Far: Lone Sails is a unique experience, one that doesn’t last that long, one that leaves you with a few unanswered questions and one that amazed me from start to finish.
The game opens on our character – Lone, standing over a grave with a dead tree creaking in the wind. The world around us is a wash of grey and white but we stand out brightly in our red jacket and hat. It sets the tone for the whole game perfectly right from the very get go – you are the centre of this journey.
You quickly find your vessel for your adventures across land and dried out sea beds in the form of your bulky land ship. The design of it is fantastic, from the look of it, to its details inside and the way you move around the various parts of the vehicle. It feels futuristic, old and industrial at the same time.
The world around you is stark, harsh and unforgiving, but it doesn’t feel bleak. In fact I think it feels hopeful and encouraging with a sense of freedom to it. As soon as you set foot on your hulking locomotive land ship I got a feeling of comfort, I felt safe inside the ship. I placed my little suitcase that I’d found in the house earlier on my new bed and with a thunk and a hiss as I pushed the mighty button to kick start the engines; I was off on my adventure.
Maintaining your vehicle is the key to your journey, you must gather what resources are left around to convert to fuel to keep you moving forwards. Every so often you’ll come across areas or structures that cannot be bypassed until you open a gate or something similar. This is when you will need to go out on foot to explore these areas and complete puzzles in order to get moving again. It’s nothing too taxing on the brain, but you do get to check out some wonderfully interesting locations.
Everything around you has a grand sense of scale to it; huge machines lay strewn across the landscape broken and rusting. Exploring these structures lends itself to the scale of the world that you’re in as you dive deep underground, or ascend cliff faces to solve puzzles in order to progress forward. Even the buttons on all the machinery are overly large. It all feels very deliberate to make you feel smaller or more lost and it works magnificently.
The story of Far: Lone Sails is vague and you will only have hints trickled to you as you move forwards but once I’d finished the game I felt like I had a good understanding of what was happening, although I do still have some questions.
From start to finish Far: Lone Sails is an intriguing, immersive and fantastic game, the pacing is great with calmer moments with time to absorb the surroundings and reflect on the story, intense moments where you’ll need quick reactions to challenges, and nice puzzles that will keep you focused on what you’re doing without frustrating you. There are some really incredible moments during the game, from devastating storms that hammer away at your vehicle as you hunker down inside to large open vistas with amazing views and a serene feel to them.
Yes, it’s a short game, I completed it in around 2 hours, but it was totally worth it, it never felt dragged out, it never felt rushed, it just flowed beautifully from one moment to the next to form brilliant crescendo’s and diminuendo’s throughout.