Steampunk sailing adventure Far: Lone Sails is out now

Far: Lone Sails

Steampunk may be a little overplayed these days, but Far: Lone Sails stands out from the top hat and techno-monocle crowd. Its stark, shifting palette of whites, reds and dark blues, a bleak and empty world that feels enormous around your tiny character, and the centrepiece of the action: your creaking steam-powered land-ship.

In this quiet post-apocalyptic adventure, your tiny little plains-wanderer is tasked with maintaining and singlehandedly crewing this enormous vessel across the great plains of a long-dry seabed in search of civilisation out in the wastes. It also launches today.

I got to take a little peek at Far: Lone Sails at EGX Rezzed recently, and while a crowded convention centre isn’t perhaps the ideal environment in which to soak in the quiet, wind-swept atmosphere of the game, I was pleasantly surprised with just how solid and tactile the world felt. Your ship feels like a convincingly real vessel, its internal workings ticking along as its broad prow crunches its way through crumbling structures, and its massive wheels slowly cut their way across the sand.

While other games (such as Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime and Regular Human Basketball) have experimented with the idea of having a little platformer-style character operating a vehicle in a much larger-scale world, Far’s initially more contemplative pace gives it a very different feel. You’re not frantically hopping between stations trying to score a victory, just making your way gradually forwards. And if all else fails, you’ve got the option of hopping out of your ship and dragging it (very slowly) across the sands instead. A somewhat softer ‘failure’ state than most.

As for whether there’s enough variety in the scenarios encountered to keep the central loop of gathering fuel and travelling across the plains engaging until the credits roll, that’s another question entirely, and one I’m not equipped to answer, but I can say that it at least strikes a strong first impression.

Far: Lone Sails is out now on Steam, GOG & Humble for £11.39/15€/$15

19 Comments

  1. mashkeyboardgetusername says:

    This looks very interesting. Will we be getting a WIT from one of the RPS Cru? I do hope so.

  2. KillahMate says:

    This looks exceptionally lovely – maybe a bit in the vein of Inside, if not quite so dark. I’d love to read something a bit more in-depth about it from the RPS staff.

  3. grimdanfango says:

    Argh, and yet ANOTHER fantastic-looking slice of discovery and wonder pops out of nowhere. My backlog is creaking under the weight, and I’m knee-deep in a playthrough of both Battletech and Planescape Torment at the moment.

    This looks very much like the sort of thing I’d want to support at full price too. Might have to grab it and file it away for later, along with Senua’s Sacrifice, Ghost of a Tale, Inside, Little Nightmares, The Sexy Brutale, What Remains of Edith Finch, Prey, Night in the Woods, Firewatch, and countless, endless others.

    Seriously… it’s getting a little bit silly now. The amount of raw talent in the games industry is preposterous.
    If it continues like this, I suspect I’ll never feel the need to look at another “triple-A” game ever again.

    • Throwback says:

      I’m pretty well divorced from AAA games and I’ve been having a blast.

      The more $$$ invested in a game, the less risk it is able to take.

    • haldolium says:

      You have to devote more time into games and away from social and work life to appreciate what is good, bad and backlog.

      You definitively will not have time for heavy-weights like Planescape or Battletech

      • cpt_freakout says:

        Eh, you can manage. The only bad thing about it is that you miss the zeitgeist for all these wonderful games, but it’s not too bad. I took like 3 months to finish Torment (same for Prey), and I started way after the reviews and all the excitement had passed. I might’ve not contributed to the public discussion then, but I’m really glad I played them in the end.

        • grimdanfango says:

          I’m determined to get through to the end of Torment once and for all – I bought and loved the original release back when I was a teenager (The CD-ROMs are sat around here somewhere :-P), but I never finished the damned thing, and it’s been on my to-do list for most of two decades now. Amazingly (and thematically appropriately) it’s now been so long that I’ve forgotten a fair few of the details, so it’s a *little* bit like discovering it again :-)

          Regarding my backlog, alas I am forever doomed to walk the aging halls of my games library, desperate to experience all it has to offer, lamenting that there simply aren’t enough hours in one man’s lifetime.

          I suppose it’s a better problem to have than there being too few great games to play :-)

        • grimdanfango says:

          …I’m not overly concerned about the zeitgeist element myself, games are a largely private experience for me, and my greatest driving motivation is the joy of discovery, so ideally I’ll avoid *any* information about a game before playing it. It’s far too tempting in this day and age to dive into the community side of a new release, and temptation will invariably get the better of me and lead me to end up power-gaming using wikis and the like. I’m desperately trying to train myself to have better self-discipline :-)

    • grimdanfango says:

      Well, I decided to bump this to the top of my list, and just finished :-)

      I felt the need to leave this review over at GOG:

      “This is a stunning piece of work. I put my headphones on, turned the lights off, and lost myself in this incredible world for a brief time.

      I completed it in a single sitting, and anyone who defines its worth in hours will sadly be disappointed.

      Myself, I loved every minute. I would say it’s the perfect length, and ends in the perfect place. If you thrive on discovery and wonder, and/or you have a love of magnificent old machines, I’d urge you not to miss it. I’d advise not reading any more about it, lest you dilute the experience.”

  4. Premium User Badge

    alison says:

    Can anyone who’s already picked this up share whether it is a narrative/scripted adventure or a rogue-like?

  5. sub-program 32 says:

    I played a few hours of it today, just got the second major ‘addition’ to my craft. My laptop may be a total potato that runs this game at like 15 frams a second, but my experience so far has been unique, interesting, and thankfully not challenging to the point where my slow computer would seriously impede my ability to play. All worth continuing on with it I think!

  6. racccoon says:

    crazy, but some nice work :)

  7. Mr Propellerhead says:

    They had me at “zombie-free”.

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