Our review for In Rays of the Light | This is actually the pc game The Light Remake that released in June 2020, which was already a remake from The Light from 2012. Not sure why this was renamed to In Rays of the Light though for the big three consoles. Whatever it is called, this mysterious and atmospheric game from Sergey Noskov is one of my favorite walking game sims on Xbox. Published by Sometimes You, who always has an eye for special indie-games.
We played In Rays of the Light for two hours on Xbox Series X
What we liked!
- Atmospheric experience | There is just something special happening when you explore the abandoned school and surroundings. The mysterious reason as to why you are completely alone and what has happened to the world is slowly explained when you connect the dots from notes left by the people who disappeared. Aliens? Some kind of deadly virus? War? Or something unnatural? Obviously not spoiling here but there is an important underlying life lesson to be found, something I honestly wasn’t expecting.
- Nicely detailed environments | Without a doubt, this is a beautifully created world! The realistic visuals are highly detailed, there are a few blurry objects here and there but they managed to create something outstanding. It ain’t easy to visualise an empty world but still give it character. they pretty much nailed that for me! Lighting in the basement area with your flashlight and lighter is very well done too. The way the lighter lights up your close environment might not be very realistic but it does help with delivering a tight and somewhat scary atmosphere. What is really impressive here is the storytelling, there are a lot of missable messages on the walls or objects that tell a story. Making it worthwhile to explore the entire empty school and side-buildings.
- Some special sound touches | In Rays of the Light has a few memorable moments thanks to the sound design. Most of the time it is whisper quiet building suspense and anticipation. When the shit hits the fan the few moments with music or sound is absolutely brilliant. From Russian speakers to bone-chilling music, it all helps with building upon that mysterious atmosphere.
- Puzzle solutions | Besides the last puzzle for In Rays of the Light I really liked how all puzzles used a logic solution that wasn’t necessarily in-your-face. You really have to take particular note of your surroundings and manually keep a note of hints that you find while exploring. Extremely important to give attention to small details in the world as often a puzzle solution is naturally placed in an at first empty looking abandoned room or painted on the walls. This does mean that there are no brute-forcing puzzles and finding keys can be a bit difficult too, especially the basement key. Be sure to remember what happens, as a particular key solution in the later parts of the game happens early on!
What we disliked
- Horrendous last puzzle | The last moments in the game are completely different, which I personally loved. Except for that last puzzle that resolves running in circles in a dark basement. With zero knowledge of what to do and a very unnatural puzzle solution. It’s a bitter pill to swallow as In Rays of the Light is an otherwise chill and calm experience. Luckily the ending is quite special and actually delivers on the mysterious parts of the game.
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