North - PS4 Review

North, in some ways perfectly confusable with the cardinal point that we based most of our directions off of, is a very interesting take on the storytelling of a person and their trip to a city in the North where things haven’t all gone to hell. Done in a first person and very minimalistic approach, you may not even know what you’re doing or why you’re doing it until after after the fact.

For all intents and purposes I would not call North a game as much as an experience that is a lot more interesting to go through than it is to hear about. If I were to describe it: you move around blocky and often fairly dark areas that have little to no one in them. Every now and then you’ll see an object that can be interacted with and a mail icon popup on the bottom of the screen. That’s about it. Clocking in at about the developer stated hour-ish of a clock, there are no menus and there is no saving. It’s what you do in that hour however that is important.

For every mail icon popup that appears you have the ability to go to a mailbox that can be found around town in order to write home to your sister. This is where the experience really takes place. While you may have moved into an area and looked at it for two seconds, the results are possible pages of a letter from “you” to your sister describing the state of the place, the emotions of the people and the possible frustrations for where you currently are in the city that you escaped to.

These letters aren’t just supplementary information like they often would be elsewhere, they are everything. Without these letters there is no point to North as outside of these letters and looking for more ways in order to achieve them, there’s nothing. North isn’t designed to be some crazy intense visual spectacle. Instead it is rather low key and focuses on the way that they decided to tell the tale of this person that escaped to this northern city.

Now even while extremely short and light on the options there are some technical issues and the lack of instructions don’t help. I won’t go heavily into the details because those would lead to massive spoilers if you decide to embark on this journey but the lack of knowledge can sometimes lead to death.

“You are dead” in a very Dark Souls fashion appeared a few times while trying to perform my daily duties, aka, my job. You have to deal with certain machinery in a scorching hot location. There are safety measures but without some trial and error it could lead to a few more of those dark screened “you are dead” statements. Maybe a little bit more refinement in that area would have been good but the style itself was quite different and enjoyable once you found out about mailing the letters and getting the context.

North won’t be for everyone. If you are looking for something a little different or something to simply pass the time between other titles it could fit the bill.

Game Information

Sony PlayStation 4
Sometimes You
Walking Simulator
Single Player
Other Platform(s):
Microsoft Xbox One

Provided by Publisher

Article by Pierre-Yves
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