FAR: Changing Tides Review

Most video games today are packed with all kinds of content, game mechanics, and features to keep players engaged and entertained. However, some remove all the weaknesses and excesses to bring a different kind of immersion, one that, despite its simple presentation, brings great moments and challenges, offering a unique gameplay experience. One such game is FAR: Changing Tides, the sequel to 2018’s FAR: Lone Sails by indie developer Okomotive. As Lone Sails puts players aboard a unique ship capable of traversing vast wastelands, the Tides are changing on the ocean. In the game, players control Toe, who must navigate a flooded post-apocalyptic world. Just like its predecessor, players can expect a “meditative side-scrolling” adventure filled with challenging puzzles, a hand-painted environment, and a gorgeous soundtrack that will accompany players on their extraordinary journey. However, despite all the challenges that lie ahead, the players have only one goal throughout: keep moving forward. far-changing-tides-3 One of the most exciting features of FAR: Changing Tides is that the game has no defined story. There are no dialogues, no in-game prompts showing where to go, and no notes that offer players some context about the world and what happened in it. Instead, everything is told by exploring the environment, poking the player’s curiosity and encouraging them to keep moving forward. While the lack of a clear storyline may not be everyone’s cup of tea, this particular trait works well within FAR: Changing Tides, as the story is shown, not told, allowing the players to draw their conclusions and make their experience however they want it. be. In addition, the lack of in-game prompts and objectives also adds to FAR: Changing Tides’ overall immersion. For example, there may be instances where players fail to stockpile necessary supplies and resources, only to find that the journey ahead across the open seas will be long and difficult. Like FAR: Lone Sails, resources are king in Changing Tides. The unexpected challenges players will face offer them the chance to create their own unique stories through their struggles in specific locations after failing to rack up valuable resources in previous areas. far-changing-tides-4 At first glance, it’s easy to describe FAR: Changing Tides as a slow experience, especially with its developers calling it a “meditative side-scrolling” adventure. However, while the game has its relaxing moments, where players find themselves at sea, the game also offers exciting gameplay that can instantly leave players in awe. Running a crowded ship in FAR: Changing Tides is no easy task, as players will always find their way back to it and can even be considered the main character of the game. Players must first determine the primary source of power they will be using at any given time, whether it is the ship’s engine that requires fuel to operate or the wind-powered sail. Players will spend most of their exploration time gathering resources to fuel the ship’s engines, as wind is not always available to propel the ship forward. These resources take the form of oil, luggage, stacks of books, children’s toys, and other objects that symbolize a long-gone civilization. Besides the challenge of pushing the ship forward, players must navigate the ship through locked gates, dead ends, and obstacles above and below water. Clearing them usually requires a bit of puzzle solving, offering players a well-deserved break from sailing the ocean. Puzzles in FAR: Changing Tides offer a fair amount of challenge, as the game doesn’t provide any hints or context on how to solve them. The lack of hand-holding part of the game allows players to organically find solutions to puzzles, requiring only a little common sense, curiosity, and scanning the area for interactive objects like of levers, switches, and stairs. Aside from offering a break from sailing, puzzles play another important role in the game, as the mechanical things players do while solving them may be the same mechanics needed to run the ship In a way, these particular puzzles serve as a tutorial on some of the ship’s mechanics, allowing players to learn them in a safe environment before applying them on their journey. far-changing-tides-5 The two things that tie the whole experience together are the visuals and the soundtrack. Each area in FAR: Changing Tides is flawlessly hand-painted, evoking a sense of calm as players traverse the seas, fear of stormy nights, and hope as players sail into the sunset towards the unknown. Similarly, the soundtrack perfectly complements the visuals and gameplay, as there is an appropriate track to play depending on the situation the player is in. Whether it’s a heroic score after solving complex puzzles or the haunting music during the calm before the storm, FAR : Tides’ changing soundtrack manages to be both haunting and relaxing. One thing players should be aware of is that the gameplay of FAR: Changing Tides can be repetitive. However, this cannot be considered a flaw, as this is the nature of the game. In a way, the gameplay loop further emphasizes the dread of isolation, especially with the wide range of emotions players will feel on their journey. Of course, FAR: Changing Tides isn’t perfect, and players will find some nitpicks with its controls. Zooming in and out requires players to hold specific buttons, which can be difficult when platforming or solving puzzles that require a closer look. Additionally, hooking and unhooking items can sometimes be clumsy, especially when players are in a rush to grab certain items. Ultimately, FAR: Changing Tides is a rewarding experience that certainly lives up to its atmospheric adventure description. While the lack of in-game prompts poses a challenge to some, its absence encourages players to leave and explore on their own and organically find solutions to puzzles. The puzzles are challenging, but solving them without any help from the game feels satisfying, encouraging players to keep moving forward. While some minor annoyances can be seen with its controls, no glaring issues exist that can’t be fixed with a simple patch. Overall, FAR: Changing Tides perfectly executes its simple gameplay, offering players a truly memorable and immersive experience. FAR: Changing Tides releases on March 1, 2022, for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and Nintendo Switch. Today Technology was provided with a PS5 code for this review. MORE: What to Expect From Indie Games In 2022

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