’s Exploration of Human Nature
I have to say, it touched me in ways I never could’ve expected. During particular sections of Chapter 3, we get a glimpse into the idea of holding thoughts in and the power that can have mentally and emotionally. It’s something I struggle with to this day, making the experience scarily real. It may bring memories of a dark time, but it helps to connect with the characters and understand their pain. Having loved ones understand your struggles works a lot better than one might expect.
Which is much of what Tell Me Why: Chapter 3 centers around. This idea of being complex human beings who need the support of loved ones to understand their struggles. You may feel alone, but it helps to have somebody to talk to. Whether that be a therapist, a family member, or even a friend. Holding your emotions is never a good idea, so it’s good to know there’s someone you can count on. This is especially true when things are at their worst and you feel alone. It’s a theme touched towards the end of the chapter, given a lot of weight due to current events.
Along with this exploration into mental health, Tell Me Why continues to explore less-covered subjects in media. They continue to do this through transgender struggles but explore LGBT relationships as well. I won’t go into much due to spoilers, but it’s an exploration that’s important for the modern world. Tell Me Why is by no means the first game to do so, but it explores it in a way that doesn’t feel out of place or just for the sake of representation. It all feels so realistic, which validates that group more in a sense of respect.
Verdict: Tell Me Why: Chapter 3 brings a satisfying conclusion to a game that’s important for this generation. It validates what’s becoming the new normal which is necessary for LGBT mental health. While doing so, it explores the remainder of the game’s loose ends in entirety, offering a twist that’s surprising but makes sense in hindsight. All of this combined makes Tell Me Why one of the most important and inclusive narratives of this generation. If you’re a fan of narrative games or want to learn more about these subjects, Tell Me Why is an emotional thrill ride you have to play.