17/05/2017

☆ Review: Future Unfolding - "The Open World And Blank Piece Of Paper" ☆ #GameDev

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Future Unfolding - PC

"Future Unfolding is an action adventure that is all about exploration. Your goal is to unfold the mysteries and solve the puzzles hidden in the beautiful landscapes around you. There are no tutorials, and no one is telling you what to do."


Having no real preconception as to what I should expect with this video game other than you are not given any direction are just dropped right in and left to your own devices I was eagerly anticipating setting aside a morning to experience this innovative and colourful experience.

My first visual and style impressions were that this game is something of a cross between Firewatch (walking around) Hot Line Miami (running around top down) and  Journey (colour palette and serene feeling). 3 outstanding games that jumped out at me almost immediately just from my first 5 minutes.

I think that this game wants you to prepare your mind for the adventure ahead and for you to disregard all other video game notions that you may hold so as you can take in the experience as it meant. You almost need to go with the flow and see what happens.

The reason I say this is because there doesn’t seem to be a visible objective when you start playing. You press a button to start and hey presto you are dropped into a strikingly colourful world that seems to be teeming with atmosphere and hidden life. You begin to walk around in any direction that you fancy and then you will stumble upon oddities or not so obvious puzzles.



The controls leave you with a button to interact and a button to run with.

Interact is dependant upon which thing you would like to interact with. In one example I came across a tree and then had to interact with it to solve a tree based puzzle. I didn’t know what I was meant to do I just tried something and it kind of worked.

The run button moves your protagonist across the screen that much faster and leaves a trail of colour in his or her wake. The run button also seems to disturb the surroundings and pushes certain fauna and smaller rocks to the wayside.

There’s a third button and that is used for bringing up the map. The map for me was the item that brought my thoughts together on why I was playing and what I maybe should be doing. It acts as a record of discovery as you are creating the map as you move around the landscape and discover new things. It’s actually a clever notion that you should just have a map and the open world to go by as it really draws you in and makes you feel like you are actually discovering the nuances of this undiscovered world and landscape.



The music cleverly draws you in as it plays a gentle atmospheric tone that soothes you as you traverse the landscape and then punctuates a discovery with a change in pitch or a chime like noise to give you some feedback around whether you are succeeding in what you are attempting or not. The music combined with the map seem to be the only clues as to whether you are heading in the right direction.

Some highlights of the interaction include discovering a Rabbit, riding a cow, riding some kind of Bison (not M Bison), befriending a herd of sheep and harnessing the power of the trees. All of these interactions are designed to assist you in the discovery of the world you find yourself and allow you to harness their energy or skills in order to proceed.

Summary: 

The whole game seems like a dream as it feels like a hazy reality that could be true but is fuzzy around the edges. Almost like a drug induced hallucination. This is semi-comparable to the film Water ship Down in its friendly tone that kind of feels like it could be tinged with terror or danger at any point.

There is definitely a message in this game that I am slowly discovering. I won't spoil the game for you as I believe that you should come into this game knowing only the basic premise. 

At 14.99 on Steam, I think that this game offers something completely different from most other games out there and almost draws upon the retro gaming age of no hand holding. Maybe think back to the original Zelda. “Here’s a landscape, now go and explore and see what you can find out”

So get out there and try it out for yourself as this game deserves a wide audience and to be given a go by every serious gaming connoisseur out there.


RATING: ICE COOL

Ratings Explained
ICE COOL (Great Game Recommended)
MELTING (Just Falls Short Of Greatness)
MELTED (Not A Recommended Purchase)

Game Link: Steam
Dev Link: Spaces Of Play



Reviewed By Rich


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