My first experience with developer Sergei Noskov was Sector 7 on PS4, but I was impressed with the level of fidelity, the clever puzzles and the great atmosphere. When I heard about his new track, In Rays of Light, I knew I had to check it out. It’s a remake of a 2012 title from Noskov called Light, and it’s presented to us with a modest price tag to reflect its intentionally short playtime of a few hours.
Some of my favorite gaming experiences have come from this pair, but will In Rays of The Light leave a lasting impression, or will this immersive journey through a post-apocalyptic world leave few memories? We’ll see about that!
A short but sweet atmospheric adventure
Rays of The Light is a game that prides itself on both presentation and atmosphere. Although you are given a rusty pipe to wear in the early stages, the game doesn’t send enemies your way. It is a methodical adventure through the ruins of a post-apocalyptic world where the end has come and gone. It’s up to you to explore, solve the mysteries, and ultimately find out more about what happened.
What struck me from the start was the creepy atmosphere that hangs over everything around you. The music in the game is great, but it’s the lack of it that makes you realize how lonely you actually are as you walk through the hallways of a school that seems to have spent decades as inferior to nature. In the beginning of the game, you will learn about the different rooms, search for keys and read notes in the main building before going outside and reaching the basement.
That said, In Rays of The Light still gives you the feeling that someone might be waiting around the corner. Despite the abandoned nature of the environment, there is a sense of absence in every room and throughout the building’s surroundings.
It’s a combination of things, from the objects and furniture scattered throughout the rooms to the clever use of music and sound to the methodical rhythm of your movements. Even when you hit the start button, you’re not going fast enough to get past the people around you. The default sensitivity is a little low, but I was able to turn it on in the options menu on the PS5 and the game responds faster, although quick reflexes aren’t essential.
While there isn’t much spoken dialogue, I recommend turning on the subtitles, as they seem to determine whether you get to see messages like No Force when interacting with objects. When this option is enabled, you will also get translated subtitles during periods when spoken text is present.
There is no real direction in In Rays of The Light, but it does allow you to explore and develop different elements of the game at your leisure. You’ll find a map you can use that is labeled as you encounter different things, but those who want a little direction can get a little lost here in some cases.
None of the puzzles are very complicated, but they range from simple to rather abstract solutions, I found. Despite the lack of combat, the game ventures into horror more than once before the credits roll. The clever use of visuals, claustrophobic sounds and alarming noises like jack horns are used to good effect in the later parts of the game.
Amidst all this, you’ll find notes that hauntingly remind you of what happened in the areas you explore. These moments of direct narration are haunting and sometimes heartbreaking. I’d love to see more, but it’s always nice to have some additional context from notes like this.
When the credits roll, you’re left with more questions than answers, but no one can refute the message behind the story. It can be a little forced at times, but it resonates well with our modern world, and interestingly enough, like the 2012 PC title, the original roots of this game offer a story that still resonates as much as it did almost a decade later.
Style and content, with different caves
Rays of The Light is a game that offers multiple endings, but doesn’t give you much reason to play it more than once. In that sense, it’s an experience, but one that benefits from crisp graphics, a great atmosphere and excellent sound design. The soundtrack is excellent, with haunting piano and clever use of silence to highlight the most exciting parts of the game.
For a reasonably reasonable price, In Rays of The Light is a game that will appeal to fans of short and edgy experiences. Horror fans will enjoy the exercise in atmosphere and visual design, but ultimately this is a game for those who love a strong atmosphere and an ambiguous story. For the price asked, a walk through this ruined world is worth it.
Last point: 7.0/10
Subject of – Bradley Ramsey
Date of Insertion – 3/19/2021
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