SEASON: A letter to the future Review
Embark on a beautiful, indie game adventure with SEASON: A letter to the future. A thoughtful emotional journey awaits, my full review.
If you are looking for a beautiful and thought-provoking experience, SEASON: A letter to the future has plenty to offer. This pre-apocalyptic story stands out from the crowd, with its beautiful visuals, compelling narrative and pensive soundtrack. You explore the world as Estelle, a young woman from an isolated village, embarks on a journey of self-discovery and exploration by bike. Your main goal is to gather memories before the world as you know it is wiped away. The immersive experience takes you on an emotional roller coaster that tackles humanity's struggle between hope and despair in times of uncertainty. Read on to find out why SEASON: A letter to the future is a unique, emotional, thought-provoking experience.
SEASON: A letter to the future details
Platform(s): PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4 and PC
Developer(s): Scavengers Studio
Publisher(s): Scavengers Studio
The Story of SEASON
The storyline in Season is both mysterious and captivating, leaving the player with more questions than answers at first. You play as Estelle venturing through a pre-apocalyptic world on your bike. Your goal is to gather memories before the world is changed, wiping the past away. The story takes a more slow-paced introspective tone as players slowly unravel an intricate story filled with interesting characters and thoughtful environment-based storytelling.
"The story takes a more slow-paced introspective tone as players slowly unravel an intricate story filled with interesting characters and thoughtful environment-based storytelling."
The narrative revolves around hope and despair in times of uncertainty, offering players a chance to reflect on life, death and purpose. The duration of your journey could last anywhere from 6 to 12 hours, depending on how often you get sidetracked en route. The environment begs to be explored, so if you are looking for a more relaxed and contemplative experience, this game is exactly what you are looking for.
SEASON's visuals and performance
SEASON boasts stunning visuals that draw you into its mysterious world. Scavengers Studio created some beautiful atmospheres that will leave you mesmerized. I often found myself stopping to take in the scenery and appreciate the environment. Although there were a few minor hiccups during my playthrough, these did not detract from my experience overall. From serene forests to desolate wastelands, each area you'll follow along with the journey of Estelle is beautiful in its own right. The game is a feast for the senses relying on visuals, sounds and touch using the clever implementation of the PS5 DualSense controller for haptics.
"The game is a feast for the senses relying on visuals, sounds and touch using the clever implementation of the PS5 DualSense controller for haptics."
Unique gameplay elements
The gameplay in SEASON sets itself apart from anything from many other adventure experiences out there. You explore the environment from a 3rd-person perspective in two ways, on foot or bicycling around open-world areas. The unique bike-riding mechanic allows you to traverse vast distances in a short amount of time. I reviewed the game on the PS5 with the DualSense controller and could feel the tension in the triggers depending on whether I was peddling on an incline or decline.
"I reviewed the game on the PS5 with the DualSense controller and could feel the tension in the triggers depending on whether I was peddling on an incline or decline."
When biking you rotate peddle pushes with the Left and Right triggers simulating a similar pattern you would with your feet on a real bike. The mechanic is great, and I was surprised at how much of an added layer it provided to the gameplay. It's not without its flaws as I found myself getting caught on environmental objects and needing to dismount. Outside of that, I enjoyed the cycling component, it added to the more meditative and reflective qualities of the game.
Scrapbook your journey
The other unique element the game has is a scrapbook-style journal that has you logging sights, sounds, and emotions you experience while playing. This mechanic serves as a way to document Estelle's journey adding an extra layer of narrative and immersion to the game. You can navigate around the blank pages and add these components as you see fit. It allowed me to add an even more personal touch to my journey and have something to look back on as the game progressed.
SEASON's audio and sound design
The soundtrack and sound design also contribute to the immersive experience. The music is mesmerizing and surprisingly calming, despite the desperate situation of the world of SEASON. It helps to set the mood and keep you engaged in Estelle's story. A majority of the voice acting was well executed, but at times it couldn't keep up with the poetic, very deep script that went into the game.
"A majority of the voice acting was well executed, but at times it couldn't keep up with the poetic, very deep script that went into the game."
All in all, the audio design choices were a great addition to the overall experience. Pushing players to stop for a moment and take in the soundscape around them helped to add another layer of depth to the experience.
A unique and thoughtful experience
SEASON: A Letter to the Future is a thoughtful and introspective single-player adventure that will stay with you long after you have finished it. It is, in a word, stunning, with a lot going for it in terms of visuals, unique gameplay elements and engaging audio and sound design. I recommend it to anyone looking for an emotionally driven experience. The thought-provoking journey asks players to consider the question, "how will you be remembered?"
"The thought-provoking journey asks players to consider the question, 'how will you be remembered?'"
It's a beautiful adventure filled with stunning visuals and a captivating narrative that takes you into its mysterious and pre-apocalyptic world. With its unique bike-riding mechanic and intriguing puzzle elements, this game stands out from many others in the genre, offering a compelling narrative and unique gameplay that will leave you captivated throughout your experience.
SEASON: A letter to the future PROS
+Beautiful art design from start to finish
+Unique bike-riding and puzzle mechanics
+Captivating soundtrack that helps set the mood
SEASON: A letter to the future CONS
-Occasional camera and control issues
-Some puzzles may take too long to complete
Overall Rating: 30/40 (75%)
A copy of the game was provided by the developer for the purpose of this review.
About the Author - Matthew "Dapper Tux" Rondina
Matthew has been involved in all things gaming since the 8-bit era. He is a veteran of the video game and tech industry who has been passionate about technology and gaming for over 20 years. Along with being the Managing Editor of dappertux.com, he has bylines with Best Buy, Cineplex Entertainment, Mobile Syrup and Walmart. Follow Matthew’s gaming + tech adventures on twitter, Instagram and join in on the fun!
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