IndieVideo Games

Between Horizons Makes You Work To Enjoy Its Story

Between Horizons is a game set on the Zephyr, a ship that holds humanity’s last hope. While the exact problems plaguing Earth aren’t detailed it’s implied to be climate disasters. This has led a rather large population to travel to a distant star that their grandchildren will actually see. That is the crux of the game’s plot as an antagonistic group wants to arrive on a planet now. By the end these characters feel petulant and short-sighted instead of villains with a thought out plan. 

Assemble Entertainment

Graphically this game has a unique design and the ship is a large area to explore, despite there being no secondary location. It’s packed with people but players can only interact with a select few and most characters are unhelpful. When reaching the end of the hallway players can see NPCs actually bounce against the wall before turning around. It’s worth a chuckle and is far from the most egregious glitch players might encounter. Between Horizons is a sidescroller, 3D hybrid when Stella needs to walk up or down stairs. This makes navigating a pain and often leaves Stella moving forward and backwards until she finally goes where the player wants. This only gets more frustrating as the game goes on.

The nonlinear nature of investigations doesn’t help. Players will need to constantly run back and forth finding evidence. With no indication that all relevant information has been collected. And once evidence has been submitted, players won’t be told if they’ve selected the right item, but these choices will still affect the ending. This could make the choices feel weightier. Though the longer it takes to conclude a case it’s more likely that players feel disconnected from the outcome. Fast travel does exist, but it’s the most unhelpful system possible. Instead of being taken to the location, players are dropped in the general area and may still have to run up a level or more.

Some emotional beats don’t hit as hard as they could due to the generally unpleasant play experience. For a narrative focused game this can make it hard to reach the end. The tension of the ship’s, and therefore humanity’s, fate does remain throughout. Just how easy it was to throw things off course is terrifying. It lends an urgency that’s unfortunately undermined by how much time players might waste just figuring out how to progress. Not only is it unclear who needs to be spoken to, the PDA system becomes walls of text that are overwhelming.

Between Horizons suffers from stretching one story over too large of an area. The general glitches, ranging from funny to game breaking, could sour the whole experience if a player encounters one. There’s nuggets of enjoyment to be found as Stella comes face to face with friends who may be enemies in highly suspicious and nerve wracking moments. While some issues could be patched out eventually, the tedium of navigating the world and UI make this a one-and-done experience. Though there’s so much potential for replayability if someone does enjoy the game.

Dia Tucker

Hello, fellow adventurers! I’m Dia Tucker, dwelling amidst the vibrant cultures and landscapes of the United States. My journey into the mesmerizing universes hidden within video games began in the whimsical days of my childhood. The epic narratives of the "Mass Effect" and "Elder Scrolls" series have always held a special place in my heart, guiding me through countless worlds and experiences. When I’m not crafting tales through words, you’ll find me delving into the boundless realms of MMOs, embarking on quests, and forging memories with companions from every corner of the globe. I invite you to join me as I share stories, insights, and adventures from both the pixelated worlds and the realms I create with words.

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