Seasons After Fall (PlayStation 4) Review

By Adam Riley 21.06.2017

Review for Seasons After Fall on PlayStation 4

It is always intriguing to see how developers come up with new ideas to freshen up potentially stagnant genres, especially the platform style of titles that only have so much room for growth. In the days of Nintendo's Wii download service, WiiWare, there was season-switching shenanigans in Frontier Developments' LostWinds: Winter of the Melodias, a game that was received warmly by Cubed3 upon release in 2009. The next big season-based title on the scene probably has to be Swing Swing Submarine's Seasons After Fall, which received high praise in its original PC format, and has now been equally praised on Xbox One, and is about to be assessed on PlayStation 4…

A talkative seed, random spirit possessing a fox, and seasons that not only talk, but get involved in rituals… Seasons After Fall is rather weird and wacky in its theme, to say the least. However, even if a bit confusing at first, its gorgeous hand-drawn visual aesthetic, and stunningly atmospheric soundtrack, help to suck players in immediately. It is one of those titles that grabs the attention immediately, and its contained locations make for a very smart introduction to proceedings, easing players in, with the ability to change seasons opening up new areas, yet only after exploring the initial four areas to attain the different actual abilities and get used to the platform action.

Once acquired, it is possible to rotate from Spring to Summer to Autumn and Winter with ease, bringing down rainfall to make plants grow, producing gusts of wind to lift previously stationary ground leaves, freezing water fountains and bodies of water to climb up or walk across, and so on. The thought put into crafting a world that initially seems tiny and claustrophobic, yet quickly opens into a vast land full of hidden elements, is truly wondrous.

Screenshot for Seasons After Fall on PlayStation 4

There is no combat in Seasons After All. The fox has a "repel" power that can activate switches, but there are no enemies faced, so it all comes down to running around as the playable creature, carrying out various tasks as the story twists and turns, with allegiances swapping throughout, leaping about and changing seasons as required to unlock the mysteries of the land. Puzzles can involve finding beetle-like creatures that scurry off in fear when chased, guiding them towards structures they can explode, or adjusting water levels to uncover key objects, or making plants grow to reach new, previously unreachable, ledges, and even hitting triggers in the correct order to reveal secrets, plus much more. Some of the conundrums are challenging, others not so much, but the majority are at least intriguing enough to retain interest levels and keep gamers grinding away to get a solution.

Sadly, though, there are actually parts that begin to drag, and the game starts to become a little too clever for its own good, forgetting that by opening lots of new sections, or even creating special warp routes in different places, those in control are not going to have memorised every single spot or know exactly where the warp points are. Therefore, the lack of map is a real downfall, and there will be times where the whole environment shifting to your will might actually become chore-like, with a lack of defined direction causing too much aimless wandering, followed by lots of back-tracking upon realising a dead end has been hit. No matter how gorgeous everything looks, how stunning the soundtrack is, or impressive the voice acting can be, only the addition of a handy map could have prevented that touch of tedium sneaking it at times, marring what is otherwise a sublime adventure.

Screenshot for Seasons After Fall on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Seasons After Fall is a wonderful platform adventure that uses the ability to change seasons perfectly, with some cleverly thought-out areas that are small at first, but smartly open up considerably when rotating through Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter. With gorgeous visuals, and a wonderful soundtrack, plus powerful voice work, the only thing that holds this back is the aimless wandering that creeps in towards the latter stages, thanks to the lack of a map feature.

Developer

Swing Swing Submarine

Publisher

Focus Home Interactive

Genre

Action Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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