Close to the Sun | PS4 Review.

Monday 18 January 2021

Publisher: Wired production
Developer: Storm in a Teacup
PS4 Review

Show me any game similar to Bioshock and I will need to play it, the aesthetic and everything about Bioshock is something I will forever need in my life, it has become one of my favourite franchises and I'm patiently waiting for a new game to be added to it. Close to the Sun may have a similar feel to Bioshock but the characters are very different and it has its own identity which is important when it comes to games with similar aesthetics. I do want to mention that it's a pretty short game but it does have playthrough value and makes you want to go back to get all the trophies/achievements due to a good storyline! 

Close to the Sun is a thriller but I wouldn't say I was scared at any point playing, more frustrated that it took me more then 3 goes to workout what the hell I had to do and how to execute my plan when it came to puzzles but they're the kind of puzzle games I like so that was a big thumbs up for me. You play as a female protagonist called Rose searching for her sister Ada on a slow sinking ship, Rose was invited by her sister to come and see the Helios and what was on board, it wasn't your normal ship it was actually owned by the one of the greatest minds in history, Nikola Tesla! The ship acted as a research center and was built at the start of the 1890s, only the best of the best from around the world were recruited to work on the projects on board so the outside world weren't able to interfere. When Rose boards the ship she can tell something is off especially when she sees the words quarantine, unexplained things are taking place and Ada holds the answers you need to not only get to her but also to survive.

The game starts off slow, I was bracing myself to be scared straight away but instead I was free to look around the small boat I was on to find collectables, once I reached the ship it was the same story as the little boat except I was trying to find if there was any life on board but it was deserted with trails of blood and much of the decor in disarray. I found each section of the game to run smoothly and have a good pace, there was a reason for everything even down to objects I could interact with, the steampunk aesthetic was pleasing and I would find myself going off course just so I could read and look at anything that stood out to me.

Whilst making my way through each section of the ship I could see lights flicker and curtains moving, I would also come across a knife wielding maniac who wanted to kill me, luckily I managed to avoid getting killed by him throughout the whole game but the same can't be said for other obstacles I came across. Due to an experiment going wrong it's made getting to your sister then first thought, a lot of it comes down to a mysteries blue substance that lingers in the air, but stay too long in that substance and you're met with a creature that will kill you instantly. The best way to avoid being killed would be to find a place that was clear from the substance to help find your bearings and what you need to do next, lucky just click on the menu shows what your next step is.

I was a bit frustrated with having to run away as it meant I couldn't explore that area but I gather there wouldn't be anything there to find anyways, I'm just a sucker for the interior from that era. The characters I came into contact with had interesting roles to play, some were nicer than others and my character who seems to trust more easily than I ever would was drawn in hook line and sinker just because she knew she needed to find her sister and get to her before anything harms her. I found the concept of time travel the best part of the game, no this doesn't mean your character can do time travel, the story focuses on how time travel is important to Rose finding and getting to Ada.

This game is more of an exploration game than anything, you don't get weapons and the ghosts that appear reminded me a lot of Everybody's Gone to the Rapture, the puzzles are pretty easy to solve, I didn't spend more than 3 or 4 minutes doing them except for one which involved fire because my mind had gone blank and I didn't realise that they had to be pushed in a certain sequence, I definitely think the game focuses more on the story then puzzles. The developers have crafted a beautiful game, the decor and any accessories used in the game go perfectly with the era, the history behind the game deserved more of a limelight, I get that the whole purpose was to save your sister but you can't introduce this kind of history without delving more into it as a lot of people may miss documents they find on the subject if they don't explore enough, some documents you find will make you chuckle! 

I was under the impression that it would be a longer than it was, each chapter was short but I can't really complain when they told the story and gave you all the information you needed but I needed to know more, I wanted to see more of Ada's research, what happened on the ship before Rose got there and most of all more about Rose and Ada's life growing up together. I felt that the first half of the game held it together well but towards the end it ended far too abruptly almost like there would possible be a DLC to come to add more, Rose didn't go through all that just to watch the ship sink and for the player never to find out what the information she acquired could lead to next.


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