Review: Beyond Eyes
In Beyond Eyes you play as Rae, a young girl who has lost her vision due to an accident. Rae can’t see, but she can hear and sense the world around her. While walking throughout the world, the area around her will become more clear. This is the big mechanic that Beyond Eyes uses, and though it is novel at first, it can seem to overstay its welcome at some points. Beyond Eyes only takes and hour and half to two hours to complete. The plot of the game is given to you very quickly, and that one plot point can drag on throughout the journey.
After Rae loses her sight, she feels alone. While sitting in her garden, a mysterious cat comes to see her and they bond. Rae names the cat Nani. One day Nani decides to venture off, and Rae decides to follow her. This is unfamiliar territory for Rae as she has never been very far outside her house. This is the premise of Beyond Eyes, to find Nani. When you start playing, the entire world is mostly white. Rae can sense and hear the world around her and the more she walks throughout the world, the more you will reveal. The closest thing I can compare this to, is the PSN game The Unfinished Swan. Instead of throwing blobs of paint, you walk and reveal the world around you. Expect to run into many walls and trees throughout the adventure. This is not a bad thing, as running into things is part of the trial and error process. However Rae can become stuck on various trees and bushes, and small areas that Rae should be able to cross, she can’t. Over time, as you paint more of the world, you’ll find the way to progress through each of the chapters.
Walking, looking and interacting with objects in the world is all that is needed to play. It is a very simple game, and throughout my play time, I thought to myself that this would be a great game for a child or person who is new to video games. There are optional side items that Rae can interact with if you find them, but they are well hidden and they don’t add much to the story. A really nice touch I enjoyed is that at times Rae will hear something that sounds like a car. On screen it appears to be a car, but the closer you get to it, the car will transform and will actually appear to be a lawnmower. There are multiple instances of this and is a unique touch to the game. Other loud noises will tend to scare Rae. You will encounter a few dogs in the game and though you can’t be hurt by the dogs, its scares Rae enough that you can’t progress until you find another way or find a way to get the dog to move. Rae will begin to feel insecure as you can tell by her body language.
Visually, Beyond Eyes is beautiful. The art style is vibrant and bursting with color. It’s a world that I would love to explore myself. When in each area, I felt like venturing off the main path to paint the rest of the world and see what other items I could find. However this can take some time with Rae’s slow walking pace. When you know you have a lot of the world to explore, it can take time to reveal everything. A few times I found myself lost and not sure where to go. With the slow walking pace it took a while to walk back and forth to areas and know where to progress.
With Beyond Eyes only being at max a couple of hours long, it can feel like it’s dragging on, as finding Nani is the main plot point and there is no new mechanics other than painting the world around you. In a game where the painting mechanic and story is the only thing it has going for it. It doesn’t do anything new to keep anyone interested for more than about half an hour. I was also left wanting more in the ending as I felt no investment in the epilogue. Beyond Eyes may be worth playing if you can find the game on sale, but it doesn’t offer too much new to people who enjoy these types of games. On the other hand, if you have a young one or want to introduce games to someone, this may be the game.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes. For more info on our review policy click here.
What I Like:
- Beautiful style
- Revealing the world
- Rae's perception of the world
What I Dislike:
- Rough movement
- Story doesn't hold interest long
- Game can seem to drag on