Bientôt l'été is a Belgian indie video game developed by Tale of Tales, who also created The Path. It was released in February 2013. The title is French and roughly translates as Summer'll be Soon or Summer is Coming. It is set in the far future where humans have expanded far enough into space to form intergalactic networks, which allow nearly-seamless cyberspace communication between people. You assume the role of a man or woman who uses that interface as the only means to communicate with their lover, who is light years away.
Bientôt l'été provides examples of the following tropes:
- An Aesop: No matter how advanced the technology might get, feelings like love are universal and will remain.
- Cyberspace: Where the whole game takes place.
- Dialogue Tree: Averted: the conversation part of the game is instead represented as a chess match between you and your lover. Each square on the grid activates a certain response when a piece is placed on it. This usually results in beautifully-sounding, but ultimately disjointed and meaningless conversations.
- Everything Sounds Sexier in French: Many reviewers who were otherwise critical of the game admitted to tolerating the conversation part, but only because it’s in French.
- The Future: Given that the insterstellar travel has become a reality and people can communicate in Cyberspace from light years away, it’s a safe bet that hundreds of years have passed from today. The fact that Marguerite Duras writings are referred to as ancient Earth literature is also a clue.
- Gay Option: Averted in the singleplayer, where the computer will automatically a pick companion with gender opposite to yours. Two-player mode is more tolerant.
- Genius Bonus: Let’s be honest, how many of you have heard of Marguerite Duras before? Here, effectively all of the dialogue is taken from her novels in some form.
- Glamour Failure: What happens if the player walks too far along the beach. The sand, the sky and the waterline begin to get replaced by the default background of the cyberspace, as the central computer is no longer able to render the beach in detail. The music will also progressively shift from a soothing piano to a more sinister, electronic tempo.