Sometimes it’s all about the journey. We are obsessed with heroes travelling, whether that be in stories, films, or games. The epic quest from point A to point B, with stops filling out the adventures, awakenings, and peril. From Ulysses to Nathan Drake, the epic adventure is extremely familiar to us. And when FAR: Lone Sails was released a few years back we took the opportunity to go on a journey of a lifetime, with a homemade ship that took us across many lands. It proved a breakaway hit for gamers. Now the developers have profited on that success and are ready to bring another wordless, yet epic, quest with FAR: Changing Tides. Does it add to the previous game’s success, or is it just retreading familiar territory?

far changing tides review 1

The adventure found in FAR: Changing Tides follows a boy and his ship through a strange but familiar world. This game acts as a companion piece for that which came before it, working the same shared universe, but the boy himself is a new protagonist, one called Toe. This time Toe wakes up at the start of Changing Tides and finds himself in an empty city that is flooded and desolate. He moves through the city looking for survivors, climbing over ruins and swimming under the city itself. Soon he arrives in a place where he can now see plans for a huge ship and starts to put together a vessel to sail out and explore the world, looking for answers. 

Like Lone Sails before it, this is a story told without any cutscenes or words. The instructions you have are kept to a bare minimum and the world you discover is told through what you see in the foreground and background, rather than what you hear. I love this type of visual storytelling; it makes you guess and try to work out what you think might have happened to this world. You might be right, you might be wrong, but at all times you’ll feel like you are in the shoes of young Toe, searching for answers at exactly the same time. The things you discover on the way are breathtaking, mundane, and ultimately tragic. But there is always hope…

Gameplay-wise the experience sees us placed in a 2.5D world, think of Inside or the last game for context. You can jump with Toe, swim underwater with a special propulsion device and can interact with items that you carry and push around. You also can open things such as doorways through triggers, and attach certain objects to others as well. 

far changing tides review 2

When you get your floating ark it’s a case of keeping it moving, repaired, and safe. This is done in the early moments via sail and wind power. You have to move Toe around the hulking vessel, going inside and out, pulling levers to lift the sail and moving them to catch the wind in the right direction. You have to forever have your wits about you as the sail could be smashed if it hits rocks or ruins from above. A quick button press at the right time will lower the sail and keep it intact and thankfully you get to utilise repair crates as well if part of the ship gets broken. 

Very soon into FAR: Changing Tides you get the power of an engine for the ship. It’s here where you can now utilise steam to move the ship forwards. You collect debris and ballast over and underwater, burning it to use for fuel. It’s a constant balancing act, including keeping the engine from catching fire so you need to cool it down with a water hose. There is another great addition to the ship that will take it to places you won’t have been before, but I won’t spoil that here. Just be sure that it’s a brilliant feature that surprised and enthralled in equal measure.  

In the other moments of gameplay, you will find yourself off the boat searching for ways to get through a certain area. There is some puzzle solving to enjoy here, involving lifts and triggers; all are intriguing to work out. My only minor criticism is that there are moments when you will find yourself completely lost as to what to do next, left without any words or visual instructions. 

far changing tides review 3

Visually and I’ve loved FAR: Changing Tides, especially the beauty that is found in the desolation of the world. You see a civilisation that is gone and void of people. Animals, birds, and ruins litter the world, as you are left to make up the stories for yourself. It’s a delight – very much like Lost Sails was. Again, this is a world you will not want to leave in a hurry. The soundtrack is a masterpiece as well, with moments of silence punctuated by exquisite music that takes you through the journey and onwards. 

FAR: Changing Tides should very much be seen as a companion piece to FAR: Lost Sails, but it’s able to deliver a gaming experience that contains pretty much everything you could want. It will take you on a journey through a strange abandoned land that is beautiful, accompanied by a brilliant soundtrack and new surprises along the way. 

Once more, the FAR series is able to deliver up a world that many will happily want to spend more time in.  

Far: Changing Tides is available to download from the Xbox Store

Sometimes it's all about the journey. We are obsessed with heroes travelling, whether that be in stories, films, or games. The epic quest from point A to point B, with stops filling out the adventures, awakenings, and peril. From Ulysses to Nathan Drake, the epic adventure is extremely familiar to us. And when FAR: Lone Sails was released a few years back we took the opportunity to go on a journey of a lifetime, with a homemade ship that took us across many lands. It proved a breakaway hit for gamers. Now the developers have profited on that success and…

Pros:

  • Beautifully desolate world
  • Stunning soundtrack
  • Surprising new mechanics
  • The very best visual storytelling

Cons:

  • Easy to get confused

Info:

  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game go to - Okomotive
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS4, PS5, PC
  • Version reviewed - Xbox Series X
  • Release date - 1 Mar 2022
  • Launch price from - £14.99
TXH Score

4.5/5

Pros:

  • Beautifully desolate world
  • Stunning soundtrack
  • Surprising new mechanics
  • The very best visual storytelling

Cons:

  • Easy to get confused

Info:

  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game go to - Okomotive
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS4, PS5, PC
  • Version reviewed - Xbox Series X
  • Release date - 1 Mar 2022
  • Launch price from - £14.99

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