22nd Nov2015

‘Pulse’ Review (PC)

by Paul Metcalf

pulse-2

Most games treat the main character almost like a super hero, giving them the ability to withstand more than the average human could, and powers to give them an added edge. This is what allows us to enjoy the game, the escape from reality. In search for a new experience though some games have started to take away powers we would usually have, creating challenges we usually don’t have. Pulse is one that takes away our ability to see.

In Pulse we play the role of Eva, a young girl who lost her sight from an early age. Having the ability to “see” the world through sound gives her a unique perspective on her world. Using this ability and receiving help from spirits of the forest she follows a forbidden trailer to discover why her world is on the very of collapse.

While playing a blind character has been used in a few other games, it still makes for an interesting experience when we control Eva. Gaining information as we progress through the game from forest spirits, we also meet small creatures known as Mokos who appear to either spend their time sleeping or looking up at you with judging puppy dog eyes.

These Mokos become useful when you learn that throwing them makes them emit sounds, though they don’t like to be thrown into water (they can’t swim). When these creatures create sound the world around you becomes visible and you get to see how beautiful it is, if only for a moment.

Once you learn the usefulness of the Mokos it is not long before you are making good progress through the game and enjoying its interesting art style. There are moments that you almost feel bad for flinging the Mokos around, or forcing them to run in hamster wheel like contraptions so you can make progress through the game, but they seem happy to do it. Though they do have moments when they crossly look up at you, as if they are working out where you’ll throw them next.

For the most part, the sonar style of sight you have is used to view your world, but later in the game there are other uses. A highlight and more challenging part of the game includes trying to find a safe route over some ice that is ready to break and let you sink into the freezing depths.

What Pulse does well is to give the player a claustrophobic feel of being trapped in darkness. Even when you do see the world around you, it is taken away far too quickly. Not only giving an extra challenge to the game it gives you an idea of how blindness takes away your ability to judge the world around you and its dangers.

At the moment Pulse costs £10.99 which is not too expensive, but when the length of the game is under two hours this may be a questionable price for some. If you are looking for a charming little game that offers something a little different from the usual run and shoot adventures, Pulse is well worth a look. It is just a shame that it couldn’t have lasted a little longer.

**** 4/5

Pulse is available now on PC via Steam.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek
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