Man, Unsighted is a really, REALLY, cool game. It was something that was apparent to me just from looking at the launch trailer, with the slick action and eye-catching visuals certainly ticking plenty of boxes for me, but actually playing the game made me realise just how fun it is. Sure, it’s a little bit guilty of lacking originality with some aspects of its design, but the way it blends together plenty of neat ideas into one frantic and enjoyable experience makes it’s hard to complain too much.
Check out a gallery of screenshots down below:
Unsighted takes place in a world where automatons were granted sentience thanks to a resource known as Anima, which led to a war between man and machines where the latter were deemed victorious. This war left most of the world in a ravaged and deadly state, but one where the automatons still manage to thrive. This is put at risk when the Anima resources starts to deplete though, leaving the automatons in danger of going unsighted, which essentially means losing their mind and going into a savage state. It’s up to protagonist Alma to prevent this and ensure that her race can still live on in (relative) peace.
Interestingly, the characters Alma encounters across the world each have a countdown in place that states when their Anima resources will completely deplete and make them unsighted, meaning you’ll have to decide who you want to help throughout the game. Stuff like this normally stresses me out (who do I save?!) but I actually loved it here, especially since it fit in so heavily with the game’s overlying narrative. With different bonuses on offer based upon who you help as well as multiple endings, it’ll certainly give players more than enough incentive to re-visit the game for further playthroughs.
As a heads up, it’s possible to play the game in ‘Explorer Mode’ which can ease the stress of this. With time-limits attached to each character, exploring the world or taking your time to enjoy the game feel a bit more limited; playing in ‘Explorer Mode’ allows you to slow down their deterioration and give players a bit more leeway to just have fun. I’d thoroughly recommend playing that way, especially on your first run.
“My favourite navigational tool was Alma’s hook-shot, which allows her to essentially bounce between obstacles as she launches herself around each area. Not only does it look cool, but it’s fun to use too.”
And believe me, you’ll want to spend plenty of time exploring. Like similar titles, Unsighted gives a lot of freedom to the player in exploring the world and the order in which they tackle areas, so a lot of time might be spent uncovering one area, deciding to turn back and exploring somewhere else, realising you should have probably stuck to the first area and going back again… we’re all guilty of it, right? The game will give you some sense of guidance as to where you should probably go next, but hey, the world is your oyster.
You’ll earn plenty of upgrades as you progress that make navigating the world much easier, whilst there are also lots of shortcuts to open that save time when getting from point A to B. This reminded me of Dark Souls in some ways, where you have to navigate through a tricky area with the reward being a quicker route there for the next time around. My favourite navigational tool was Alma’s hook-shot, which allows her to essentially bounce between obstacles as she launches herself around each area. Not only does it look cool, but it’s fun to use too. There are plenty of secrets to uncover across the game world too, some of which you won’t be able to access until you’ve got the right tool to get there – it means there’s backtracking involved in Unsighted, by the reward is usually worthwhile.
“With the wide range of weapons available, there’s plenty of depth found in Unsighted’s combat that ensures it remains fun from start to end.”
Combat is slick and action-orientated, with multiple weapons on offer that bring with them varying strengths and weaknesses. There’s plenty of room for customisation, whether that’s when using a sword that’s ideal for quick-paced attacks, a blaster to pick off enemies from a distance, or a flamethrower because hey, who doesn’t like using flame throwers? Players can equip two weapons at a time to vary up their loadout, so there’s plenty of flexibility in place to give Alma a versatile moveset that she can quickly flick between on the fly. She’s also a dab-hand when it comes to defensive manoeuvres, especially with her parry that can deal some decent damage if timed correctly. With the wide range of weapons available, there’s plenty of depth found in Unsighted’s combat that ensures it remains fun from start to end.
Shout out to the boss battles too, which don’t only look super stylish but bring with them plenty of creativity. They’re tough as nails and you can expect to die often, but hey, at least they look good and are fun to beat down. Speaking about death, there isn’t too much to worry about there – whilst Unsighted shares some similarities with the Dark Souls series, you won’t lose EVERYTHING if you die. You’ll lose a percentage of it, sure, but you can always recover it by returning to your corpse.
“There are some small puzzles found across the world too, and whilst they’re never too difficult to solve, they add a nice change of pace to all of the killing.”
Those who want to refine their weaponry further can equip new upgrades to give themselves a little bit more oomph, whilst Alma can also install some upgrades to give her extra abilities. There’s nothing too deep on offer in this regard, but it’s always nice to fine-tune your skillset.
I really enjoyed the exploration and combat in Unsighted, whilst the sense of progress as you moved between areas and pushed on that bit further always remained satisfying. There are some small puzzles found across the world too, and whilst they’re never too difficult to solve, they add a nice change of pace to all of the killing. Add to that some fun platforming segments and it’s clear that this is a game that gets a heck of a lot right.
It’s just guilty of being a bit unoriginal in design. There wasn’t anything in the gameplay that I hadn’t seen done before, with a lot of inspirations clear throughout. Dark Souls, The Legend of Zelda, Metroid, Hyper Light Drifter… they were just some of the games that came to mind when playing, with Unsighted certainly wearing its inspirations like a badge of honour. You know what, though? It manages to get everything right, with the ambitious adventure rarely putting a step wrong with its amalgamation of ideas.
“The game features some fantastic pixel art across both its environmental and enemy design, with plenty of unique and cool sights to be seen within the desolate futuristic world.”
If I haven’t made it clear enough already, I loved Unsighted. It took me around nine hours to beat it the first time around and I’m already half-way through my second playthrough, this time to see how differently the story will play out with new choices. There’s also a ‘Dungeon Raid’ mode that offers a procedurally-generated rogue-like approach to the game for those who prefer that sort of experience, though that’s something I’m saving for when I’m done with the main game.
I’d be remiss not to mention the visual design, which is top-notch throughout. The game features some fantastic pixel art across both its environmental and enemy design, with plenty of unique and cool sights to be seen within the desolate futuristic world. It made it all the more fun to explore your surroundings, with the imaginative locales or the next nasty baddie you’ve got to kill always looking great in-game.
Unsighted is a brilliant action-RPG that won’t win points for originality, but manages to bring together plenty of cool ideas into one super fun experience. I had a great time uncovering its deadly world, destroying the foes it put in my path, and shaping the narrative through my choices, whilst the slick visuals ensured everything in the world looked great. Add to that the replayability and it becomes clear that Unsighted is a game that players simply should not miss out on.
Developer: Studio Pixel Punk
Publisher: Humble Games
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch (Reviewed), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC