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    dkirschner's FAR: Changing Tides (PS4)

    [July 2, 2024 07:45:12 AM]
    Sequel to FAR: Lone Sails, which I played last week. Although it’s expanded, I didn’t like it as much. Lone Sails has you piloting a contraption across the land, while Changing Tides has you on (and under) sea. The ship is bigger and has a couple extra mechanics, like raising and adjusting the sail to catch the wind and going into “turbo” mode, which is useful a few times for breaking through barriers or getting unstuck. The useful “vacuum” attachment is missing, replaced with a winch, which will descend and attach to cannisters full of items if you are above them, but otherwise you have to manually swim down and pick up each item and bring it back to the ship. It got really annoying. Why not have an undersea vacuum and keep this quality of life element?

    The longer run time of Changing Tides is due, I think, primarily to: having to swim and retrieve each item (bad), longer and more complicated puzzles (good), and longer time cruising in between places of interest (neutral). The environments are still pretty, and you still get this sense of being isolated, but Changing Tides has more emphasis on exploration since you can dive underwater. There’s an “ancient civilization” down there, but I don’t know anything about it save it is technologically advanced. The exploration was mainly frustrating, and that is due to the thing that caused me the biggest headache: the controls.

    Lone Sails’ controls were pretty good. With its physics, items would roll around as the contraption ambled over land, so items could get in your way. But running and jumping with the main character was pretty tight. This was important because of the small confines of the vehicle; precise movement was necessary. In Changing Tides, however, they made the character floaty and everything else more stable. If I had a quarter for how many times I: went up ladders without intending to; missed my jump; jumped past what I was aiming for; damaged my ship because I couldn’t get to the sail or engine or whatever in time; etc…I admit to shouting at the TV a couple times because I couldn’t get the character to catch a ladder because the movement was so floaty. It became really frustrating as the boat and exporable spaces got bigger. I have no idea why they didn’t calibrate the character’s movement just like in Lone Sails.

    Finally, there were several times I got stuck on the environment or that it glitched out. One time was especially bad. I was diving down trying to find a way underneath an obstacle. Down, down, and the sea turned slowly from blue to black. I pressed onward, assuming I would die, but no! A little light appeared, and I thought, “Cool! You’re supposed to dive far down, then use the character’s flashlight to guide you!” So I swam around in the dark for 10 minutes trying to get the light to go to the right place. Finally, the screen flickered and I was next to another obstacle on the right. I thought I had come up or something, so I tried to go back down, but couldn’t. I tried to go left and up, and the screen flickered and turned black again. Repeat for a while as I tried to figure out what was going on, before realizing that I wasn’t supposed to have been able to go into the darkness in the first place, and that I was wandering around outside of bounds. All of a sudden, the screen flickered again, and I was stuck on the bottom of my vehicle. I had to reload the game to get unstuck. It took me a while to figure out what to do there, and turns out, you have to dive with the vehicle. When you do that, the underwater area looks different than when you dive without the vehicle, which was really, really stupid. There was no path when I dove alone, so why would I think to descend in the vehicle? And all of a sudden in the vehicle, there is a path forward? Come on.

    A nod to the ending of the game though, despite the rough journey. It ties into the first one and I guessed it about ¾ of the way through. I want to like these games more than I do, but after the less polished second one, I wouldn’t play a third. I might recommend Lone Sails just for a taste of what’s neat about the series, but wouldn’t recommend this one.
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    dkirschner's FAR: Changing Tides (PS4)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Sunday 30 June, 2024

    GameLog closed on: Monday 1 July, 2024

    dkirschner's opinion and rating for this game

    Like Lone Sails but on/under water. --------- Not as good! Neat ending though.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstar

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