Far: Changing Tides Review – IGN
More is not always better. In the case of Far: Change Tides, the sequel to a great and underrated game from 2018. Far away: lonely sails, more certainly means there is more to do and see, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that these things are more interesting. It’s still an absolutely gorgeous and, at times, almost meditative journey through a world full of stunning views and clever puzzles, but developer Okomotive’s efforts to make it more mechanically diverse, while successful, also unintentionally tip the balance of the original’s formula. From peaceful to tiring at times.
In Far: Change Tides, you control an almost ridiculously small person, at least compared to the large sailing vessel they manage on their own. Like its predecessor, it tells the story almost without words, conveying information through visuals, which has a strong effect overall. Most of the time, you may not know exactly what you are doing in this apparently post-apocalyptic world, but you will never feel lost and never lose motivation to keep sailing to the right in search of some kind of escape.
Propulsion of your ship is done either by unfurling the sail on top of it or by jumping around its innards to manually fuel and ventilate the gigantic engine. It’s a fun little dance that asks you to collect resources to burn them from beneath the waves as you travel, make sure your engine doesn’t overheat and perform other small tasks to keep your sailing smooth, not to mention you. Sometimes you’ll have to jump out completely to get past larger obstacles blocking your paths, such as massive closed gates or abandoned buildings. Once you get a certain upgrade, your ship will even be able to dive underwater and essentially become a submarine, cleverly allowing you to pass under some checkpoints rather than through them.
But while it’s a bright addition, the most impressive difference from the original is that it’s not as easy to raise the sail this time around. Instead of just pressing a button, you must first raise the mast, then climb on it, grab the rope to attach it back down below, and finally adjust the position of the sails to suit the often changing wind for optimum speed. In addition, there are obstacles in the background that your sails can hit and damage, as well as low ledges that can knock your mast off. These additions make the process of sailing without your engine more fun, but unfortunately, it’s basically the same as you have to be “involved” in trying to swat a fly.
While the setting of “Changing Tides” is beautiful, the two-dimensional perspective makes it annoyingly difficult to tell if your sail is actually going to hit something. Also, if you’re not already on the roof of your ship, you often have very little time to react between seeing an approaching ledge and actually being able to do something about it, even when zooming out. This means that some of my favorite parts of Lonely Sails – catching the breeze and just enjoying the sights and music after the hard work of the engine – are essentially gone, and these parts are now taken up with the management of the sails. Assess the threat and run inside to check your radar to make sure you don’t miss items hidden under the waves. These added tasks are still interesting but create a completely different overall vibe, and that’s what I got tired of faster.
Luckily, the areas you sail through are still a treat for the eyes and ears. The subtle soundtrack fits perfectly into the landscape around it (even if it’s not as memorable as the incredible Lone Sails soundtrack), and your way to the right is often full of moments you could screenshot, print, and post on an art gallery wall without them looking out of place. . The underwater areas can be especially gorgeous, and one of the highlights is the cluster of fluorescent jellyfish that I swam through along the bottom of my ship.
In the nearly five hours it took me to complete “Changing Tides,” there are some cool script moments – none of which I would like to spoil. They are epic in both scope and scale, and they do a good job of adding adrenaline to a slow game. In fact, they are also the only real source of stress you will find as there seemed to be very little risk of anything going wrong unless it was specifically designed for it this time – far from memories of my car in Lone Sails constantly lights up. This can make it feel like you’re just making moves rather than fighting to move at all.