Disorder – What We Think:
Whether Disorder is about depression as an actual disorder or as a result of great personal loss, it is a superb video game representing mental duress.
Themed more about the duality of reaction to the loss of a sibling as the cause of depression than that of a mental disorder, Disorder expresses itself though bleak visuals, distorted assets and a split world that is either bleak or suffocatingly so. The early scenes that play in the background are not as clear as the ones nearer the end, as in the start you are portrayed as a loner child who is made whole by their brother. Again, not so much about depression as a disorder. And nearer the end, the scenes are more (correctly) describing the process of coming to terms with loss.
The actual game is surprisingly solid for what one might dismiss as a fad game about feelings. The duality plays into a competent puzzle/platformer in the style of a two worlds occupying the same space sub-genre – Giana Sisters, Twisted Dreams may at first come to mind (albeit with a very different art style).
Warped Sense of Reality
Swapping between worlds is quick and instantaneous, and does more than simply change the landscape; enemies become jump boosters, turrets fire in opposite directions, trampolines switch or tip in different directions, platforms move forwards or backwards or even freeze in time. There is a lot more going on than just stuff being there where stuff wasn’t before.
Disorder is short. Good or bad, it’s over in just about an hour. There is a free DLC level (that would not work for me) but you’ll be able to finish the game in about the time it takes to see a grindhouse movie. However, I went in with no expectations and came out feeling satisfied with my experience. The last level cemented the game in completing its theme and satisfied the narrative that had been established. Without considering the price, it’s definitely worth your time, even if there is a little disparity with its title.