Back in 2018, Scavengers Studio released the Battle Royale game, Darwin Project, which garnered very positive reviews on Steam. Now, they have done a 180 with their release of SEASON: A letter to the future, a third-person meditative exploration game focused on narrative and exploring the strange world around you. So what did we think after our bicycle road trip through this mysterious world? Find out in our Season: A letter to the future review.
SEASON: A LETTER TO THE FUTURE REVIEW – STORY
Estelle lives high in the mountains in a village safe from the turmoil of changing seasons. No one has left this village for a generation; until Estelle that is. In the world of SEASON, a season is a period of history, an era. This season is about to end. Estelle rides off into the unknown, surveying and documenting a world that is soon to be flooded.
The story in SEASON: A letter to the future is a unique take on an end-of-the-world narrative. The writers have done a stellar job at creating an immersive and emotional experience in the 5-6 hour game time. The moment I stepped outside of the village and started cycling down the long winding road towards Tieng Valley, I knew exactly what world I was stepping into.
Tieng Valley is the main area where most of the narrative and exploration occur. On your journey, you meet a few stragglers who are yet to evacuate the valley from the impending doom. These stragglers all have hardships and it’s your job to assist them in overcoming these so they can leave the valley.
At the beginning of the game, Estelle is provided with a camera and a microphone, which are used to document the world around her. While these devices aren’t unique, the way you use them to explore the world and help the people in the valley is. You can use your camera to take photos and your microphone to capture the ambiance around you that you can record in your notebook.
The notebook is my favourite part of the game. Each area of the valley you explore has a dedicated page in your notebook where you can place your photos, sketches, and audio captures into it. It’s very reminiscent of the scrapbooking you did as a child.
Traversing around the world on a bicycle isn’t as tedious as it sounds. Tieng Valley is quite sizable, but with Estelle’s Olympian-level cycling, it is a breeze to navigate the doom-ridden world.
Exploration is at your leisure, which fits this game’s vibe. The different landscapes across the valley all offer a different story, and I found myself appreciating every little detail more than I would in any other game, knowing that it was soon to be drowned in dam water.
SEASON’s score is composed by GRAMMY-nominated musician Spencer Doran. This is his first foray into scoring a game and I think he nailed it. The score accompanies the broken world so beautifully. The score can be intertwined with the sounds of the environments using the microphone Estelle has which enhances the immersion further.
GRAPHICS AND PERFORMANCE
The first thing you will notice about the game is its art style and direction. The game that comes to mind when you look at the art style is a more simplistic take on The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild‘s style. It’s absolutely gorgeous, I was taking screenshots every few minutes.
I played the PlayStation 5 version of SEASON: A letter to the future and encountered minimal performance issues. There were some moments when the game would stutter a tiny bit, but it never hindered my enjoyment. I was captivated the entire way through.
SEASON: A letter to the future is a poetic and wholesome experience with a narrative beautifully told through unique gameplay mechanics. Cycling across the beautiful landscapes of this broken world was a pleasure and I can’t wait to see what’s next for Scavengers Studio.