FAR: Lone Sails
|FAR: Lone Sails|
|Platform(s)||Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows, OS X|
|Release||May 17, 2018|
FAR: Lone Sails is an exploration adventure video game developed by Okomotive. The game released on Microsoft Windows and OS X on 17 May 2018, with Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions in development.
In FAR, the player controls the driver of a large vehicle as they search through a post-apocalypse setting. The game's vehicle is a hybrid between a land and sea vehicle that has been modified a number of times. The game is played from a side-scrolling perspective, with the vehicle interior seen as a cross-section. To control the vehicle the player must move around inside it, operating stations and pressing buttons to perform various functions that keep the vehicle moving, such as engaging the engine or filling the boiler. The various parts of the vehicle can take damage, requiring the player to stop and extinguish fires and repair damaged systems. They are also required to solve puzzles in the world to allow the vehicle to pass and collect upgrades for it. The game has no enemies, though the player-character can die due to environmental hazards, and will restart at the last checkpoint.
While the game starts with a burial scene, the rest of the game's background story is intentionally vague, with the developers intending for the player's curiosity to motivate them to explore. The landscapes passed during the game show the ruins of a technically-advanced civilization, and a world where the oceans have dried up, leaving massive ships scuttled on dry beds and bouts of extremely hazardous weather.
FAR began in 2015 as the Bachelor's student project of lead developer Don Schmocker at the Zurich University of the Arts. The development team expanded to other students at the University working alongside Schmocker during his master's degree. Schmocker was inspired by Strandbeests, the book Stephen Biesty's Incredible Cross-Sections, The Straight Story, and games such as Journey and LittleBigPlanet when designing FAR. Looking to take a new approach to the use of vehicles in video games, the developers aimed to create a game where the player was dependent on their vehicle, forming an emotional attachment to it over the course of the game.
Writing for Mashable, Anna Washenko named the game as one of her favourites from E3 2016, calling it a "simple but lovely game". After playing the game at GDC 2017, Chris Livingston of PC Gamer described FAR as "one of the most intuitive games" he had played, also praising the visual design and music. On Polygon, Charlie Hall described the game as having "more meaning, conveyed silently, than many major AAA games released so far this year". Kyle Hilliard of Game Informer praised the game's ability to connect the player to their vehicle, the world building, and the puzzles.
GameSpot scored the game 8/10, praising the visual style and ease of play. Edwin Evans-Thirlwell of Eurogamer recommended the game, describing it as an "enormously warm-hearted adventure" and commenting positively on the game's pace and environments.
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