Another Sight (PlayStation 4) Review

By Albert Lichi 29.10.2019

Review for Another Sight on PlayStation 4

As indie devs get more to grips with the potential of Unreal Engine 4, what they make looks closer to what AAA developers usually deliver. Production values can only go so far, though. Being able to execute stimulating gameplay, and keeping players engaged in an ever increasing ocean of options is much more important. Two-dimensional adventure platformers with puzzle elements have been a reliable means for a small developer that aims to break the mould, and Another Sight just might be worth a look for the jaded gamer.

Lots of indie, adventure platformers will lean heavily on some kind of gimmick to stand out. Often times it will be a defining quality which can make or break the entire experience. When designers come up with the idea of a player-character with some kind of disability, the notion is that the limitations of being handicapped would ideally create some interesting gameplay. The problem is when the developers decide on a disability that just does not lend itself to the video game medium at all. Blindness is something that some games have dabbled with in the past, such as Perception and results were as enticing as a wet blanket. While Another Sight does approach the subject matter in a very similar fashion as Perception, the team also managed to address much of the baggage that comes from a game centred on playing as a blind protagonist.

Screenshot for Another Sight on PlayStation 4

The premise to Another Sight had potential, but is deeply flawed and causes a lot of confusion early on. Kit has a problem, and it's that she is blind. She is in a weird and bizarre fantasy world, but in spite of her handicap she is fully capable of detecting that she is in an otherworldly environment. This is weird because the initial impression is that she isn't blind at all. It's made all the more confusing because there is so little set up to any of this. A brief cutscene that shows the kind of person Kit is, and where she is from would have been enough, but Another Sight relies on this information as a sort of unworthy surprise later on. Kit can see mostly everything, but thanks to Unreal Engine 4's shaders and lighting effects, everything is depicted in a murky purple haze. Things get clearer based on her bat-like sonar hearing that illuminates her surroundings, and this is where Hodges the cat comes into play.

Hodges is more than just a cat, he is also the secondary playable character in this Lost Vikings-esque puzzle-platformer. The world according to Hodges resembles a steam punk story-book like fantasy setting and to Another Sight's credit, the visuals are exceptional. It is almost as if having a non-blind playable character is a sort of admission that a game centred on blindness simulation is visually dull. Cat gameplay involves most of the actual platforming since Kit is a blind woman with knees that barely bend. Both heroes must be used in tandem, switching between both at a press of a shoulder button. Another core pillar of playing as Hodges is making sounds that Kit can use to make her surroundings more "clear" so she does not walk at a snail's pace. Apparently being blind impairs movement too, since walking around as the girl is excruciatingly slow, and she will only pick up the pace if there is some sound giving her the impression of her surroundings. This feels extremely forced and unnecessary because, if she is suppose to be blind, it should be the player's choice to make her move more slowly.

Screenshot for Another Sight on PlayStation 4

As if being painfully slow was not bad enough, Another Sight does have a tendency to have important story beats expressed in unskippable, forced walking sequences where characters only talk. This practice is the bane of replayability, and sucks the fun out of any kind of groove anyone gets when playing a puzzle-platformer... or any kind of videogame at all. Either make an actual cut-scene that has deliberate staging and camera angles, or design gameplay where the story is expressed in an unobtrusive manner. This sort of half measure artificially lengthens play time and can't ever be skipped.

Screenshot for Another Sight on PlayStation 4

The only other cardinal sin Another Sight commits is forced stealth, with gameplay that is not meant for that kind of play style. Stealth requires very tight controls with a wide range of movement and abilities for users to improvise with on the move. Hodges' mechanics are not suited for the stealth missions at all, since his controls can be cumbersome at times, and pulling off his high jump takes a second or two to actually do. It also does not help that the threats in these sequences have a very inconsistent AI, as they have an almost otherworldly sense of perception at times, or can seem as blind as Kit herself.

While this coverage may seem overly critical, Another Sight is actually enjoyable in spite of the questionable design choices and clunkiness of control. The story is interesting, and the visuals, while being a mixed bag, are mostly a bag mixed in with a lot of good. The setting has an attention to detail, as well as a lushness to it thanks to the gorgeous lighting. Character models do not fare as well, but still look better than most of similar scoped indie titles aim for. What really makes Another Sight enjoyable is the puzzle design that lay within the levels. Going through these is satisfying and while not exactly the most challenging, they are a perfect balance for their intended age group.

Screenshot for Another Sight on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

Another Sight might not be an adventure platformer that will be remembered like Inside, but it did manage to make playing as a blind girl tolerable. Replay value is low with this one, since there is no post game content and the only collectibles are pages to the character wiki that contains interesting information that should have been an aspect of the actual story being told. The forced walking portions may also kill any desire to replay Another Sight. The moment to moment puzzle-platforming and character switching is the glue that holds this baby together.

Developer

Lunar Great Wall Studios

Publisher

Toplitz Productions

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

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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