Seasons After Fall is an expertly crafted and masterfully animated platformer that offers gorgeous visuals and a splendid soundtrack. The game stars a Fox that is being controlled by spirits and has to awaken the four guardians corresponding to each season: Winter, Summer, Fall and Spring. The way the story is told is kept ambiguous so a lot of what you will learn about the story comes from your own experience and how you will relate to it.
Seasons After Fall is a platformer at its core but it unfortunately lacks gameplay variety. A huge emphasis is placed on crafting a journey that is supplemented by the use of a gorgeous soundtrack and stunning visuals that are a delight to behold, however underneath all the beauty, the actual gameplay is rather lackluster with there being nothing much to interact in term of the platforming.
The game excels at visuals in the way each Season is animated on screen however the gameplay mechanics that are tied to each season are rather simplistic in nature, leading to repetition quickly. You begin the game with no ability and slowly learn to summon each season to solve various puzzles. There is a lot of backtracking here because you will be moving from one location to the next and then go back again, as you unlock new abilities. While I admire the art style, I was getting tired of the backtracking that I had to endure especially when there is nothing to offer on screen here. There are no enemies of any kind and the puzzles are neglected to platforming segments.
The story is told through written text on screen and even then, it never manages to explain things properly. There is no background narrative exposition here and it is simply a visual adventure with minimal text to read. If you like listening to a well crafted soundtrack and admiring beautifully hand drawn sprites, perhaps you will appreciate the feeling the game is aiming for here.
The start of the game deals with gathering the power of the four seasons. Once you have gained all the abilities, it is at that point that the game begins to feel like it outstays its welcome because you will be heading back to the same forest that you just explored, using your newly acquired abilities, to discover new locations and solve puzzles. This is not as exciting as it sounds mainly because there is not much to do here. The power to change a season at will is, admittedly, pretty cool but it gets tiring quickly. Perhaps if there were gameplay specific abilities that were tied to each season aside from simple platforming, maybe the game could have been much more fun.
The animated art style of the game feels perfect for a good TV Show so I wouldn’t mind an animated series using this art style. To be honest, I find it hard to praise the game aside from the visuals and the soundtrack, both of which are definitely praiseworthy. I just couldn’t manage to love the gameplay as much as I enjoyed the rest of the game. There are secrets hidden in the world that will take some time to discover, but aside from that, the actual game will barley last for a few hours so you can be done with it rather quickly.
Seasons After Fall was originally released for the PC so how well does the PS4 version hold here? While I couldn’t test the PC version, I was able to check out the PS4 version and it appears to run smooth for the most part. My only minor qualm was that changing seasons has a slight delay, like the frame rate drops for a sudden, but it is a rather minor issue and the rest of the game works without any hitches.
Seasons After Fall is a rather short experience weighing in at a few hours, but there is some replay value to be found for those who prefer to get everything in the game. The game also features a Platinum trophy on the PS4 so there is an incentive to complete everything.
Seasons After Fall Review (PS4)
Game Reviewed on: PS4
Game description: Seasons After Fall is a video game developed by Swing Swing Submarine and published by Focus Home Interactive.
Seasons After Fall is a gorgeous tale told through artistic visuals and beautifully orchestrated music. It is, simply put, an experience that deserves to be played although it comes at the expense of an oversimplified gameplay.