North Review | MyGamerProfile

North Review

Published by Stealth David

Posted by Stealth David   13th March 2018

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NORTH

Xbox One

NORTH, developed by Outlands, is a game that will invite you to embody a refugee who seeks asylum in a strange environment, surrounded by even rarer creatures and from whom you will have to assimilate their culture and customs. The title starts in an enigmatic way, producing a total sense of uncertainty in its early stages, more and when there will be times when you feel completely helpless to understand neither the language nor the actions of these beings.

It’s creators intend to establish an ideological, cultural and religious wall, trying to imitate in the virtual world of the game what would be a situation of social exclusion. And at times, he gets it. Given it’s graphic adventure game structure in the first person, NORTH will allow you to wander through the streets of a huge futuristic city, dark and cold, that will not take you to remember the views, in films like Dark City, Blade Runner or The Fifth Element , but in a more twisted way, with hardly any hint of humanity in them.

Duration

The problem is that maybe not all players will appreciate the proposal first. A proposal, which must be made clear, will only take you about 40 minutes to complete - less, if you are very fast and don’t explore too much.

Gameplay



Once you understand the concept of the game, it will be easy to advance, since the puzzles are as a rule very well designed, and integrated so that a visual stimulus, a detail or a door appears in the form and at the moment timely after taking the relevant action. One of the first things you will do in NORTH - after sending a letter to your sister - will be to enter your house, a pattern floor full of creatures of erratic behavior, threadbare mattresses, broken furniture and leaks. You can wander freely, take pictures, look out the windows or try to start a conversation with one of these beings. It will not do much, since the invisible barrier that separates you is enormous.

The title also plays with the psychedelia to confuse even more the player, showing you fleeting and fast, almost allegorical images, while an electronic music tries to block you sensorially. In NORTH everything -or practically everything- has a meaning or a subtext, like the huge eye that sees everything and the Church in which, every so often, you will enter to see if you are already worthy -or not- of staying in this weird and cold world.

In this way, i could say that it’s gameplay is based on the puzzles and the simplest exploration, being the most complicated to understand what you are really doing at all times. Outlands has designed the video game in such a way that you feel lost on more than one occasion, stripping any literal meaning of such a basic fact as asking for asylum as a citizen.

Graphics & Design



NORTH, beyond it’s original starting point, has some design problems. For starters, it is a video game that has no menu, and that can lead to serious headaches in some moments. In addition, interestingly, it doesn’t offer a decent technical performance, which is very shocking, especially if you see that it’s graphical section -programmed based on Unity- is nothing special. The performance is a particularly thorny issue, because you will see how the title ends up suffering drops in the rate of frames per second very important. Another aspect to point out, derived from the lack of menus above, is the absence of a graphic adjustment option, which allows you to deactivate or activate certain visual filters -which can become annoying.

Conclusion

NORTH is a video game of difficult approach, both by theme and design. It offers a special, different adventure that takes us to a strange world that is difficult to understand. It’s mixture of puzzles, exploration and visual effects, and it’s background of social denunciation - beyond the refugee crisis experienced by Europe and all that this implies, if you like science fiction it is inevitable that you think of films like District 9 or even Alien, but conversely-, they are more than praiseworthy, but there are certain failures that weigh several integers on their final assessment.

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