Sometimes we see a game and think: “Must have that…” And so, for a measly £8, we got ourselves the lovely FAR: Lone Sails from developer Okomotive. This was released on Steam (PS4 and Xbox One versions are in development) in May of 2018. As there are so many indie games (and big titles) coming out, it’s easy to miss some gems. And with FAR we have just that – a glorious, introspective, peaceful, and beautiful dollop of excellence.
FAR: Lone Sails
It’s actually yet another post-apocalyptic type romp here. But FAR does something rather special with this increasingly tired concept. You take control of an individual who drives a large vehicle across a wasteland – there are signs of human existence, although there don’t appear to be any humans around. It’s your task to keep this thing moving to the right, which takes a fair bit of effort as you source fuel, manage temperatures, and take in the scenery.
Visually, it’s stunning. There’s a major focus on stunning backdrops, with the scenery often stretching off far into the distance. The screen is consequently dominated by this comical vehicle trundling along, complemented by the addition of some giant sails that help to shift you forward rather nicely. But as a game, the mechanics are quite simple so you can focus on the bigger picture – enjoying the peace and bloody quiet!
In an era of gaming, and life, where it’s almost impossible to find some solitude, this is where FAR excels. It’s a game for introverts. It’s an escape – you can embrace the peace and positively thrive off it. So it’s an oddly relaxing game, sure, as you trundle along and the soundtrack occasionally rears itself with some excellent flourishes.
But why? That’s the big existential question. Why are you making this peaceful journey? Well, as the game plays out you find answers. From the start, however, it’s not really clear what’s happening. Yet you don’t need to know. As you hop into your device and start trundling along, you’ll find expanses of time where little happens – it’s just you, nature, your menial tasks, and then a herd of goats will turn up and scarper out of your way.
If there’s a flaw here, it’s that some gamers won’t get it. They’ll think it’s boring. Video games, especially AAA titles, often have a focus on immediate thrills over subtlety. But FAR doesn’t waste any time taking up the latter – the result is a beautiful, enthralling, and even emotional journey. For the asking price, it’s more than worth it. One of the most peaceful games we’ve played.