The World Begins With You waking.
Ienjoy a verbose adventure game as much as the next person, but there’s something to be said for games that drop you into a world, without a lengthy cutscene justifying your presence.
The World Begins With You opens in such a manner, with your character waking up in an old prison cell in an empty building. With its enigmatic protagonist, its crumbing ancient ruins and its exquisite presentation, this is a game obviously inspired by the likes of Journey and ICO. TWBWY’s main strength is clearly its beautiful setting, which consists of monolithic structures and angular boulders jutting out of a series of softly lit ruins. The 3D models, the cinematic camera and, above all, the lighting effects are some of the most impressive I’ve seen in a jam game.
Perhaps too impressive, as the washed-out visual effect is so pronounced that it can be difficult to decipher the scene at times. Once you’ve fled from your prison cell, a couple of simple maze sequences, a punishing pseudo-stealth bit and plenty of tricky 3D platforming lie between you and the abrupt conclusion, and all are occasionally made more difficult as a result of that blinding light.
I can’t say that any of the challenges felt especially satisfying— in particular, those arty camera angles made leaping across chasms a frustrating affair—but when it’s merely content to leave you be inside its lovingly ruined world, The World Begins With You feels like the start of something special.
Alas, the game is over just as it’s on the cusp of offering something much more meaningful, so don’t go in expecting any concrete answers to its myriad mysteries.
Say what you like about the sun, it makes things look pretty.
The platforming can be fiddly due to the fixed camera angles.