Somerville Review – IGN

Somerville is an exciting weird physics-based puzzle adventure game developed by some of the same talents who previously created the pair of modern Playdead classics: Limbo and Inside. At the same time, however, it plays very differently from those productions, reminding me of the popular early ’90s classic Out of This World rather than Limbo or Inside with its upside down setting, color palette, and ending. character output, and its unmatched. -Rotate the camera direction from one scene to another. This was a pleasant surprise, although it wasn’t nearly as polished or thought-provoking as its predecessors, leaving us with a very good game but ultimately not the one I expected. wait will think long after I’ve finished it.

Somerville opens in the healthiest way possible: A man, a woman, their newborn baby and their dog are all lying on the couch in the living room, dozing off in front of the TV. You control the man, who is never named. In fact, we have never heard from him or from anyone else. Like Limbo, Inside and Out of This World, there is no dialogue; Somerville’s storytelling is purely visual. And visually, I like what the Jumpship developers have done here. Our unsung, unsung hero is also essentially anonymous, as all of these characters are more like impressionist human imitations. And yet, the use of color – and especially contrast – makes the world pop when needed, such as when a splash of yellow tells you that you can interact with an object without say it out loud.

Meanwhile, the sound design is effective in its minimalism. Besides the piano soundtrack that’s great at promoting drama or tension when Somerville’s designers wanted it to, the pervasive sound you’ll hear is our hero’s painful breathing and movements. Whatever happens to him obviously hurts him physically, and the deeper he goes into this strange new world, the more painful it becomes.

The use of color – and especially contrast – makes the world pop when it needs to be.

All of this paints a very dark, bleak, and intriguing mystery – one where the story wastes no time intensifying the danger with extraterrestrial objects suddenly filling the sky. outside of your secluded chalet in the opening moments and, it’s only gotten more eerie from there.

After that, Somerville is on a less than four-hour quest to unravel what the hell just happened and there’s still a lot going on. You’ll need to solve physics-based puzzles using your newly found powers of inexplicable glowing arms – primarily through transforming the invading alien architecture into a water-like substance that is permeable by shining light on it; namely the light is enhanced by your arm strength. Extra layers are added to these powers as you progress, but it’s a bit thin; while it’s gameplay enough to keep Somerville out of walking simulator territory, its puzzles are unlikely to hold you back for more than a few moments at a time. In fact, the one time I got hung up, it was more of an issue that I struggled with the physics rather than the actual game design.

Part of the reason its puzzles are never too complicated is that Somerville keeps its control scheme to a minimum: trigger buttons and a face button are all you need. I adore that simplicity – including how it keeps the interface non-existent 99% of the time. Especially in a moody adventure like this, I love when the atmospheric world shines through without getting in the way.

An imperfect world

As a dog lover, I was initially thrilled at the prospect of having a four-legged winger, but sadly, your canine companion serves almost no purpose here other than the occasional subtly points you in the right direction. He doesn’t assist with puzzles or gameplay, he has no impact on the story and you can’t even pamper him as you like. There is some value in some friendships in such a lonely world, but it looks like he could have been given more work to do.

Lonely and isolated as it might be, the Earth has changed to, once again, beautiful. It was interesting to be able to move freely in the 3D space of each scene that Somerville mixed seamlessly. This is not a left-to-right phase of development; you’ll be going up, down, left and right at various times, and in that respect, Somerville does a great job of preventing anything that seems remotely monotonous in its short run. It’s an important part that stems from the aforementioned Out of This World prompt, which is a very good one. And like that gem, I’m always intrigued by where Somerville’s next scene might take me.

Sometimes, however, that freedom leads to awkward transitions as you move from room to room. Sometimes, the room you’re entering will have a different camera angle that makes you move in the opposite direction, right back to where you just entered, which never ceases to be annoying.

I’ve always been intrigued by where Somerville’s next scene might take me.

When I finished reading it, however, I found the end of the story left me with more questions than answers when I watched the ending trailer, and I have to admit with a little disappointment that I didn’t feel caught up. must be collected immediately. around the nearest water cooler to discuss those questions with friends. It’s hard to describe without spoiling anything, but I suppose I’ll say I don’t find the mystery of Somerville as compelling as I expected.


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