Jett: The Far Shore, the next games from Sword & Sorcery EP developer Superbrothers, is out now for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5 and PCs – we’re reviewing the PS5 version.
In Jett: The Far Shore, our protagonist is Mei, and she’s part of a team looking to explore a new world that provides hope for humanity’s survival. Dramatic opening sequences see the team saying farewell to their loved ones, as they set off for their thousand-year journey and a lengthy cryo-sleep session. You do all this because you’re following cues from a “hymnwave”, which is part of the game’s mystery but we feel is also a nod to the game’s excellent and atmosphere-rich soundtrack.
The bulk of the gameplay, as you’d expect, takes places on this remote planet, which you’re exploring with a speedy vehicle called a jett. You’ll document and interact with the local plant- and wildlife, pick up the occasional object, build shelters and complete objectives, all with the ultimately objective of founding a new home. Not everything here is friendly though, and because this isn’t a combat-driven game evasion is often your best course of action.
But as immersive as the visuals and audio are, much of the plot and objectives are delivered through subtitles that go with a gibberish kind of spoken language. This usually isn’t a big deal (unless you hate reading), but during more action-oriented scenes it’s not great to also have to peek at the subtitles for (updates on) your objectives. Here, with the lack of English voiceovers, visual cues would have been more helpful.
Outside of exploration, you’ll find that the bulk of the narrative plays out inside your base, where you talk to the rest of the cast about your progress in a switch to a first person perspective. Here, the visuals feel a tad minimalist when compared to some of the epic outdoor vistas. This doesn’t always help to get the implied emotion in the narrative across. It’s enough to make you want to push on, but with too many elements that are left unexplained or merely implied, it’s not a story that will likely resonate in the long term.
Instead, Jett – The Far Shore feels more like a journey, not unlike the one it used as its core premise. Full of exploration and wonder, it keeps you wanting to move forward, even if the anticipation isn’t matched by the destination. The audiovisual delivery is lovely though, and the DualSense is put to good use when you’re exploring the planet in your Jett vehicle, so that journey itself is worth it.