Close to the Sun review

Storytelling in the game world has transformed the way we think. I love a good story, as do most gamers and there are so many wonderful storytellers out there in the gaming world, ready to share their artistic flare in an interactive story.

It’s lovely to see the media embrace the platform in terms of its art and the ability to showcase developer’s creative talents. For too long there has been a stigma attached to the form of entertainment we love and it’s truly awesome to see the perception of us gamers change.

Gaming is now seen and accepted as an art form throughout the world, it’s up there with the film industry in terms of a recognised entertainment platform and it certainly pulls in the wonga too, with the gaming industry worth an estimated $18.4 billion in the US alone, and that figure is set to reach $230 billion by 2022.

Up until recently there had always been something missing in the catalogue of games available in the world of Xbox, for years top quality story telling game’s seemed to be missing on the Xbox console, where’s the playstation brand seemed to be littered with these story driven games, how things have changed.

Our beloved brand is now packed with story driven creative content and it’s so refreshing to see, after all having choice is a gamer’s best friend.

Xbox one has a wonderful community which embraces fellow gamers, with so much friendship and interaction on offer and there’s one thing we can all agree on, It’s a wonderful sight to see developers express there creative and artwork talents and merge that with storytelling, after all – we all want to be immersed in a captivating story and then share our experiences with like-minded people.

Developed by Storm in a Tea Cup and published by Wired Productions, Close to the Sun is an original thrilling story based game, that welcomes you in to a captivating adventure, with a truly stunning atmospheric piece of interactive story telling that will have you exploring in all the dark corners.

Not only is it gripping and enthralling, it will have you jumping out of your skin with some excellent scare and jump moments.

Picture the scene, it’s 1897 and deep in international waters, the Helios stands still. Dark clouds loom overhead as unforgiving waves crash against the hull. Colossal effigies of gold, decorated with magnificent finery, stretch as far as the eye can see.

Born of Nikola Tesla’s vision, the Helios serves as a haven for the greatest scientific minds. An unbound utopia for research, independent from state and isolated from the gaze of society. Free to push the boundaries of matter and time.

Journalist Rose Archer steps aboard the Helios in search of her sister Ada. She quickly discovers not all is as it seems. Grand halls stand empty. The stench of rotting flesh lingers in the air. Silence. A single word is painted across the entrance… QUARANTINE!

So, get ready to jump aboard and explore the decks of a huge vessel in a game full of atmospheric tension. It’s all on you, as you try to figure out where is everyone and just why you were called to the ship by your sister Ada in the first place.

Join Mr Tesla and enter a world of science and physics aboard the Helios, you too can change the world!

Close to the Sun is a first-person horror adventure where surviving is everything, problem solve your way through, as you progress through the vessel unlocking the story of what has indeed happened on board Tesla’s grand ship.

Helios proves to be a dangerous place to be, with danger lurking around every corner. Playing as Rose Archer, gather your sanity and explore, but most importantly stay alive. Unlike most story driven survival games, you will have to do this with no means to defend yourself, all you have is what’s in front of you – a colossal ship designed and built for scientific research steeped in horror and mystery.

In the game, you walk the massive decks of the ship searching the different areas and locations looking for Rose’s lost sister Ada, the grand vessel is full of the dead, blood stains are everywhere, your first thoughts are to what has happened on this majestic yet mysterious ship created by Tesla himself, the other, where is the living and where is Ada, surely she’s located somewhere!

The grand halls are a sight for sore eyes yet eerily still, blood splattered everywhere and darkness, that is until you hear a voice, a voice over the P.A. system… and then it’s over to you to discover this fantastic story of murder, mystery, adventure and action! Will you save Ada and the world? and what of Telsa himself, play it you won’t regret it!

If you’ve ever read the book ‘Odd Thomas- Odd Apocalypse’ by Dean Koontz you will notice some comparisons between the two. Also, the game has a distinctive steam punk flare to it, similar to the games ‘Bioshock’ and ‘Dishonored’

Close to the Sun is a wonderfully crafted game, full of action, atmosphere and suspense. The story telling is original, intriguing and welcoming. Packed with immense detail and beautiful scenery, the graphical display featured throughout is breath-taking.

“The game features an effortless control system which is very responsive and flows nicely for a game that is based around survival and navigation.”

The setting, although dark is fitting for this thrilling showcase of what you can do with artistic flair. Beautiful at times, the tones of lighting used in Close to the Sun help to create the ultimate emergency lighting adventure, gloomy and dark with just the right amount of lit areas for a stunning tense experience.

The game features an effortless control system which is very responsive and flows nicely for a game that is based around survival and navigation. The responsiveness is bang on and is vital for a game that relies on running, hiding, and quick thinking, after all there are no weapons to blast your way out of a tight spot here!

Close to the Sun’s level design is broken into chapters with some clever placed collectables enhances the need to explore and the willingness to find out where the story is going. This very nature will ensure that you won’t put this stunning game down, until it’s finished. Just like a good series on Netflix, you will find yourself binge playing, it’s that good. A true work of art!

CX Score
83%

Summary

Pros

  • Atmospheric
  • Good original story
  • Pleasing on the eye

Cons

  • Chapter duration a bit all over the place
  • No brightness settings
  • More save points

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