Mood and setting
You play as the red-headed Lester who is transported to an alien environment after a scientific experiment backfires – as explained by a magnificent introduction cut-scene. The cut-scene into game start is seamless.
The colour palette for the game is exquisite, shades of blue, whites and greys with only minor bright details (Lester’s hair, the red eyes of the aliens etc.) The colours pitch the mood of the surroundings perfectly.
The game is largely silent, with barely any text or voice acting, and is delicately complimented by Jean-François Freitas’s emotive soundtrack. Communication is achieved with body language and movement.
Death lurks around every corner
Your movements have to be pixel perfect in order to defend yourself against the attacks of a hoard of enemies. The biggest threat will be the world itself which will attempt to grab, trip and devour you.
Threats range from tentacle like plants and worms, bear-like beasts and even water and gravity. Most of your time is spent trying to traverse the environment while the beings that have made this dangerous climate home.
This means death will be frequent. Many different demises exist, each with their own perfectly crafted death animation. It will take repeated attempts at a puzzle or combat scene will improve your next chance of survival.
Use of tools
As you progress you start to use the environment to your advantage, hiding behind doors, dropping large objects and using water levels to reach inaccessible areas. Surroundings start to support as well as hinder.
The gun helps to move Another World between moments of intense noise and alarm and near silent reflection of puzzles. This mix of quiet and loud moments help recreate the tension of escape.
Much of the narrative to the game is open-ended, and left deliberately ambiguous to allow the player to summize and understand what is going on. This leads to a much more rewarding, imaginative experience.
One of the strongest emotions created by Another World is the sense of empathy – Lester and his alien friend work together to help each other escape imprisonment. A common bond forms between the two outcasts.
This cooperation begins through almost silent understanding. The alien begins to act as the guide through the world, plucking you out of harms way, and suggesting alternative paths.
Watching the separate progress of your friend helps to strengthen your resolve and is a glimmer of hope through the largely unwelcoming setting. Leading to the climatic ending sequence.