Distortions is an indie game by Brazilian developer Among Giants. Released on Steam, it compasses many genres, but it is best described as Walking Simulator with survival elements and a riveting soundtrack.
These days innovations in the video game industry are being led by indie developers, while the more established publishers like EA and Ubisoft are busy milking their customers with lootboxes and microtransactions. Some of the memorable indies from 2017 include Hellblade, PUBG, Divinity Original Sin II and Observer.
A Land Distorted Into Something Spectacular
Distortions puts you in the shoes of a young girl who wakes up in a strange land with no memory of her past. She goes on to explore the place, only to find out she’s not alone. The mysterious land is also home to shadows of sorts who live where light can’t reach, and attack her on sight.
The numerous caves found throughout the game are home to “shadow-beings” that you have to evade. Your only friend in this faraway land is music. Music and some forgotten memories that refuse to let go.
Floating mountains, foreign objects and a whole lot of emptiness surrounded by an endless body of water. The game-world in Distortions is governed by a set of tunes, sometimes in a desirable way while the rest destructive.
Music, your violin to be more exact, is the only weapon you have in Distortions. You can levitate objects, create barriers, build bridges and last but not least play some cool tunes using your musical instrument.
Distortions: Story and Player Character
Distortions mainly refers to distorted memories. It explores mental illnesses in a subtle way. The player character seems to either have lost touch with reality, or can’t seem to a accept it. As such, reality has been distorted. This is her quest to find out the truth.
Throughout the game, the player character works to, “Face her monster” quite literally. To do this she needs to obtain various tunes to aid her in her journey. On the way, you come across journals and various pages that tell you more about the chimerical land.
Music has a profound impact on the girl’s life and as well as the game world. Certain tunes alter the world in unexpected ways, while others provide support.
In Distortions, you’ll often go back and forth between this world and one similar to ours. Built from the girl’s memories and linked to her past, it’s devoid of color. A major chunk of the story is uncovered in these white spaces.
There is a whole lot of running around in this musical adventure. Chapters often culminate into the girl getting some new tune or ability and in the aftermath the surrounding environment comes crumbling down and you’re supposed to make it out of there in a fixed time.
When we played Distortions, there were multiple bugs and glitches in the gameplay. However, we’re glad to confirm that most of them have been ironed out now.
Distortions is a relaxing walking simulator (sort of), developed by a new studio and it tries many new things. While there are a few elements it’s lacking, it does capture you for the majority of the play-through. Speaking of the game’s shortcomings, it has an awfully slow pace at the beginning. There is a lot of wasted potential here. The game could have been so much more. The musical tunes and abilities are really limited. The absence of a combat system makes the game feel kind of lacking.
There are some sequences where you have no choice but to run from the hordes of “shadows”. However, early on in the game there are many situations where a music-driven combat system would have been apt. A more than reasonable amount of time is also spent escaping collapsing caves and structures.
Conclusion: What Could Have Been
Distortions really shines when you consider the world and the soundtrack. The story and the characters are lacking in depth, though. It only gives a vague idea of what actually happened and led to the current situation.
In the end however, we believe that Distortions is definitely worth playing. The game is set in a breathtaking world, and the visuals too are decent. The music goes well with the environments in the game, and overall it is a most intriguing experience.
- Beautiful world
- Top-notch soundtrack
- Good graphics
- Abstract but thought provoking story
- Characters lack depth
- Limited spells/tunes
- Gameplay gets somewhat repetitive
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