In an empty world like Far: Changing Tides, it’s hard not to get too attached to the stupidest things. A toy carousel. A potted plant. A wooden duck. A delightfully majestic statue of a deer.
But still in the deep, dark depths of the ocean, my dark, cold furnace, I had no choice, did I? It was either stay here, schools of fish around my ankles, or sacrifice this wooden duck and throw it into the hungry mouth of the engine. Yeah, I’m still pretty upset about that.
Apparently, of course, nothing I salvage from the bottom of the ocean or from inside water-damaged homes has sentimental value. Everything I collect on my journey has one purpose: to help propel my vehicle, a weird boat-submarine-land-car thing that propels Toe – that’s us – forward.
Find out what Far is about in this trailer.
Yet, I can’t help myself. Yes, fuel cans can be burned. Yes, I will sacrifice discarded suitcases and bags – I wonder who packed them? Where are they now? How did these bags get here? – but when it comes to more unusual things, the wind-up carousel and the deer and a ballerina music box, I want to keep them. I want to cherish them. Because if I didn’t, Toe wouldn’t have anything. And more than anything, I think Toe should have something. We have no idea who they are or what they’ve been through, but I feel like it’s a lot. I feel that’s enough for a little life.
It’s very difficult to describe what Far: Changing Tides is about, because unless you’ve spent time with its predecessor, Far: Lone Sails (Edwin recommended it in 2018; absolutely fell in love with it) you’ve probably never played something like this. Part puzzle, part vehicular adventure game, it feels and looks a bit like PlayDead’s Limbo and Inside, but without the creepy shenanigans and WTF-ness. You aren’t told anything about who you are, where you’ve been, where you’re going, or even how you’re going to get there, yet you learn enough to get started. The rest you pick up – sometimes quickly, sometimes not – along the way. There is no button prompt. No waypoints. No audio logs. Everything you discover and everything you do can only be revealed by your own curiosity.
Toes can’t die, and they don’t encounter any enemies along the waterway, though you must keep your boat in top condition. From the outside, it’s seemingly cobbled together with wood and steel and chewing gum and desperate hope. Inside, it’s a bustling hive of pistons, gears and gadgets. You will soon come to think of it not just as your vehicle or even your home, but also as your only friend and travel companion.
While Lone Sails could be finished in a single sitting, Changing Tides is an altogether more languid affair. Ending at around 10 – well, depending on how quickly you can solve those puzzles, of course – it’s not laboriously long either, but it does give us more time to sit in this world and, forgive the pun intended, soak up its vibe. The mechanics should be familiar to those of you who have played the original game, and not too difficult to understand for those who haven’t; you use your sails to glide as much as possible and turn on your engine when wind power is not available. This time, however, you can also dive into the ocean, inside or outside your vehicle.
Since it’s a longer adventure this time around, there’s so much more to explore, from the flooded streets you start off in, to the frozen, iceberg-covered waters you’ll cross later, and I loved every moment. The score is a perfectly perfect accompaniment, being as much a part of the experience as the visuals and puzzles, but sometimes it’s just you and the sound of the sea, and that’s wonderful too.
There are better visual cues to help you identify wind currents and maximize your cruising speed, making it infinitely easier to decide when it’s time to switch from wind power to furnace power. And sometimes Toe will find his route clogged, so he’ll jump out of his boat/submarine/truck and explore the world to find a way around it. Well, what’s left of it.
This is where Far: Changing Tides really sings. Again, you’re never told anything explicitly but the ruins of the world around you and the clues left behind by its inhabitants – the flooded streets and rusting prefabs, the thin mattresses and empty tin cans littering the rooftops – tell you enough. Rusty steel sticks out of the water like copper bones. Cranes dominate the waves, teetering dangerously in the gusts of wind. Some of the structures that extend out of the waves are so strange, so alien, that it’s hard to know what function they once had. But you know whatever they used to do, they don’t do it anymore. What was once a cluttered industrial landscape is now silent. Cold. Dead.
There were a few times when my fuel rations were terribly low, however. I must take some of that blame – I told you before that I couldn’t burn everything I discovered, and three quarters of my precious collection was still in the spotlight when I finally finished my adventure. – but I also accidentally butted the button that moves your recovery into the furnace when there was already something burning in there, wasting fuel. The key is to be vigilant and explore thoroughly, including under the waves, and to use whatever you find. All interactive elements are painted in the same sky blue color, making it easy to distinguish between environmental clues and interactive puzzle elements.
“Far: Changing Tides is every bit as spellbinding as its predecessor…”
Is it perfect? Not enough. The limited perspective means you’ll struggle to take the mast down in time before it collides with an obstacle – unfairly forcing you to carry out repairs on your ship when repair tools are extremely scarce – and sometimes, With too many interactive elements gathered in one place, you might accidentally grab the wrong element or move the wrong switch or gear.
The puzzling this time around, however, is almost perfect. Neither frustratingly opaque nor insultingly easy – and at times its predecessor was guilty of both – I found that I progressed through Changing Tides at a satisfying pace without too many lags and just one particular puzzle that kept me going. biting the nerves. They also come in different forms; a puzzle might ask you to make changes to the ship, for example, while other times you’re working to open a rusty door. I think I liked the latter more; it gives Toe an excuse to further explore this aquatic world.
There’s more, too, but some of Changing Tides’ biggest surprises are also its biggest spoilers, so let’s leave it there. I can say, however, that its most significant story beats are a gloriously satisfying conclusion to Toe’s journey. Of course, the long navigation sequences may be too simple for some; but it’s one of those times when you have no choice but to sit back, relax, and travel… wherever that takes you.
Having loved the first game, I was thrilled that a sequel – or “accompanying track” – was coming, but I admit I was also apprehensive. I worried that the unique appeal of Far: Lone Sails couldn’t be expanded to encompass a sequel with a longer runtime, and I wasn’t sure how confusing it would be so endearing the second time around. If you too are concerned about the same things, don’t worry. It turns out that Far: Changing Tides is just as spellbinding as its predecessor thanks to its stunning presentation, haunting soundtrack, and utterly unique gameplay and puzzle mechanics. Don’t miss it.
Article source https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2022-02-21-far-changing-tides-review