Full Quiet Review | Growing up in the ’80s meant I played a lot of pixel-based games. During the 80s most games were 2D sprites on a plane that either went left and right, or up and down. 3D was around but it wasn’t really something that was done commercially. Nowadays, especially in the indie scene, we get a lot of developers trying to recapture that classic look and feel of those old-school games, myself included have done a few low poly games because nostalgia is an addictive thing. Full Quiet is one of those games. Based on NES-style classics like Mario Brothers, it shares many similarities with games from that era. Limited colour pallets, sprite-based graphics, linear movement locked to a plane with simple mechanics. But does it fill me with that sense of nostalgia and take me back to my younger years?
ℹ️ Reviewed on Xbox Series X | Review code provided by PR/publisher, this review is the personal opinion of the writer. Got unanswered questions about this game? Get in touch on Twitter!
What We Liked!
- The Graphics | To start off from my introduction, yes, Full Quiet does in fact fill me with nostalgia and bring me back to a simpler time. This isn’t a bad thing. I love pixel art, and they are very nice. Full Quiet accurately recreated the style and artwork that would have been used back in the day. It looks great and it is clear that a lot of work has been put into the sprite sheet. Since you can climb, run, walk, shoot, jump, and dive, there needs to be a lot of different sprites drawn in order to capture it all accurately. I see a lot of pixel-art games these days but a lot of them use modern colour pallets, and Full Quiet stands out more to me because of the limitations it forces upon itself. It is clear to me that the game is made by a passionate developer who really understands the aesthetic. Enemies also feature the same treatment.
- The Size | Full Quiet is a huge game. Full Quiet will take around 20 hours to complete the entire thing. While I didn’t manage to finish it all in time for the review, I do plan on finishing it up as I am about 12+ hours in at this point and feel there is much more to explore and uncover. The sheer size and scope of the game are more than most modern games these days, so if you are looking for bang for your buck, Full Quiet will have you covered.
- The Story | The Story of Full Quiet involves you looking for your missing son. Pap, one of the game’s protagonists leaves notes along the trails for you to find giving you a backstory on what transpired in the forest. Using radio equipment that you unlock by getting into locked radio outposts gives you more information on the story and you gradually learn how Pap and his radio friends kept the forest protected from the creatures that now roam it. It’s a pretty interesting read and offers a lot of insight and lore if you are into that sort of thing. A lot of the radio communication plays out like Metal Gear Solid codec moments so you are free to take it at your own pace.
- Additional Graphical Options | It’s a small thing to add but Full Quiet simulates a 4:3 aspect ratio that old TV’s would have used back in the day. Because of this, there are black bars on either side of the screen. You can press the right bumper and left bumper together at any point to open the settings screen. From here you can add borders to the screen such as old wooden TV panels or CRT TV controls. It looks really nice. It doesn’t add anything to the game, but I like that the extra effort went into adding this.
- Day & Night Cycle | Full Quiet to my surprise contains a full day and night cycle which actually ties into the gameplay. There are 3 Stages to the cycle. Daytime, allows you to safely carry out your search for towers to connect back to the grid as per the story. Enemies are weaker during the day and there are less of them. The early evening starts to make monsters more plentiful and stronger restricting your search abilities by upping the combat curve. The shift in colour also lets the player know that they don’t have too long before dark when they should really head back to camp. Finally, the evening is when it gets messy and dangerous. The colour pallet shifts to a dark black and blue tone and enemies are strong, and plentiful and also introduces an unkillable enemy that will strike you down instantly if the timer runs out. While there isn’t a timer you can physically see, after a short while of running around at night, there will begin a ticking countdown sound. When that reaches the bottom, the entity appears and kills you instantly. You will need to reload your saved data or start again.
- The Music | The Music in Full Quiet is okay. It’s nothing but simple chip-tune music that emulates the NES style from back in the day. Sound effects too. It is a simple loop that plays over and over again, and only changes when certain things happen, like when you are chased and caught by the entity that roams the woods. The same goes for when you enter new areas. I don’t blame the developer for the limited music and sound effects, after all, they are trying to emulate the look and feel of old classic games as I mentioned, so it’s understandable. However, the Chip-tune is basic. It feels like it could have had more going for it, especially in the sound effect area with more in the way of ambience from enemies.
- The Difficulty | The difficulty in Full Quiet is challenging, to say the least. My first few attempts resulted in death after death, mainly in part to having no tutorial and knowing what I am doing, but also because of the enemy count being huge. Every area seems to have a huge amount of enemies that only get stronger as the day progresses. The standard enemies go from 4 shots to 6 shots meaning you have to reload between each kill and since most enemies are in groups, this requires either circling back to get some breathing room or diving just as they attack. I do recognise though, that these games from the 80’s and early 90’s were incredibly difficult anyway. Any fan of Angry Videogame Nerd will know this as he has practically built a career on this.
- The Combat | It is a shame that I am having to put the combat part here since this is Full Quiet’s main mechanic. However, combat is nothing more than spamming the X button until an enemy is dead. Yes, you can dive but this is more of a secondary mechanic than anything else. I rarely used it or needed to use it as spamming the fire button was always just enough to get me through each encounter. Combat is also very repetitive as you get unlimited ammo for the handgun and always does enough damage to get the job done. There are other weapons in the game, but it never felt necessary to switch them unless I needed to make quick work of an enemy.
What We Disliked
- Can be Confusing | This was the only thing I disliked about Full Quiet, and I tried my best to get around this. Full Quiet introduces you to certain mechanics early on but there seems to be little to no help at all. At most times, you are left fending for yourself to figure out how something needs to work. For example, you drop down a cave at the beginning of the game and you are given energy bars to raise your health. However, you are not told how to access this and use it. All face buttons and triggers are given to other functions. However, after much messing around, I discovered a hidden menu past the map that houses the equipment. At no point are you told how to get there. Just a note saying to eat them to restore health. This isn’t the only instance. Fixing faulty wiring is a mini-game in itself that has no explanation. Through trial and error, I figured it out, and since this is a big part of the game, you would have assumed that there would be at least a tutorial on this mechanic, especially since attempting it can also kill you if you get it wrong. The map in Full Quiet can also be confusing given how big this game actually is. The map is made up of tiny squares which are uncovered as you progress through the scenes. The square you populate flashes white indicating your current location, but lacks any real detail.
How long to beat the story | 20 hours
How long to get all achievements | 20 hours
You’ll love this game if you like these | Blasphemous & Rain World
Full Quiet is tough one for me to love. On the one hand, it has a lot of aesthetically pleasing design choices that fill me with nostalgia, and on the other, it lacks a lot of the modern standards that video games need in order to bring fun and enjoyment to the overall experience. With almost no tutorials and guidance in sight, Full Quiet quickly becomes a repetitive, difficult experience that is only made worse by the length of the game. Players will quickly become frustrated by not knowing where to go and what to do, resulting in many giving up or dying over and over.
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Gaming is in my blood. Be it handheld games, Xbox, PC, Switch or Playstation, I am all over it.
I make my own games as part of my profession and love playing co op games with friends in my spare time. Avid dog lover and camper van enthusiast.