Reviews - Updated on April 12, 2022

Creating a game by one person is not an easy task. In the past, when it was enough to be “just” a good programmer and have a couple of interesting ideas with you to develop your own project, such lone developers were not something exceptional. And even now, with the rise of indie, it is quite possible for one person to create his own project. But it will be a difficult path. With fresh ideas, tension is “everything was invented before us”, for decent graphics you need the skills of an artist and designer, and thanks to that very “flourishing” it is difficult to stand out among other similar projects.

The author of Far Out, working almost alone, was able to achieve this goal. After a little more than three years of development and several postponements of the release date, the game has finally made it to release. What all this time was hiding behind a promising description and beautiful screenshots – now we will find out.

Far Out game review

Such a strange color scheme is not a bug. For normal lighting, you must turn on the power of the ship.

Morning is not good

A long sleep is interrupted by a sudden awakening. My head is pounding with pain, my eyes are hard to focus on, and my body is barely obeying commands. I struggle to look around. Where I am? And who am I?

So, judging by the surroundings, I’m on a spaceship. Here is the cryocapsule I just got out of, here is the first aid kit hidden in the wall (so, what are these pills? Eat a couple – maybe it will feel better). To open the door, probably, you need to press some button … Yeah, probably this one. Numbers are flickering on the scoreboard nearby – a three-digit number, you need to remember it just in case. Outside, a dimly lit corridor, along the walls of which some wires and pipes stretch. Doors leading to other rooms, stairs to the upper deck… So, what is that button on the wall? Press? Perhaps you can. I know what I’m doing, don’t I?

The flick of the switch is silenced by the pop of the explosion. Flames erupt from a hole in one of the tubes. Fire! Trying to run away from the flames, I cling to the wall and fall into the very inferno. A couple of seconds of unsuccessful attempts to escape – and it’s over. Darkness.

What was it?

This was my first attempt at Far Out. Questions about why we had to leave the cryocapsule ahead of time, what happens on the ship and what is required of us in general, torment not only the main character, but also the player. No background in the form of a video or at least a brief note could not be found. The Steam page also does not add much clarity, providing only the most general description. The spaceship on which the accident occurred, you are one of the crew members, your task is to survive and find out what happened to the others and what is the cause of the breakdown.Far Out game review

Blood on the floor, a broken organic sample container… It’s getting uncomfortable, isn’t it?

Everything else, including the name of the main character, you have to find out on your own. Well, quite in the spirit of the “old school”, as the developer promised, but still, with a lack of information, especially at the initial stage, the author went too far. A small note describing the current situation – and it would be much more pleasant to play.

It turned out hardcore, but during the first passage you feel not at all a member of the crew of the Selena starship named Zack Peterson (and all this becomes clear much later), but a laboratory mouse that was launched into a special labyrinth with a bunch of levers and switches, the purpose of which is for itself unknown. So is the player – there are a lot of objects on the ship with which you can interact, but there is no understanding of what is generally required of us.

Of course, after a while it turns out to get used to it a little. You begin to act quite consciously, and the ship is reluctant to reveal its secrets. That’s when the real game begins – but such a crumpled start spoils a lot.

The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress

The Selena is a science spacecraft, a small vessel with a crew of four. You should not expect any impressive scale – by the standards of modern games, the starship is quite small, you won’t be able to get lost there. Several compartments – a living area, a commander’s cabin, a hangar, a laboratory … Nevertheless, you will have to carefully study the environment in order not only to survive, but also to understand what happened.Far Out game review

With the help of the on-board computer, you can learn a lot.

Far Out uses the mechanics of such a sub-genre of quests as Escape the Room – “run away from the room.” Such entertainment is quite popular, and no longer in video games, but in its real incarnation. A person or a group of people is locked in a room, and they need to get out of it with the help of various environmental objects, solving a chain of riddles. As a rule, the time to complete the quest is limited: if you don’t make it on time, you lose. So it is here: there are enough options for interacting with various objects and mechanisms (almost any thing can at least be picked up and dragged to another place), but you have to guess how to use them correctly.

Separately, it is worth mentioning the onboard computer, the control terminal of which is located on the bridge – it contains a lot of useful information that will be useful in order to survive. But not everything is so simple – the key to solving the next riddle is sometimes located in a completely different place.

There is also a time limit. The fact is that Selena is in disrepair. The ship may run out of oxygen or energy – the consequences of this will be the most deplorable. Moreover, from time to time there are various events that directly affect the situation on the ship, and their course may differ with each passage. A sudden shutdown of artificial gravity or a fire in the compartment force you to take urgent measures – otherwise the ending of the story will be much sadder than planned.

The promised non-linearity is available – each start of a new game will provide our hero with a new set of events. There are also several possible endings, depending on which path the player chooses to escape. And certainly do not expect that you will be able to complete the quest the first time – as already mentioned, there is too little information for this with a strict lack of time.

Far Out game review

Weightlessness caught by surprise – you have to cling to interior items in order to somehow move.

It’s been on The Simpsons before.

One of the strengths of Far Out is, of course, the design. Retrofuturism is in vogue today, but here there is so much of it that the eyes run wide. You constantly notice obvious and not very borrowings from cult science fiction works. And in general, if you look closely, the story in the game is molded from individual episodes borrowed from the classics. After all, what’s new about the standard “survival on a spaceship that got weird” storyline?

But this is not blind copying – we are faced with a conscious choice of such an approach to design. Here you notice a piece from “A Space Odyssey”, here “Through the Horizon”, and you can’t get anywhere from comparison with “Aliens”. The references turned out to be surprisingly organic and quite fit into the atmosphere of the game. Moreover, they are the ones who create it.

There is also a good musical range that creates the right mood at certain moments. The voice of the protagonist belongs to Boris Repetur himself, which the developer is very proud of. This is also a plus … probably.

But not everything is so smooth. Immersion can be spoiled by bugs, which are not just a lot, but a lot. Falling through the texture and flying into outer space is easy (the funny thing is that this can be counted as a successful ending!). Unresponsive controls, getting stuck in the walls, not always working scripts and less noticeable shortcomings haunt the player throughout the passage. To the credit of the developer, bugs are rapidly destroyed (although sometimes the next patch generates new ones).

Far Out game review

Believe me, a fire is far from the worst thing that can happen on the Selena.

***

If the author had left his brainchild after the release in the state in which it was published, Far Out would have gone straight to the trash. But in just a week, the developer managed to bring the project to a completely playable state, which allows you to enjoy the passage. Now the pluses of the game outweigh the remaining shortcomings – we have before us a difficult, but interesting adventure, filled with the atmosphere of classic science fiction. Fans of sci-fi of the last century will definitely not be disappointed.

Pluses: atmosphere of retrofuturism; references to classic fantasy of the last century; interesting riddles; pleasant music.

Cons: bugs; lack of information during the first passage; uncomfortable management.

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