FAR: Lone Sails
|FAR: Lone Sails|
|Platform(s)||Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows, OS X|
|Release||May 17, 2018|
FAR: Lone Sails is an exploration adventure video game developed by the Swiss development company Okomotive. The game released on Microsoft Windows and OS X on 17 May 2018, with Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions released in April 2019, and the Nintendo Switch version on 18 August 2019. It was released in Japan on January 23, 2019.
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 with fuel sources found over the course of the player's journey. 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. During his master's degree he continued the development together with his fellow student Goran Saric. They founded the game studio Okomotive in February 2017 and expanded the team with other students and friends from University. 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. Limmy described the game as "brilliant and beautiful" and "almost had a tear in my eye cos it was so nice, no joke".
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.
The game was a finalist in the Best Student Game category at the 2017 Independent Games Festival. It was also nominated for "Best Visual Design" at the 2018 Golden Joystick Awards, and for "Game, Puzzle" at the National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers Awards.
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- Lahti, Evan (16 June 2016). "Take a weirdly charming roadtrip through the post-apocalypse in Far". PC Gamer. Retrieved 22 March 2017.
- Couture, Joel (15 February 2017). "Road to the IGF: Student project FAR: Lone Sails". Gamasutra. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
- Hall, Charlie (16 May 2018). "Far: Lone Sails is a poem disguised as a video game". Polygon. Retrieved 17 May 2018.
- Washenko, Anna (20 June 2016). "The 10 best independent games at E3 2016". Mashable. Retrieved 22 March 2017.
- Hilliard, Kyle (18 May 2018). "Far: Lone Sails". Game Informer. Retrieved 19 May 2018.
- Nielsen, Holly (2017-08-25). "The 11 best games at Gamescom: Mario Odyssey, new Assassin's Creed and more". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-09-04.
- "Okomotive wins prize at Swiss game awards". Switzerland Global Enterprise. 19 February 2019.
- Livingston, Chris (4 March 2017). "This week's highs and lows in PC gaming". PC Gamer. Retrieved 22 March 2017.
- Limmy (2019-04-16). "Last night I streamed a brilliant and beautiful game called FAR: Lone Sails @FARtheGame. Almost had a tear in my eye at one point cos it was so nice, no joke. Completing it today at 9am right here:http://www.twitch.tv/brianlimond". @daftlimmy. Retrieved 2019-04-16.
- O'Connor, James (15 May 2018). "FAR: Lone Sails Review: Come Sail Away". GameSpot. Retrieved 17 May 2018.
- Evans-Thirlwell, Edwin (22 May 2018). "FAR: Lone Sails review - outsailing the apocalypse". Eurogamer. Retrieved 29 September 2018.
- "Finalists and Winners". Independent Games Festival. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
- Chalk, Andy (9 January 2017). "Independent Games Festival Awards finalists announced". PC Gamer. Retrieved 22 March 2017.
- Hoggins, Tom (24 September 2018). "Golden Joysticks 2018 nominees announced, voting open now". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 6 October 2018.
- Sheridan, Connor (16 November 2018). "Golden Joystick Awards 2018 winners: God of War wins big but Fortnite gets Victory Royale". GamesRadar+. Retrieved 17 November 2018.
- "Nominee List for 2018". National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers. 11 February 2019. Archived from the original on 13 February 2019. Retrieved 19 February 2019.