This, I assumed, would be the future of videogames: gracefully branching narratives full of action and suspense, culminating in one very specific, very badass ending of my own choosing.
Masq is a game that lends itself to multiple replays. If you only play it once, and irritatedly cry, "That's it?!" upon finishing, then you haven't truly played Masq.
That shit I said above the fold about affairs and gunfights and all that was not exaggeration: the game is full of that stuff, and it's all totally optional. Though most of it doesn't inform the main plot in any significant way, each of the individual subplots (like the chick you can have an affair with) have enough dramatic weight behind them that you could easily base an entire game just around those segments. Granted, this may make the overarching plot (some corrupt asshole is trying to extort your company) feel somewhat unwieldy and unfocused, but it's a small price to pay for being able to have (seemingly) complete control over the story.
My first time through, I did what I thought I, as a person, would do: I was as nonviolent as possible, remained faithful to my wife, and shot a fucking snake in the face because I goddamn hate snakes.
My second time through, I made the exact opposite decision for every choice, except for the snake part -- even a version of myself who would rather cheat on my wife than remain faithful still doesn't trust venomous reptiles.
Far as the main plot goes, it is as follows: you're the head of a new fashion line called Masq, and need to get funding for it before the big release party.
In other words, if you want someone to actually play the game, don't tell them anything about the story. It sounds, at least initially, like (and I say this as a pinko Liberal in favor of same-sex marriage) the gayest goddamn videogame ever.
Fret not, though: it turns out that your only source for funding is your wife's boss, a douchebag school supervisor who wants you to help him embezzle from the district's fund for new school uniforms. What happens from there, no matter what your choice, is pure noir. There's sex, blackmail, and murder: freed from the burden of having to provide actual "gameplay," so to speak, Masq has a refreshingly mature, unapologetic story driven more by character motivation than a need to provide the player with constant violence and conflict.
Not to say it isn't well-paced, and not to say it doesn't get a little goofy near the end (you shoot a snake in the face), but it's got great, down-to-earth dramatic moments of the like I've never seen in videogames before. Just play through the scene where your wife inexplicably enters your mistress's house while you're having sex, and you have to either hide, or run, or talk your way out of it. You just can't get that out of Gears of War 2.
Anyway, play it a bunch of times.
can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.