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Another World

   
Eric Chahi spent over two years working on his visionary Amiga game, re-released for the PC audience in 2006 with crisp high-resolution visuals and remastered sound. Another World is an atmospheric adventure game which focuses on evading the various dangers of a hostile alien world.

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.

Lester communicates to the alien using his palm.

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.

Inhabitants relaxing in the bathing house.

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.

Lester swims down in water.

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.

The guard picks up Lester to confront him.

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.

Guards move around in the foreground.

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.

The guard kicks Lester down.

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.

Lester swings the cage to escape.

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.

Lester picks up the gun.

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.

Using the gun to breakdown barriers.

Friendship

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.

Lester and his companion escape from gunfire."

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.

Your friend escapes along the bottom along the level

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.

The alien friend moves into view.

My twitter icon - currently Gum from Jet Jet Radio Future. This examination of Another World was written by Michelle. If you enjoyed this article you may want to read about other games you might like. Don't forget to subscribe to my RSS feed or get updates by email so you can hear about my next game update.

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