Insist on 1000xRESIST—One of 2024’s Best New Games

Games Reviews 1000xRESIST
Insist on 1000xRESIST—One of 2024’s Best New Games

After hours of experiencing 1000xRESIST’s bizarre sci-fi world, full of otherworldly social mores and bewitching technological advancements, my favorite scene takes place in a dark, cramped, and quiet stairwell. Iris, one of the game’s central characters, is having a conversation with her mother. At one point, Iris’ mother quietly says, “The human and the brain? We are poor technology. Too capable of storing clutter. Too desperate to hold onto things.”

She’s right, because I’m desperate to hold onto 1000xRESIST. It’s the kind of game that can leave you feeling transformed. Few are the games as bold and brave and brilliant as this one; throughout its 15 hours, there’s a palpable eagerness to take the risks that many other teams would shy away from, especially considering this is Sunset Visitor’s debut game. 1000xRESIST is a dazzling testament to the stories this medium has yet to tell; an exemplification of the best that small yet ambitious teams can create; and a gateway to a future in which more videogame narratives have the courage and soul to tackle the ideas that it executes with equal precision and grace. It’s simply triumphant in everything it sets out to do. 

From its opening moments, 1000xRESIST doesn’t hold back: it starts with Watcher, the protagonist of the game, murdering Iris, otherwise known as the ALLMOTHER. As the ALLMOTHER, Iris is the last human and a teenage girl who keeps the aliens known as the Occupants at bay, protecting what’s left of planet Earth after their invasion. Over time, she has become the god figure to a society composed of sister clones who aspire to be embraced by her. As a sister who has arisen to a semblance of power, Watcher’s function is to travel through time in Communions to witness Iris’ life and gain a deeper understanding of their messiah. She exists in harmony with five other special sisters — Principal, Healer, Knower, Fixer, and the excellently named Bang Bang Fire—to serve Iris so that they may transition to the Other Side, the place where Iris now exists. But these Communions enlighten Watcher much more than she expected, resulting in a life-altering, dimensions-defying, and world-defining journey.

That journey is a deeply affecting exploration about so many things that you’d assume 1000xRESIST would buckle under all the weight; however, the writing is so masterful that it seems to effortlessly juggle its themes. Race, the hardships of being a first-generation immigrant, sisterhood, forgiveness, what we take with us into the future and what we leave behind, the COVID-19 pandemic, the Hong Kong protests that began in 2019, motherhood, mental health, identity: listing all these topics feels like I’m only scratching the surface. Its dense world has been created with deep care, and it was impossible not to be swept up by its intricacies. Exposition is rarely, if ever, delivered to you straight—1000xRESIST is a masterclass in making its audience yearn for answers. It’s unafraid to jump between timelines and delve into the abstract and, at one point, disorient you entirely for several hours. 


It also refuses to fit into any one box. It’s a walking simulator for a few hours before switching to a side-scroller. The third-person perspective suddenly shifts to a top-down view. It’s a visual novel but also you’re lunging between different nodes on a wide map. It’s a time puzzler and, at times, survival horror. It’s wholeheartedly committed to furiously surprising you again and again and again, and it undoubtedly excels in this mission from beginning to end.

1000xRESIST wears its inspirations proudly on its sleeve—if you like NieR: Automata or Star Trek, for example, you’ll find a lot to like here. But in taking cues from its inspirations, it makes sure to take the note of being its own unique and radically memorable thing that is hard to define in any one way. The feeling I experienced while playing 1000xRESIST is similar to the one I experienced while playing NieR: Automata—it’s the feeling that I’ll remember this story for the rest of my life, and that I’m currently excited for few things more than watching my favorite Let’s Players go along this journey, too. 

Don’t go into this game expecting any combat; it doesn’t need any to provide you with adrenaline. You’ll switch between time periods, inspect items in the environment, do the aforementioned lunging between nodes, and a lot of running around. There’s a risk that you’ll get tired of so much walking around, but I had bought into this game so much that I just appreciated the opportunity to become acquainted with a place—enough to feel a sense of familiarity, but never enough that any one place felt like home, as I knew the game would eventually utilize my affinity to any one place against me. 1000xRESIST is many things, but it’s not a game that holds back any gut punches.

At this point, you might be wondering if 1000xRESIST has any flaws. For the sake of entertaining a very understandable question: I guess? The lunging mechanic is fine, though not terribly engaging, and at one point I got lost for a few minutes when I had to lunge between many nodes in a wide area, unsure of where I needed to go. It was, again, fine; I figured it out in a few minutes. The voice acting is mostly great but a bit spotty at some points—not exactly bad, but just fine. And finally, the ending is a bit too ambiguous. I like my open and thought-provoking endings, but I was left with some questions that I really wanted answers to. But, yet again, this was also ultimately fine, because I still felt satisfied; that I wanted these answers so badly only speaks to the effectiveness of this game’s mysteries.

At its very worst, 1000xRESIST manages to be “fine.” Its “worst” lasts about three minutes, and it is still ridiculously compelling all the while. At all other times, 1000xRESIST relentlessly operates at its best. It’s one of the best stories in the medium, one of the best games this year, and one of the best games I’ve ever played. It’s no coincidence that it was nominated for three IGF awards this year, with one of them being the grand prize—it’s an achievement, and every inch of it deserves to be celebrated. If this world is just, it will get the incredible fanfare that it spends every minute earning. It’s simply an astonishing debut from Sunset Visitor; I can’t wait to see what other stories they will grace us with in the future, what other experiences of theirs I will be this desperate to hold onto.

1000xRESIST was developed by Sunset Visitor and published by Fellow Traveller. It is available for PC and Switch.

Natalie Flores has worked in all corners of the games industry and is a former Paste intern who loves to talk about games, K-pop and too many other things.

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