What would you do should you knew that the world as you already know it’s about to fulfill its finish? That’s the dilemma going through the primary character from the journey sport SEASON: A letter to the long run. With no method to stop what’s going to occur, she units out on a journey to document every little thing she will in regards to the outdated world earlier than it’s swallowed up by the brand new, to offer a historic document for the brand new season that follows.

SEASON: A letter to the long run is extra of a storytelling expertise than a sport per se, with the protagonist traversing a panorama that has already seen its justifiable share of eras come and go. To say extra in regards to the story itself would damage the stated expertise, however it’s a journey rife with discovery and feeling. It’s a story of discovering loneliness with lingering unhappiness and remorse, but in addition of the hope and energy of the recollections and moments we preserve and go away behind without end. It’s transient and impermanent at instances but in addition long-lasting in different methods. You’re buoyed alongside through the journey by your mission and what you encounter alongside the way in which, along with your actions impacting occasions and what you invariably expertise. The best way the gameplay mixes with the core storytelling loop is phenomenal.

Riding a bike through a gorgeous vista in SEASON: A letter to the future.
The controls for the bike are splendidly intuitive.

Upon setting off in your quest, you get a motorbike to journey into the good unknown. The bicycle is your main mode of transport, apart from slower-paced strolling, and there are huge swatches of open fields and winding pathways to make use of your car finest. The PS5 controller makes for an optimum using expertise by permitting you to get a way of the totally different terrains you’re using over and even making use of resistance to the controls when confronted with differing speeds and inclines. Just like actual life, extra push is required when climbing up a hill in your trusty bicycle, however much less resistance and button pushing is required when touring downhill. The bicycle using controls are intuitive and really feel enjoyable and stress-free when uncovering their innate rhythm.

When you attain a focal point, you possibly can forgo the bike briefly to discover and collect info. Whereas there, you possibly can take photos or make a tape of distinctive sounds for posterity. You possibly can sketch landscapes at particular vantage factors or take samples of things to your journal information. The journal serves as a souvenir or scrapbook of your travels in SEASON. Inside its pages, you lay out your findings and even what conclusions you finally make, supplied you collect sufficient info to kind a closing be aware. Because you’re writing down letters for historic preservation, it’s additionally necessary to do not forget that your conclusions within the journal might colour the tone of a selected level for future generations.

In that very same vein, you encounter some colourful characters all through your journey. The way you reply to them or your actions of their lives impacts how their function within the story performs out. Time is a shifting, fluid factor, and SEASON: A letter to the long run captures that sentiment splendidly in the way it presents its character interactions. As you proceed the narrative and discover new areas to discover with new individuals to speak to, your journal has the potential to be stuffed and that a lot richer in content material.

A screenshot of the protagonist from SEASON: A letter to the future.
The protagonist’s journey is the center and soul of the story.

SEASON is all about your personal expertise and the way you strategy issues. Due to this, it has a affected person, stress-free high quality to its gameplay mechanics and story development. I by no means felt punished for selecting to reply or act in a sure approach all through, and it’s genuinely fascinating to see the differing spider webs of story that occur on account of your responses throughout a playthrough. The sport can take as little as six hours to finish or greater than twelve, relying on the tempo with which you strategy it. My playthrough was on the longer facet, but as a result of I continually uncovered hidden truths and moments alongside the way in which, I at all times felt that the title stayed welcome. It’s a good size for such a narrative expertise.

The sport’s visible model is exclusive and delightful, with a heat colour palette. The character designs jogged my memory fondly of Studio Ghibli partially, and I like how distinctly every character actually stands out. The journal’s artwork route is artistic and relatively scrapbook-influenced, making web page creation really feel very tailor-made to your tastes. The soundtrack is minimalistic however genuinely shifting, the place silence can inform simply as a lot as a musical be aware. It made the tracks that did seem stand out, and the sound results helped paint a vivid image of the world. A siren blaring within the distance of a serene vista, animal life thriving in deserted areas, wind shifting by a wind chime: they’re all exceptionally effectively completed! SEASON’s world, for all that it could be ending, nonetheless feels alive in wholly sudden methods, which is a big a part of its innate magnificence.

Characters gathered around a table conversing in SEASON: A letter to the future.
The solid is sort of memorable and colourful.

The English voice performing for the characters can also be worthy of be aware. All of the actors do an unimaginable job of respiratory life into their roles, irrespective of how small they may be within the grand scheme of the plot. I beloved the quiet-yet-powerful feelings at work all through each line of spoken dialogue. This wistful reflection emerged when a personality talked in regards to the previous or their tentative hopefulness for the unsure future awaiting them. Maureen Adelson stands out amongst some genuinely stellar performances because the protagonist. Whereas silent throughout dialogue with different characters to allow you to choose her responses, her voice work carries the story in elements the place you’re touring alone. It presents some genuinely attractive poetic perception into observations you unearth.

Whereas SEASON: A letter to the long run is a beautiful sport by way of its visible route, although not having characters’ mouths shifting whereas conversing is a artistic selection not interesting for everybody. It’s additionally close to unattainable so as to add each picture, recording, or piece of statement you would possibly stumble throughout into your journal pages, as they replenish fairly readily. Mine usually turned a jumbled mess relying on how a lot I uncovered in a given space. There’s additionally no actual save possibility within the sport itself, guide or in any other case, till you exit the title and get prompted to make a save. Whereas that is comprehensible from a artistic stance to create an immersive expertise, it did make me nervous about taking part in the sport when the climate was temperamental, as I wanted to determine what would occur ought to an influence outage happen.

Nonetheless, minor quibbles apart, SEASON: A letter to the long run is a fantastic and ethereal gaming expertise about what’s each everlasting and impermanent in our lives. I used to be happy with the conclusion my explicit journey took, discovering the sport to be genuinely shifting and galvanizing in sudden methods. SEASON: A letter to the long run is one journey journey sport followers will wish to expertise.