JETT: The Far Shore + Given Time

Review: Jett: The Far Shore + Given Time

Jett: The Far Shore + Given Time is something of an anomaly.

It’s one I’m not sure I was ready for or enjoyed, to be honest with you. 

Yet if you are looking for space exploration paired with a deep exploration into what it means to be human and to respect the world around you, Jett: The Far Shore, + Given Time, is very much an experience for you.

You’re the anomaly 

Jett: The Far Shore + Given Timemploys fictional language to tell a two-part adventure comprising 24 hours of gameplay.  

What I’ve grown to appreciate about this experience is that because there’s no way to understand what is going on in terms of auditory cues, Jett: The Far Shore + Given Time leans heavily into a written exposition of mood.

Its protagonist, Mei, and her companions are dialled into sharing their thoughts and feelings because there’s no other way you can grasp these parts of their humanity.

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It can often mean that you are in for long conversations, but I found myself hyper-focused on these conversations and connected in a way I am struggling to compare to any game I’ve played in recent memory.

Mei’s story is one that involves detail only when it comes to navigating the game’s planet and her crew’s emotions. We learn very little about the doomed planet she comes from or the people on it. As time passes, we learn more about those around her and the strange planet they find themselves on.

As time passes, you will come to find that perhaps you are the anomaly to the very thing you consider to be an anomaly. Perhaps, it is doing everything it can to expel you, and you are doing everything you can to stay. It’s a captivating and emotional story that really takes both acts to reach their full height.

It’s clear that this is a game that should have shipped all at once and not as two parts separated by a couple of years, but as a whole package, they work well enough.

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Forced landing and tight flying 

Where I struggle the most with Jett: The Far Shore + Given Time comes in the gameplay loop. 

The Far Shore is, at times, incredibly insistent, forcing you to land and take in its alien attractions, or forceful in trying to guide you through one of its puzzles that require you to do something like turn your engines on or off, or perform a barrel roll or a jump.

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There was a point for me where I stopped feeling in command and felt like the whole point was just to be the human guiding the machine. I felt like it was a forced landing to a really open, high-flying experience 

however, I am happy to report that Given Time solves a lot of these feelings by allowing greater freedom to take puzzles on your own time, and cutting back on the exposition and guidance.

I found this caused me to space out and thus enjoy myself more.

In terms of controls, Jett: The Far Shore + Given Time is once again at its best when it is open and granting you control. Admittedly, it wasn’t for me.

There are just too many points where this game will force you into tight quarters or make you execute some interaction with the environment in order to progress. I found myself feeling that was the opposite experience of what I wanted. 

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I was more than happy to put the time in to work out a solution instead of having blue rings or a camera reset guide me. These constant interruptions became immersion-breaking. 

Verdict

As I said before, Jett: The Far Shore + Given Time is an anomaly. I don’t know what that is has hit me fully yet. While I’m in love with this game’s story and delivery, I cannot help but feel let down by its gameplay. However, as a full package, it is serviceable. I recommend this one simply because I think there’s something here… I’m just not sure it’s landed with me yet.

Recommended

[A copy of the game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.]

Reviewed on: PC

JETT: The Far Shore + Given Time
Summary
If you are looking for space exploration paired with a deep exploration into what it means to be human and to respect the world around you, Jett: The Far Shore, + Given Time, is very much an experience for you.
Liked
I admire that it tells a story with words that don't exist.
So full of emotion and heart
When it lets you take control and just mellow out, it's amazing.
As a whole package, there's a lot here.
Didn't Like
At times, I feel like the game forces me to land or tries to take control away from me.
This is very much a story in two parts. And that's 24 full hours you simply have to give to it.