Fan­tas­tic con­trap­tion

Swiss indie stu­dio Oko­mo­tive’s ve­hic­u­lar ad­ven­ture puts a pos­i­tive spin on the post-apoc­a­lypse

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Oko­mo­tive’s Far: Lone Sails puts a pos­i­tive spin on post-apoca­lyp­tic

There’s some­thing strangely hu­man about this me­chan­i­cal mo­bile home – but here, at the end of the world, it’s the only friend our tiny pac-a-mac-sport­ing hero has left. “The feel­ing of lone­li­ness is an in­te­gral part of the game,” says Don Sch­mocker, Oko­mo­tive co-founder and cre­ative lead on Far: Lone Sails. “The world you are trav­el­ling is vast and bar­ren, and your char­ac­ter is minis­cule in com­par­i­son.” En­vi­ron­ments are char­coal swathes of moody sky and ruin, ac­cented with hints of in­struc­tive colour. Stephen Bi­esty’s book, In­cred­i­ble Cross-Sec­tions, in­spired how play­ers can peek in­side at the doll-like scene as they scurry the red-coated driver around, fu­elling and fix­ing via but­tons, lifts and fire hoses.

The jour­ney across the dried-up ocean floor is mostly about your re­la­tion­ship with the giant hy­brid ma­chine. “The in­ter­de­pen­dency plays a ma­jor role in mak­ing the ve­hi­cle feel alive,” Sch­mocker says. “It is your safe spot, it pro­vides shel­ter from men­ac­ing weather con­di­tions, you can col­lect mem­o­ra­bilia in­side it, and mar­vel at its evo­lu­tions over the course of your jour­ney. Even if it may be a bit capri­cious some­times, it still feels nat­u­ral that you need to look af­ter it and tend to its needs. With­out it, all hope of find­ing an­swers would be lost.”

It is also, Sch­mocker says, about for­ward mo­men­tum. “The at­mos­phere is eerie and may ap­pear de­press­ing, but it is never with­out hope: mov­ing for­ward in­stead of stay­ing dead­locked sug­gests that there may still be some­thing out there worth the risk.” We’ll know for sure in Fe­bru­ary, when Far: Lone Sails releases on PC and Mac.

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