Review: Close To The Sun (Epic Store/PC)

It’s 1897. Deep in international waters, the Helios stands still. Dark clouds loom overhead as unforgiving waves crash against the hull. Colossal effigies of gold, decorated with magnificent finery, stretch as far as the eye can see.

Pros:

  • Decent graphics.
  • 51.91gb download size.
  • Controller support and 4 presets.
  • Graphics-resolution, full screen, resolution scale, v-sync, AA, texture/shadows/effects quality.
  • First person view.
  • Horror/puzzle gameplay.
  • Game is split into chapters and each chapter has a set of collectibles.
  • Has a Bioshock feel but that’s more to the setting and time period.
  • Atmospheric thanks to the lighting and sound effects.
  • Really interesting world to explore.
  • Optional/hidden paths.
  • Decent story.
  • Level design is clever.
  • Varied puzzles.
  • Jump scares aplenty.
  • A lot of lore/back story text to find and read.
  • A diverse range of characters.
  • Strong soundtrack.
  • Simple controls.
  • Chapter select.

Cons:

  • Mouse cursor keeps popping up.
  • When changing the resolution it does it each time you change.
  • No achievement system.
  • No tutorial.
  • Slow starter.
  • Short chapters.
  • Loading screens aplenty.
  • Dark, really dark in places.
  • Have to be so precise with the interactions when using the controller.
  • Checkpoints are inconsistent.
  • A lot of fade to black transitions that don’t fit the theme.

  • 9/10
    Graphics - 9/10
  • 8/10
    Sound - 8/10
  • 7/10
    Accessibility - 7/10
  • 8/10
    Length - 8/10
  • 8/10
    Fun Factor - 8/10
8/10

Summary

Close to the sun is a game that looks like it could take place in Rapture (Bioshock) it certainly takes place in the same time period. But saying this doesn’t do the game world justice for it is maybe not as vast as Rapture, it makes up for it with more verticality and dense surroundings. The world is truly a marvel to roam. Close to the sun does play very much as a puzzle game with a good sprinkling of horror moments usually culminating in nothing more than jump scares or chase scenes. I don’t want to discuss the story at all really like the way they do it may not be unique, it is handled with care and enriches the experience in its delivery. I struggled the first hour or so mind, a very slow starter, the lack of any real help or tutorial only frustrated me. Puzzles, as is always the case, have you overthinking it, it takes a while to realize what the game wants from you but when you solve it it is a true fist pump moment. I found the voice acting very up and down with sections you hope to be powerful falling flat and vice versa. Some puzzle/story integration feels too video gamey and destroys the immersion somewhat but I look past it. Overall Close to the sun surprised me, it frustrated me but above all, it entertained me and left me thinking about the game when I finally left. I wanted more from it but upon reflection what you get is more than decent and for best results, low lighting and headphones.

Jim Smale

Gaming since the Atari 2600, I enjoy the weirdness in games counting Densha De Go and RC De Go as my favourite titles of all time. I prefer gaming of old where buying games from a shop was a thing, Being social in person was a thing. Join me as I attempt to adapt to this new digital age!

You may also like...