Lake | PS4 Review.

Monday 13 June 2022

Gamious, Whitethorn Games
Developer: Gamious
PS4 Review

On days where you just can't be bothered to play anything action packed there are a variety of games you can lose yourself in as an alternative, Lake fits this type of game perfectly with its 80s vibes and exploration elements taking you on a journey of belonging and finding your purpose in this world. Lake pulls the main character (Meredith) away from her busy life in the city and takes her back to her childhood hometown Providence Oaks to house sit for her parents and take over her dads mail delivery job whilst they go on holiday. Meredith is a 44 year old computer programmer and her life revolves around her job, taking time out from it was just what she needed especially with such a demanding schedule, her boss never lets her relax. 

She hasn't been back to Providence in many years, leaving behind her best friend was something she did in order to further her career, she now had a chance to rekindle things with her and make up for lost time. Meredith pretty much does as she is told in order to get her dads job done in good time. Slowing down is something Meredith needed, it's obvious to see her whole life is just work and she hasn't taken any time for her own interests or to see what else life has to offer. At the end of each day there is a sense of accomplishment, the empty truck and mail bag will be full again waiting for you the next morning for another day the chill life.

Your task is to deliver mail by mail truck AKA Goose, whether that is post in your back or the packages in the back of the truck, along the way residents ask for a helping hand which you can accept or decline, it's totally up to you, bare in mind that you can gain trophies and achievements for some tasks. Lake involves a lot of driving then half way through playing I discovered that I could use autopilot to get to a part of the map I have unlocked without me driving terribly and smashing into everything along the way. This feature made the game that much more relaxing as you can just sit and watch the backdrop pass you by, it made me really appreciate just how pretty the game was. After each shift you get to choose if you want Meredith to go out, relax or work on what her boss as sent over, most of the time I would let her relax. There is a real problem in todays society where people are expected to drop everything for work, there is no care towards their mental health, just because their boss is so career driven they're forced to take on more workload unfortunately.

The map offers a great insight into how big Providence Oaks really is, the main lake and vast vegetation make it the perfect place hide away from the world. As the days pass Meredith, her encounters lead her down a road she didn't imagine she would face. From getting interviewed about the goings on at the Post Office to facing her feelings head on. Meeting neighbours both old and new to Meredith opens up the dialogue for new feelings, unbeknown to Meredith certain characters develop feelings for her, it's up to you to choose the road that you feel is best for Meredith, but bare in mind, there is more than one ending to this game. As a 30+ woman I'm glad this game is focused on an older woman, it shows that even at the age of 44 Meredith can still find herself and life doesn't end in your 40's, it's a lot like when people say if you have kids you have to stop gaming or if you reach a certain age, this toxic mindset irks me to no end, we won't get into that debate right now. 

At times I found the game to be very slow, this wasn't due to any glitches just the sheer fact it forces players to slow down. I would have liked to of had the option of more people to bump into and connect with. I gather this is a big part of Lake being focused on Meredith's story it's all set out in a way where we go down a certain path just for her rather than more exploration. There was one glitches I came across that made it impossible to take photos the game would crash everytime I put the camera away. In the end I left the game alone for a few weeks, told the developers of the issue and came back to it once they patched it, after that I had no other issues. 

You have to give kudos to the developers they worked hard on fixing any issues players had and kept us up to date, when I tweeted them they got back to me as soon as they could to let me know the issue was being dealt with, they care about their players. Games can crash and have bugs/glitches that will occur out of nowhere, the right way to go about this is by communicating to their players to form trust which they did in a speedy and respectful manner. I've spoken to a handful of people who love this game just due to the fact there isn't much to it, the game doesn't promise much yet delivers a sense of comfort towards the end. It sounds strange caring so much for a character in a game it's just one of those things that tend to grow on a person whether they like it or not. 

If I delve into anymore details it would probably ruin the experience for other players so I will keep this as vague of a review as I can. Personally I would like to see a sequel to Lake, maybe named something else whilst still focusing on Meredith's next steps in life, even with the endings I faced there was much more about Meredith to expand on. Trophies and achievements are easy enough, any you missed out on you can load up previous saves and use them once you finished the game completely, luckily for me I unintentionally got them all without trying or realising. I played Lake on PS5 as the PS4 version, you can also play on Microsoft Windows, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S for around £24.99.

Have a cosy day


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