After The End: Forsaken Destiny Impressions—Dreamy Bliss
Magical adventure of abstract landscapes and multi-angle puzzles.
Game: After The End: Forsaken Destiny
Publisher: NEXON M Inc.
Few games inspire in the spiritual way Journey did, swapping dialogue for silence, weapons for glowing symbols, and flourishing civilisations with barren, minimalist deserts. In some ways, After The End: Forsaken Destiny comes close. Online, it’s been likened to Monument Valley, and it’s true – the geometric, perspective based puzzles that are so heavily reminiscent of Escher’s Relativity aren’t entirely new. But there’s just enough that’s different about it to pull you in.
After The End: Forsaken Destiny is about a father and son trying to save their tribe, but from what we aren’t told. Hypnotic ambient melodies sweep throughout its abstract, cubist worlds, and your job is to navigate them: Collect tiny soul orbs for extra lives and rarer stone statues for your trophy room, avoid enemies or succumb to the punishing one-hit death, and solve musical puzzles using intuition. It’s mildly frustrating when you die, since you’re usually warped to the beginning of the level and lose so much progress, so you learn to be careful with your creature. The myriad different puzzles and camera orientations more than make up for it, challenging players to tilt viewpoints and fully examine the environments like a 360 panorama, a fascinating mechanic that’s really rewarding when you squeeze into hidden gaps and unearth orbs you’d otherwise miss.
Although it certainly strikes a chord with Journey thanks to a moving, unspoken story, After The End: Forsaken Destiny is definitely ‘louder’; Constrained pathways limit your sense of freedom, lodging it more firmly into the puzzle genre. The presence of a threat, whether it’s from enemies, a gradually darkening storyline or angry boulders rolling down the cliffside adds a touch of platforming into the mix. There’s a unique experience to be found here. For those fond of slow-paced, art house adventures, I really recommend it.
A copy of the game was provided by the publisher for the purpose of this review.