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FAR: Changing Tides

FAR: Changing Tides

What would you do if you woke up in a world you could no longer recognise? Your home, flooded beyond recognition with not a single soul in sight? FAR: Changing Tides' protagonist, Toe, experiences just that while they adventure west in search of a new beginning. That is about as much context as you'll be getting, and it isn't necessarily bad; although knowing what Toe's goal is deepens the experience, it isn't necessary, for the game is great without really knowing what's going on.

Early on in your journey, you'll encounter a ship; this becomes your companion throughout the rest of your adventure. You will need to sail across the vast sunken lands and face environmental hazards that stand between you and your goal. Although these challenges were enjoyable and made the game feel less empty, they were far too simple for my taste, and I felt they became bland after a short period. That said, despite their blandness in nature, the obstacles were certainly welcome — I only wish they had been more difficult.

As an atmospheric game, FAR: Changing Tides has a lot of empty moments regarding gameplay while you sail across the lands. These sections can become a bit boring and slow at times; however, the graphics and soundtrack made it bearable, as I enjoyed the view while moving things around inside the ship. In fact, notwithstanding sailing being one of the main things you'll be doing in the game — accounting for around half of your gameplay — it isn't ever a chore despite the simplicity. Sailing across the lands became a relaxing journey. And whenever a hazard was presented (such as a thunderstorm), I welcomed that too; it felt like FAR: Changing Tides could do no wrong, regardless of whatever I was presented with.

The sunken lands were fun to explore as well, as Toe has the ability to dive into the water and swim to explore for items; I just wish there were more reasons to do so. Diving underwater felt aimless and senseless; not only did it not provide any materials, but I was also triggering my thalassophobia needlessly. Although I was willing to endure it due to the gorgeous and relaxing environments, it felt like a waste of time whenever I didn't travel through the ship; it merely added more playtime of senseless wandering that I’d had enough of during the sailing sequences. It was a shame, seeing that the underwater world was a sight to behold.

Most of the things you'll be doing in FAR: Changing Tides (aside from sailing) is solving puzzles to disentangle your vehicle from the latest blockage. Although the game doesn't have any story nor dialogue, it became rather monotonous to be doing the same task repeatedly and obtaining your next ship upgrade each time, only to — once again — get ensnared by your next obstacle. This might have been a bit less tedious were the puzzles more engaging, though seeing the game feels like an enjoyable and relaxing title, it feels unjust to judge it by its "lack of difficulty".

One final thing I'd like to mention is that the story spans only a couple of hours. Seeing as this is a linear title with enough gameplay to last you between six to eight hours, the £14.99 price tag might be a bit steep for some users, especially when considering that FAR: Changing Tides has no replay value. The time might not be so disagreeable were you not sailing with nothing to do for a big portion of your playtime.

Voyaging across sunken lands has never been done better, as FAR: Changing Tides has enjoyable sailing that could rival Sea of Thieves. The soundtrack, visuals, and setting do a phenomenal job at setting a tone despite not a single word of dialogue being spoken in the game. That said, simple puzzles and bland hazards could have used a bit more work, but it might have shattered the relaxing experience of the game overall. Take FAR: Changing Tides as what it should be — an atmospheric walking (sailing?) simulator — and you'll come out the other side loving the experience. Expecting more might net you disappointment.

7.50/10 7½

FAR: Changing Tides (Reviewed on Windows)

This game is good, with a few negatives.

FAR: Changing Tides is a phenomenal atmospheric game, as the visuals and sound design amalgamate wonderfully. However, you might be disappointed if you go into it expecting more.

This game was supplied by the publisher or relevant PR company for the purposes of review
Artura Dawn

Artura Dawn

Staff Writer

Writes in her sleep, can you tell?

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