Top Critic Average
If I could give Beyond Eyes more stars, I would. Rarely does a character emotion become so pronounced in my own being.
There's definitely a feeling that there could have been more to it, but Beyond Eyes is an important game that is undeniably superb.
Although it isn't the traditional, fun-filled kind of game most people would look for, I recommend this one. It's more like an interactive work of art, but it's well worth it. Put aside your expectations, and let yourself be guided through Rae's world one step at a time.
I never had a particularly fun time while playing the several-hour journey, but by the end, I had grown attached to Rae. Beyond Eyes, in all of its beauty and darkness, had managed to fill my eyes with tears by being one of the most emotionally gripping games I have ever played.
Over quickly and hardly exhilarating, but illuminating in a way games rarely bother to be.
Maybe it's petty to lay into a game for what it could've been, but this game, though unique, charming, and well-executed, feels like an appetizer when I really wanted a meal. Although the story doesn't feel cut off, it just feels too brief overall. I'd have preferred a game that ended when I wanted it to end. Still, I'm impressed with the job Tiger & Squid did with Team17's faithful help. It is at least a solid, unfettered artist's vision, not sullied by AAA expectations and producer's interjections. For that, I'll take this short trip any day.
Beyond Eyes is a unique title because it explores a topic that is rarely shown in a game and for the most part it does it very well. The art style is great, and the story is charming, even though it won't fully tug at your heartstrings. It's a quick completion for those who want it and it's a memorable game. It's very short length might put people off, though, so you may want to wait for a sale if you don't like the thought of paying £9.99 (or regional equivalent) for 2-3 hours of pretty limited gameplay. With Rae's sometimes frustratingly slow walking speed, the focus is all the more on seeing the colourful world coming into view. While there could have been more here, Beyond Eyes is still an enjoyable experience if you fancy winding down and just relaxing on your Xbox.
Short but sweet
Overall I think the creators reached too far with Beyond Eyes. Even the name feels wrong attached to this game. It needed more challenges or a more intimate sense of gameplay. It's a hard task recreating within a visual medium the feeling of being newly blind. Close your eyes, even in a familiar space, and then walk around. Now think how you'd make that into a game. I think Beyond Eyes takes a good stab at it, but ultimately comes up short.
As an educational tool, Beyond Eyes did a great job of teaching me of the struggles people face when their vision is impaired. Rae's way of seeing the world through memories and senses creates some fascinating insights, together with some genuinely appealing watercolour visuals and brilliant sound direction. As a game though, Beyond Eyes is about plodding through a maze with barely any meaningful plot until right at the end.
Beyond Eyes uses a gorgeous and inventive visual metaphor to emulate the feeling of being blind, but the high-concept idea fizzles as it fails to sustain interest throughout the short playtime.
I badly wanted Beyond Eyes to use its attractively whitewashed look and novel, visually limited ideas to tell a much more moving story whose empathetic lessons could've stayed with me long after the end credits rolled, but it didn't. Only its ending taps into this potential, and it's a shame the rest of its short playthrough time couldn't follow suit.
Beyond Eyes most certainly is not a game for everyone. It's a noble attempt to show life with a disability through a clever mechanic, but sadly at times it forgets it is also a video game.
Beyond Eyes' story and experience come nowhere near to making up for the boredom delivered by the gameplay.
Beyond Eyes is an incredibly admirable game. Its aim of simulating the experience of being blind is buoyed by a clever central conceit, and genuinely breathtaking presentation. Unfortunately, an exceedingly frustrating pace combined with a lackluster story means that the title ultimately buckles under the weight of its own ambition.
While it is a decent idea and concept, I still feel that Beyond Eyes is far too slow and unsatisfying when it comes down to the end. It took maybe two and a half hours to complete it, and while I still have multiple achievements to unlock, I don't feel compelled to go back through and get them. While a very beautiful game, looks can only get you so far. I recommend at least a price drop before trying out this game.
As an exercise in empathy, Beyond Eyes is brilliant. As Rae muddles through her self-induced socialisation period, you'll see her sense of adventure overcome her fear of the unknown. Its message is loud and clear - to let life in, with all its risk and upset, so that the good can enter too - and its conclusion Watership-Down uncompromising. What's more, it's occasionally fun to indulge in a small-scale kind of exploration that encourages you to feel out the entirety of your environment rather than cast your eyes about for enemies and items. But for the most part the execution is too simplistic, and the frustrations are too frequent. Beyond recommendation.
As an experience, Beyond Eyes is unmatched in its imaginative approach to crafting a breathtaking and heart-warming world.
You'd be better off visiting your local art gallery than spending full price on this, so give it a pass until it eventually drops in price.
Beyond Eyes is an art showcase – beautiful to behold, undoubtedly – but I dreaded the majority of my time playing it. Unless you need to know what happens to a stray cat, don't feel guilty for keeping Beyond Eyes in your blind spot.