FAR: Lone Sails takes the family car for one last ride

By Dan on Oct 22nd, 2019
thoughtpiece
video games

In FAR: Lone Sails by Okomotive, the player can be found sauntering through a wasteland that is filled with perils, pitfalls, and most notably, puzzles. Of course, this premise is all too familiar. After all, games that send players on a journey through a dead world is not a new concept.

With this in mind, what makes FAR: Lone Sails stand out from other post-apocalyptic adventures? The answer is simple: the player’s companion vehicle, the “Okomotive.”

Hitting the gas in FAR: Lone Sails

The game’s first puzzle involves deciphering how to activate a seemingly downtrodden vehicle. With very few guiding prompts, the player must start tinkering with the many levers, buttons, and switches that reside within the Steampunk-inspired RV we’ll come to know as the Okomotive.

In my first attempt at moving the Okomotive, I tossed a crate of fuel in the engine, and pressed the biggest button I could find. To my surprise, the vehicle broke free and we were on our way…? As quickly as things started moving, they crawled to a stop.

Clearly, more investigation was necessary. With experimentation, I figured out that the Okomotive requires more fuel to keep moving. Who knew? With that, I filled the tank once again and hit the gas. We were on our way! That is, until I learned that the Okomotive does not correctly digest red fuel crates.

After sorting out a tiny engine fire, we were (officially) on our way!

Various upgrades come along to keep things fresh, as well as enhance monotonous tasks. For example, the player must routinely stop the Okomotive and gather up fuel found on the road. However, this is made more efficient with an upgrade that allows the vehicle to vacuum up idle objects while moving.

Without careful operation and maintenance of the Okomotive, progress screeches to a halt. This is a stark contrast to the Grand Theft Auto series, where the player can freely discard their vehicles for a fresh set of wheels.

However, the symbiotic relationship that forms between the player and their Okomotive takes center stage in FAR: Lone Sails. As such, the game’s challenges exist to test to this bond, and make it stronger.

Getting sentimental on the road

Over the years, I’ve built my fondest memories from behind the wheel of a trusty vehicle. Therefore, the journey in FAR: Lone Sails held a great deal of meaning to me.

Much like real bicycles, skateboards, and cars; the Okomotive acts as the player’s literal ride-or-die on this pilgrimage. The player takes care of the Okomotive, and it returns the favor. Certainly, they’ll grow into a duo that can traverse even the most dangerous landscapes.

The Okomotive proves its mettle time and again. After a few close calls and a fresh set of rims, it seems indestructible. With a ton of miles on the odometer, what could possibly go wrong?

In the home stretch of the game, the Okomotive takes a few to many leaps of faith. With that, its thick hull begins to crack. What were once shiny, new wheels are now wobbly and without luster. Even after tearing in half, the mobile behemoth continues to usher the player toward their destination.

By the end, I realized that only one of us would make it to the finish. My heart sank watching the Okomotive tear itself apart against the unforgiving terrain that it protected me from. At this point, I knew that the Okomotive joined the ranks of other beloved vehicles I’ve had to retire.

After a long and treacherous trip, the Okomotive dutifully performed, making the player’s journey possible. In conclusion, FAR: Lone Sails is a game about the long and winding road. Furthermore, it’s an ode to the vehicles that light the paths of our lives.

If you enjoyed this piece, perhaps you’ll also enjoy a discussion about another silent narrative known as RiME!

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