Since version 0.2.1.7, you will be able to receive text messages which keeps you in the loop about developments in Total Rendition’s in-game world. It is designed to both enhance immersion (you could also expect text messages in real-life) as well as a way to facilitate storytelling, even in the absence of characters you could readily talk to. However, in terms of facilitating the flow of the game play, text messages in Total Rendition are intended to be important as well. Text messages give you important information where to find certain things essential to the plot’s progression, for instance.
This is particularly pertinent for a game play featuring doughnut-type level design as opposed to linear-type of level design. In a doughnut-type level design, you are able to backtrack, choose different routes, then backtrack again and revisit certain if not most locations over and over again. In a linear-type level design, you move from A to B, creating a rail-shooter-esque quality to it. Total Rendition has a doughnut-shaped level design, a feature that will become more pronounced in upcoming versions. Thus, text messages have been implemented just in time.
You can only receive them, not send them. Then again, in the line of work of Total Rendition’s main character, you really don’t have time to send them to others anyway. In most cases, messages are sent by familiar faces and are usually best answered by meeting with them.