Out of Line Preview and Gameplay Impressions

Out of Line Preview and Gameplay Impressions

Out of Line is an upcoming Puzzle-Platformer with a beautiful aesthetic and a heart of gold.

Fall into a world of fantasy where mysteries lie within your own memories. Take on a journey knowing your past will determine your future. When looking into the unknown, there’s no way of knowing what might be looking back. Obstacles and enemies will grow before you, where friends are small and far between. The questions of creation seek answers in the painted dreamscapes of 2-D puzzle platformer Out of Line.

This story of discovery is an expression beyond language. There is minimal text used as the introduction to playing uses images and objects in motion to describe controls and physical interactions with the environment. The serene transitions in music and sound are also inquisitive and tranquil, gently leading deeper into the unknown. As you delve deeper into the mysterious locales, the immersion will come naturally as walk through the world in the shoes of the mysterious hero.

Our protagonist, whose origins pose the story’s mystery, is known only as San. In seeking answers San unlocks cubed fragments of memory to unveil his shrouded past, yet each answer he finds comes with its own new questions. The highly stylized environments include an unusual blend of luscious plant life attempting to live alongside an abundance of aggressively sentient machine waste. The clash of nature and machine plays off one another to create vibrant areas that spring to life as you enter them and unfold to give the world a unique and eerie charm. Each visual element whether prominent or in the background is crafted with such artistic detail that bring each scene to life. Even unused or inanimate objects can evoke an emotion and play into the overall mood that evokes the feeling of a living painting.

San’s journey is propelled by a gold spear at his side. It is prominently a tool not designed for battle, but for survival. By landing your spear into walls and objects you can ascend higher and navigate past the perils lying in wait. While you may find other tools useful along the way, the magic in your spear will recall to your side on command. There are a variety of mechanisms to interact with that will challenge you on the road ahead, but you need only ask the right questions. Much like human lives, ideas like purpose or meaning are hard to pursue without some rigorous trial and error. The puzzles offered are designed to reflect the nature of how humans learn. Survival will depend on how well you can extract information about the world around you and forge a path forward.

There are things only one can only learn through reflection. The mirror images of San look-alikes  prove valuable in his escape to freedom and also add another layer of intrigue to the world. The puzzles in each stage extract a unique form of storytelling that remains exclusive to the interactive artwork of gaming. Immersing yourself into the role of San will have you relating to his struggle through powerful and emotional storytelling. The reflective nature of the game presents topics of isolation, oppression, creation, hope and struggle toward a life of freedom, by revealing the past through the memories you recall.

The gradual escalation of gameplay and storytelling is symphonic. The contemplative low notes of puzzle solving crescendo into heightened moments of suspense,  discovery, or even failure. While there is no direct combat or fights with enemies to challenge your decisions, there is a level of suspense carried by the ominous setting, beautiful style, and ongoing struggle for survival.

Experiencing the story is not for the weak of will however, since the game doesn’t rely on text or language based interactions there are indeed moments where you may find yourself needing guidance yet have only your own inquisitive nature and curious wits to guide you towards progress. Similar to life itself, there are few hints and being responsible for your own survival doesn’t come with instructions so there isn’t much to offer San in the way of guidance. Reaching later stages of the game will certainly require some out of the box thinking.

Though the focus is on the trial-and-error puzzles, Out of Line features an emotionally gripping story that goes beyond expectations for 2-D platformers. The story conveys relatable themes in a unique and artistic way that is rarely appreciated in this style of game which makes it stand out and dampens the sting of failed puzzle attempts. The idea of a voiceless narrative is a centerpiece to the journey that parallels life itself and is brought together beautifully through the game’s sights, sounds, and story. Out of line is the culmination of a perspective in gaming that is hard to find but a pleasure to enjoy. We’ll be waiting for the full release of Out of Line later this year

Preview key provided by Homerun PR. Add Out of Line to your Steam Wishlist today!

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