Far: Changing Tides Test

In the context of a video game, this may sound strange. In the case of other game concepts, this could put the seal of certainty on them. What’s the purpose of playing a game that has no variation in interaction, to begin with?

This is an appropriate inquiry for those who love action and seek a steady stream of work. If you’re bored of shooters and you’ve never gone for more than two seconds without pulling the trigger on your gun or soaring across the countryside in stunning action If so, FAR: The Changing Tides isn’t for you since, for long periods, you’re not expected to do anything except keep the steamship operating.

This is not your usual steamboat. It’s more like a bizarre construction that can work against every odd. The same material it is composed of is not explicit. However, its hull is cylindrical and was patched due to the need. It’s a Frankenstein machine, with an enormous sail mast; however, it only requires it in emergencies. In particular, if there isn’t any combustible material that can provide steam to the engine.

This engine burns trash that you have to bring along on your journey to the store, then take it back to the combustion chamber when required. It sounds simple. However, it’s not since most of it is located at the bottom of the ocean. In the meantime, Lone can dive indefinitely and speed through the sea at record speed.

When fuel becomes readily available, we’re ready to go. A giant bellows in the vessel, where Lone pumps oxygen with the aid of her weight. This increases the temperature in the chamber to the point it causes the steam boiler that is next to it to produce steam, and the craft speeds up. So you’ll be able to drink Lone across the room from right to left in uncharted territory on a 2-dimensional playing field rendered in 3D graphics.

The fuel must be replenished in regular intervals, and the boiler is heated; otherwise, the rate will decrease. Make sure you don’t overdo it, as when the boiler is at full pressure, it is likely to explode into flames which, in turn, will stop a few splashes of burning water from igniting. This is a system that must be balanced on a constant examination of your skills, but after a bit of familiarization, it becomes a bit automatically, and as your car drives, you can feast your eyes on the sights of the decayed, flooded world.

A relaxing trip filled with fascinating experiences were it not because there are always constructions or natural phenomena that block the flow and must be cleared or, at a minimum, squelched. Mechanical structures want to be put in motion, as well as old towers rediscovered and forgotten arrangements put into operation, which can be rewarded with free travel and an upgrade of the steamship. As captain and engineer in personal union, there’s always something to be done. Opening gates, shifting crates, and setting treadmills in motion. These kinds of things, typically only in a complex arrangement that requires a particular sequence.

The wrong wheel is turned

If you’re searching for the original game, it’s not a reason to be unhappy; however, in the effort to create more complexity in the puzzles, they sometimes miss the mark. The brainteasers are to be a little too complicated and divert attention from the central theme, which some meditative aspect is lost. Instead of being a lovely mixture of interest from afar and a pleasant brain jogging, boredom and monotony are in the spotlight.

One of the most essential elements in this critique is the sail on the ship. You have to keep it aligned to ensure that it will remain in the river regardless of how the wind direction shifts. This is a challenge as you must ensure it remains unharmed with no three-dimensional view or camera pan. If you crash into objects repeatedly, the injury will prevent the sail from being used. If there’s still no fuel available for steam engines, the only option is to download an old savegame or remain patient as you drift through the water in the hope of finding some repair kit.

A plan that one might be able to accept if there weren’t constant obstacles in the way that is found out late because of the absence of a chaser’s viewpoint. It is possible to do an image zoom with the touch of a button. It will show a bit more of the path ahead; however, even with this, obstructions like bridges or nearby rocks are revealed so fast that it’s rare that you have the sail folded at the right time. It’s exhausting, particularly since you’d need to navigate in the zoomed-in view, and every activity on the ship appears impossible since the character shrinks to an ant-sized size during the process.

Despite its melancholy soundtrack with its witty locations and some tense puzzles and some enhanced gameplay mechanics, FAR: The Changing Tides isn’t able to break from the shadow of its predecessor. Unfortunately, so much of the game’s time is wasted on the fundamental movement. This is not just because it affects the balance of gameplay and the meditative experience of the predecessor, but since it is the Xbox One version, for reasons that are not clear, it struggles with an extremely high input lag that renders this task nearly impossible. The issue isn’t present with the new Series consoles; however, the Xbox One X version has it. Xbox One X, Lone is able to run and jump with such a sluggish delay that you can’t make sharp jumps and struggle climbing ladders, even the most basic ones.

Conclusion

It’s strange that the makers of Okomotive are going down this road. FAR was not a game that swept off its feet with gameplay finesse. On the contrary, its decelerated approach provided a refreshing contrast to the action-heavy monotony of many other indie games.

The FAR Game Changing Tides relies on the same puzzle-based gameplay and meditative driving. It will likely keep you entertained even if you enjoyed the previous game. The only difference is that the balance between the game’s components has been altered to my disadvantage. If you’ve ever desired a bit more involvement within this game’s premise, perhaps you’ll prefer the newer version more. It’s a matter of the taste. However, it is not difficult to complain about the structure of the story. This kind of mix of melancholy, bittersweet and contemplative silence is not often seen.

Overview

Pro

  • A meditative and peaceful atmosphere.
  • Wordless, mediated (melo-)drama.
  • mostly clever and challenging puzzles
  • thrilling underwater adventures
  • melancholy music

Contra

  • more micromanagement through engines and sails.
  • This means that there is less time to get into the story’s evocative atmosphere.
  • The obstacles are difficult to spot ahead of time.
  • Some puzzle solutions can be unnecessarily burdensome
  • Input lag is a nightmare on Xbox One

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