Some games just want to tell a story. Instead of flooding you with game mechanics and activities, Far From Noise decides that the best thing to do is to stop, take a breath, and smell the glorious air; and I think that’s a good thing.
Far From Noise is a game developed by George Batchelor where you play an unlucky man or woman in a terrible predicament. Stuck in your car and teetering on the edge of a cliff, the only things you can do is panic, think, and hope everything sorts itself out.
Eventually, a lone stag wanders up to your window and begins to speak. After freaking out a little, you reply; and together you converse about all manner of things, from the meaning of life to the beauty of nature. The dialogue is all very well done and some of it can be genuinely enlightening; which is good, because you’ll be reading a lot of it.
Gameplay consists solely of choosing your characters dialogue. No driving, no shooting, and no game over screens. Just you, the car, and the various witty remarks of your choosing. This might seem bare, but it’s all Far From Noise needs to tell an interesting story. For me, it’s the minimalism that makes the game what it is. Anything more, and it wouldn’t have the same “observational” feel to it.
Take In The Sights
The visuals work greatly in favor of this. While simplistic, the game oozes a sense of peace and serenity; simulating that feeling you get when you walk outside on the perfect day. It’s an aesthetic of smooth surfaces and vibrant colors; one that’s simple enough not to distract, but interesting enough to get your eye wandering; which is probably the intention.
The sound does just as well to capture that feeling of peace, as everything you hear adds just another layer of that lonesome tranquility. The soundtrack, being integral to this, is calm and slow. Even when it does get more intense, the music never takes over. Instead, it enhances the sounds around it, furthering the presence of the location. All together it makes for fantastic sound design.
Simple… Yet Elegant
There isn’t much to say about Far From Noise. It a beautiful game about nature, life, and the meaning of it all. It has you considering your place in the world and whether you feel comfortable there. It brings to mind days when you were a kid, playing and making home-movies. It doesn’t try to be a game as much as it does a lesson; one of appreciation.
If you like “experiential” games then I’m sure you’ll love this. You can beat it in under 2 hours and I don’t consider that a bad thing. If anything, playing this is a great way to relax. Visit the game’s website and try it sometime; hopefully, you’ll be glad you did.