One Love is not today's DLC, but the best way to spend your Valentine's Day this year. That is, if you want to remember the state of Britain at this point.
If you've been on the internet this week reading this, you've probably seen it this tweet A Brexit voter complains about waiting in line for immigrants at Schipol Airport after Britain has left the European Union and does not seem to be aware of the consequences of his actions. The irony couldn't be more powerful, but it's also a bit of life that imitates art and reflects PanicBarn's brilliant dystopian Not Tonight – an adventure that manages the queue and takes place in a crumbling Britain after Brexit.
The main game, which landed on Nintendo Switch on January 31 – the date of Britain's legal exit from the EU – takes place in a slightly different timeline in which British politics fell apart even faster than in reality. During that period, a right-wing extremist party quickly came to power after the 2016 referendum and immediately began to separate EU citizens or even people with EU heritage – one of the playable character archetypes was born in Birmingham, but loses British citizenship due to that of a grandparent's faulty papers. You are forced into a dilapidated block of flats (shadow of the Grenfell Tower, one of the game's many satirical bumps) and monitored by authoritarian, xenophobic police officers. You are only allowed to work as a bouncer and scrape together enough money to pay a residence permit in the event of widespread discrimination.
Gameplay consists of checking players' IDs, rejecting under-age revelers, using fake IDs, and generally deciding who to let in. It's all a bit P.aper's request, but in the desperate reality of Not Tonight after Brexit, you are forced to make difficult personal decisions to survive, e.g. For example, whether you accept bribes or sell drugs just to get the funds you need to stay in the country. It is interspersed with dark humor, but there isn't much in the game that people are not confronted with in reality, whether they are citizens of EU countries who are forced to apply for settler status, or not naturalized citizens who have their status Arbitrarily revoke citizenship,
Not surprisingly, Not Tonight has been controversial since its original PC release in August 2018, but the Switch release brings its uncompromising political message, almost rhythmic mechanics of queue management and document review to a wider audience. In particular, the One Love DLC is included, which can be played independently of one another. One Love takes place in France and is a separate story that follows bartender Dave, who fled the continent after the events of the main game, runs a pub called Les Rosbif, and is tempted to live in an apartment decorated with English flags register the dating app FLAMR.
It's a not too subtle riff for Tinder and Grindr that lets you design Dave's sexuality to your liking. The first games you can promote are Mylarna, a woman who returns from the core game. DQ-4P, a human-hating robot; and Francois, a handsome artist who hates beige and gamers. There are no judgments about who you want to date, which is refreshing – even if there might be a dateable dog in the case of Lassy. The only significant change in gameplay that the DLC brings is the ability to mix drinks for people in the queue (of course, with cocktails called "Hard Brexit", "The SJW" and "Snowflake") for more bonus to earn in the design of your wardrobe and apartment to better attract the applicant you have chosen.
With the punishment that they found no love within 30 days and were forced to a "surprisingly expensive" annual contract for FLAMR – compared to the risk of deportation by a fascist regime through the base game or the restraint in health care due to lack of citizenship – one love seems to be a much lighter variant of Not Tonight's formula. However, it is still in a hell of a landscape after Brexit, and the effects of it burn through the satire, especially for queer players. Being able to pursue Francois may paint romantic pictures of trips through France with a bohemian hipster friend, but it's a fantasy shaped by the knowledge of the challenges that LGBTQ + people will face in the coming Years in real life.
Using a news ticker on Dave's phone, you will encounter worryingly plausible reports of food shortages and traffic jams, goods that cannot enter or leave the UK due to customs controls, and the loss of freedom of movement that affects travelers. Blue passports do not take you to many countries without problems, as the game shows. These are all issues that are likely to disrupt the real world, but it is the occasional hint of deterioration in British politics that is making itself felt.
While many LGBTQ + rights that result from European legislation are enshrined in British law and have been exceeded in some cases – for example, marriage equality, which some EU countries are still lacking – the EU maintains a baseline of rights that Member States cannot reduce. At the end of the transition period, the United Kingdom will no longer be bound by the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights However, this prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation. Not Tonight's core campaign frighteningly shows how far a right-wing government will go, primarily concerned with appeasing a vocal nationalist base when it is no longer bound by international agreements. Hopefully this is part of the game that remains satire.
Loss of freedom of movement could also affect LGBTQ + people more than heterosexuals. For example in 2018 the Court of Justice of the European Union expanded the right to travel with a same-sex spouse from a third country (ie a non-EU country) across the EU, even in countries where marriage equality is currently lacking. As detailed in the Bristol University report ”Brexit: the LGBT impact assessment"That would mean that a real Francois could get Dave to live and work with him anywhere in the EU, but Dave wouldn't necessarily be able to bring Francois back to the UK.
Although many of the darker moments of Not Tonight's DLC are hidden and hidden in optional news bulletins detailing the deteriorating British state in this adjacent timeline, the parallels and warnings for those looking for real-world news are extremely forward-looking This is especially true for LGBTQ + players who are concerned about how their minority rights will impact. Maybe One Love's Dave had the right idea to get out of the UK as long as he could – but at least while we're waiting for the real impact of Brexit, we can practice finding a haughty French friend.