Tagged "FAR: Lone Sails"

Apr 03
By Matt Gander In This Week's Games No Comments

If it wasn’t for Borderlands: Game Of The Year Edition – available now on PS4 and Xbox One for £24.99 – we would be looking at the quietest week for new releases in a long time.

Borderlands: Game Of The Year Edition (which year, exactly?) was announced just a week ago, and features more than a few improvements. As well as the obligatory resolution jump to 4K it also includes all four DLC add-ons, new weapons, four-player split-screen, Borderland 2’s mini-map facility, and “new heads”.

While this may sound like a tempting package, it’s worth bearing in mind the game’s age – it’s fast approaching ten years old. Perhaps Borderlands 10th Anniversary Edition would have been a better title. This wasn’t the entry that put Borderlands on the map, either – it was the far superior sequel that fixed the faults of this original, eventually leading it to become the fan favourite.

The rest of this week’s releases are mostly belated conversions. Darksiders: Warmastered Edition makes the jump to Switch and apparently holds up rather well. FAR: Lone Sails – a slow-paced, almost meditative, post-apocalyptic adventure – ventures forth from PC to consoles, meanwhile. We reviewed it yesterday, where it garnered a well-deserved 8/10. There’s nothing else quite like it.

Vertically scrolling shoot’em up AngerForce: Reloaded also made its debut on PC some time ago. It’s one of the best examples of the genre around, packed full of homages, and so critics were rather smitten by this console iteration.

There’s also the free-to-start Zaccaria Pinball on Xbox One, which includes one table (Space Shuttle) for free. An additional 27 retro tables can currently be purchased from £1.69. Unless mistaken, it’s a glorified mobile conversion. We gave it a quick blast earlier and while the physics seem decent enough, the general presentation is lacking.

If you’re into offbeat titles, Sword & Fairy 6 on PS4 might be up your alley. It’s a long running Chinese RPG series known for having a decent story and a surprisingly deep battle system. Chinese role-players are rarely translated into English, so it’s pleasing to see it on PSN.

Finally, there’s Bow to Blood: Last Captain Standing, an airship shooter based around a winner-takes-all reality show. Reviews aren’t live yet, but it looks intriguing enough to warrant closer investigation.

New release showcase:

Borderlands: Game Of The Year Edition

8.0 – IGN: “Borderlands: Game of the Year Edition holds up as a fun loot shooter, but the improvements made in the remaster are minimal”

7.5 – Stevivor: “Despite some design decisions that may be seen as missteps in 2019, Borderlands has aged remarkably well (and in some cases, reminds current developers that they need to reassess how they’ve tackled the looter shooter)”

7/10 – The Metro: “Not a game that particularly needed a remaster but that in itself speaks to the quality of the original and the potential of the new sequel”

FAR: Lone Sails

9/10 – The Xbox Hub: “FAR: Lone Sails is a trip that once you play, you won’t forget anytime soon. It’s beautiful and emotional in a raw way that very few games manage; with no words, it strikes straight to the heart. It’s a wonderful experience from start to finish, and I wholeheartedly sug”gest anyone to play it who has the slightest of interest”

8.5 – Pure PlayStation: “Far: Lone Sails is several things, including a vehicle adventure game, a vehicle managing sim and a post-apocalyptic puzzle game. It’s a strange mix, but it’s as fun to play as it is pretty to look at. Its definitely on the short side, but if you’re like me, it will be an experience that you won’t soon forget”

7/10 – Xbox Tavern: “Far: Lone Sails is a game that says a great deal without ever uttering a single word. Much like Dear Esther, it’s a journey that can be interpreted in many ways, and as such, your view of its gorgeously desperate world will constantly vary throughout. It’s a shame, however, that such a compelling canvas is slightly held back by its simplicity and its short length. Still, it’s a fascinating tale that deserves attention, just don’t expect too much from its gameplay”

AngerForce: Reloaded

8/10 – Xbox Tavern: “AngerForce is an accessible yet challenging shmup that frequently rewards its players whether they win or lose. Its gameplay is tight, responsive, constantly packed with action, and comes complete with diverse environments, heaps of enemy variations, and a shed-load of upgrades. Not only is it one of the best looking shmups in recent memory, it’s easily one of the most entertaining. Genre fans would do well to have this on their radar”

3.5/5 – Vooks: “I had a blast with AngerForce: Reloaded… until I realised that to finish the game I’ll need to spend a lot of my time grind missions over and over to get anywhere. I felt like 5-20 minute play sessions at a time were enough to rack up points, buy a power-up or two and then tap out for a while. Which is perfect for playing on the go – provided you can make the most of that vertical perspective”

Darksiders: Warmastered Edition (Switch)

8.5 – Nintendo World Report: “If you’re craving classic 3D Zelda, Darksiders is the game for you. Despite originally releasing almost 10 years ago, it has held up remarkably well”

8.0 – God is a Geek: “While not the definitive version, Darksiders: Warmastered Edition is no slouch on the Nintendo Switch. Whether played in graphics or performance mode, docked or handheld, it’s still an outstanding version of an already outstanding game”

7/10 – Nintendo Life: “While still the inferior entry in the Darksiders trilogy, this first outing is still a robust action-platformer full of satisfying melee combos, open-ended levels and a suitably over-the-top story. Easily one of the most underrated franchises to appear in the previous generation, Darksiders is a solid port that finally unleashes the Apocalypse in handheld form”

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Apr 02
By Matt Gander In Reviews No Comments

Mad Max lead us to believe that if our seas and oceans dried up, whoever possesses the largest petrol supply would hold the most power. FAR: Lone Sails shares the theme of a post-apocalyptic world with dried-out seabeds, only here the survivor’s vehicles are equipped with engines that can turn any solid matter into hydro energy. Wooden boxes, bundles of books, and even explosive barrels – shove it in the compressor and you’re good for another few miles on the clock.

FAR: Lone Sails simply requests you come along for the ride. The destination remains a mystery throughout; it’s just you – a nameless young girl in a breezy red dress – exploring a desolate wasteland in a rickety vessel. It’s a game full of intrigue, as you trundle across a mixture of terrain never knowing what lies ahead. The pace is slow, and there’s no story to take in. Instead, some light environmental storytelling fills in the blanks.

Piloting the vehicle is a demanding experience. It’s a colossal motorhome of sorts, filled with glowing red buttons to push (and headbutt). As it slowly traverses the landscape the engine must be stoked, sails raised, steam vented, and the brakes applied in a timely fashion. The engine will catch fire if too much damage occurs, requiring you to grab a hose and consume valuable hydro reserves to tackle the blaze. Damaged equipment must also be repaired via the welding tool.

The only means of failure is from neglecting fires for so long that the vehicle eventually explodes, sending you back to the last checkpoint.

Mother nature is your one and only enemy here. Over the course of the experience, you’ll face high winds, heavy rain, lightning, and a few other surprises that we won’t spoil. Often during these instances, you’re forced to juggle a few things at once, piling on the pressure as you try and escape storms while topping up fuel reserves, putting out fires, and keeping an eye on the path ahead.

Often the path ahead will be blocked by a gate or similar, requiring you to leave the vehicle and solve a puzzle or find a workaround. Puzzles are mostly of the physics-based variety, similar to those found in LIMBO or Inside, with the most demanding set inside a disused mine with movable minecarts. Ingeniously, the vehicle is tied into puzzle solving as it’s equipped with a winch and a few other items that can be used externally. In a few instances, brute force is also needed, smashing through barriers at full pelt. If in doubt, give it a clout.

Mother nature is your one and only enemy here

Some pitstops feature new upgrades, often requiring manoeuvring the vehicle into the correct position so new tech can be fastened. The most helpful of these is a vacuum that’ll inhale the consumables used to stoke the engine. We love the fact some items are a little too nice to recycle, prompting us to deliberate what to incinerate next. Thankfully, the fancier items – trinkets, if you will – can be used as decorations. You can even burn the radio if it’s random warbling starts to grate.

Speaking of which, the sound design is nothing short of superb, heightening the atmosphere no end. The bellowing wind, the flapping sails, the sound of hail hammering a metal roof, and the thunderous roar of the engine all help to make this experience a memorable one. Visually, it’s slick too, featuring backdrops reminiscent of watercolour paintings, and bright colours used sparingly.

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