Well, this one’s a tough review. Far From Noise is a very different, let’s say, “interactive experience.” Despite being available on the PSN Store, making use of the PS4 controller and featuring trophies, I can hardly consider this a video game. This title lacks a lot of what makes a game, well, a game. Then again, I can’t say it was a waste of my time, because it compensates the lack of proper things to do in it with a decent story, tackling subjects like life, death, regret, and isolation.
Cue Comfortably Numb
Summing up Far From Noise is simple. You’re inside a car on the edge of a cliff. Said car can fall at any moment, and that’s when your character starts talking to him/herself about life choices, regrets, existentialism, and so on. That’s when the actual “gameplay” starts: dialogue trees. To yourself. If you’re lucky enough, you might start talking to a deer. That’s all that you’ll do here, but believe it or not, it’s not actually boring. Well, it certainly isn’t fun, but the game’s discussions are actually well-written to the point you want to know what’s going to happen. You actually feel a bit for your (extremely depressed, may I add) character. There’s always a bit of tension, given the fact you never know when the bloody car will fall off the cliff.
There are some aspects in this game that help make the otherwise boring experience not that tiresome. For starters, this might actually sound weird, given the fact we’re talking about a game in which you talk to yourself, but the pacing is actually very well-done. There are enough pauses and very occasional visual transitions (such as the appearance of the deer or the scenery changing from day to night) in order to freshen up the experience. The game also features multiple endings according to your dialogue decisions, improving replayability.
Far From Noise is very hard to review. It lacks most basic elements that make a game a game. There’s no gameplay whatsoever. The visuals nearly never change. There’s not much actually going on in this game. Then again, I can’t say the game isn’t well-written, because it is. Unlike a walking simulator, which still features the core concepts of a videogame (gameplay, graphics, objectives, assets, sound effects), yet it refuses to use most of them, Far From Noise doesn’t even feature the vast majority of those basic concepts of gaming, yet it was never planned to have them in the first place. This game definitely broke WTMG’s rules, as it is impossible to actually grade it. Given the aforementioned lack of basic gaming elements, the game would score a 0 in some departments, and that wouldn’t be very fair. That leaves the game scoreless. Would I recommend it to everyone? Definitely not, as it’s more of a made-for-TV interactive book than anything else, but if you’re into philosophical discussions about life and death, then there’s a chance you might like it.
Also available on: PC