After Us review

After Us, developed by Piccolo and published by Private Division, is a visually stunning platforming adventure that takes players on an emotional journey through a post-human world. With its striking visuals, captivating narrative, and challenging gameplay, After Us offers a unique experience that combines beauty and ugliness in a thought-provoking way.

One of the standout aspects of After Us is its breathtaking visuals. The game presents desolated landscapes with stunning attention to detail, showcasing the destructive relationship between humans and nature. From decaying forests to crumbling cities, each environment tells a story of devastation and loss. The game’s abstract artistry and surrealistic design create a hauntingly beautiful backdrop that immerses players in a world on the brink of collapse.

These visuals serve as the backdrop for the narrative of After Us, which revolves around Gaia, the Spirit of Life, on a quest to salvage the souls of extinct animals and bring life back to the planet. The game offers a somber look at a world decimated by human impact, exploring themes of progress, love, hope, and the consequences of our actions. While the game can be heavy-handed with its themes at times, it effectively conveys the emotional weight of the story, providing players with a thought-provoking experience.

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After Us features platforming challenges that vary in complexity and offer a wide variety of experiences. The traversal abilities of Gaia, including gliding, jumping, and dashing, allow players to explore new areas and evade deadly traps. The game’s light platforming puzzles provide gratifying moments of discovery and progression. However, the combat sections feel out of place and lack the finesse of the platforming mechanics. We’d even go so far as to say that the inclusion of combat detracts from the game’s overall focus on exploration and environmental storytelling.

The game’s audio design and original soundtrack by Daniel Elms add depth and emotional resonance to the gameplay experience. It captures the desolation and hope present in the game, enhancing the player’s connection to the world and its characters. The music, composed of 46 songs with a runtime of over 3 hours, complements the emotional exploration and adds to the immersion of the game.

After Us excels in visual storytelling, with stunning environments that immerse players in a desolate yet captivating world. The variety of light platforming challenges provides a satisfying gameplay experience, while the rescue and revival of animal spirits offer a rewarding sense of accomplishment. The game’s conservational themes are effectively conveyed through exploration and spirit rescuing, encouraging players to appreciate the beauty and importance of nature.

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While After Us is a very worthwhile experience, it does have some flaws. The combat sections feel out of place and detract from the game’s core focus. Additionally, the game can be heavy-handed in its thematic approach, occasionally lacking subtlety. Some sections of the game feel overly long, and the platforming mechanics can be imprecise, leading to frustration during certain gameplay sequences.

After Us is a visually striking and emotionally impactful platforming adventure that successfully conveys the devastating consequences of human impact on the environment. With its stunning environments, thought-provoking narrative, and challenging gameplay, the game offers a unique and immersive experience. While it has some flaws in combat and pacing, After Us is a game that should not be missed by those seeking a captivating and visually stunning journey through a desolated world.

Score: 7.3/10

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