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Grounded in the limbo between reality and fantasy, Close to the Sun is an intriguing, and at times terrifying, walk through a world where Nikola Tesla’s ideas and nightmares came to life.
I think it’s a very bold, brave, and intelligent game that smartly weaves its plot together through a mix of dialogue, environment, and suspense. Storm in a Teacup are one of the most promising and talented new studios out there and while this game isn’t perfect, there’s enough in here to convince me of their vision and ambitions. I cannot wait to see what they do next.
Close to the Sun is a spectacle piece for the explorative player that is well worth sinking time and money into. Despite the horror label, the game is not so scary that it cannot be enjoyed by everyone. The game may be short with a frustrating conclusion but this should not deter players from picking up this title. From highly detailed environments to smooth gameplay, Close to the Sun is a short, but unique experience that deserves players attention.
With such an amazingly thought up location of the Helios, Close to the Sun is an adventure full of atmosphere, tension and a surprisingly lack of people. The puzzle elements never felt out of reach but had an element of thinking to them.
If you’re looking for a narrative-focused horror game which isn’t ‘too’ scary, Close to the Sun is for you. Visually the game looks beautiful, despite the piles of body parts and blood-soaked walls, with the Helios’ decorations being a brilliant replication of Art Deco interior design with a hint of Steampunk engineering. The story will have you hooked, as you go out of your way to fill in the blanks and find all of the hidden collectables, bringing you to a conclusion which I hope spawns a sequel at some point in the future. Despite the issues, which I mentioned in my review, the overall experience is one which shouldn’t be missed regardless of whatever platform you prefer to play on.
If you like story-driven suspenseful horror games which aren’t too scary, Close to the Sun is perfect for you. With it’s beautiful Art Deco design, horrific scenes of gore and brutality, incredible inventions from Nikola Tesla, and an engaging storyline, you’ll be hooked from the moment you step aboard the Helios. I found some of the narrative predictable and muddy towards the final chapters, but the overall experience was very enjoyable and entertaining. If you go into the game thinking it’s going to be like Bioshock, you’ll be disappointed, be open-minded and you’ll enjoy it a lot more.
Close to the Sun’s level design is broken into chapters with some clever placed collectables enhances the need to explore and the willingness to find out where the story is going. This very nature will ensure that you won’t put this stunning game down, until it’s finished. Just like a good series on Netflix, you will find yourself binge playing, it’s that good. A true work of art!
So all in all Storm In A Teacup have done a great job with Close To The Sun. Its story driven action, combined with puzzle solving and the unnerving fact that you can’t defend yourself, all gets packaged up into a nice neat bundle of joy to play through. Close To The Sun thoroughly deserves its Thumb Culture Gold Award
In the end, your enjoyment of Close to the Sun will depend on whether you want to be surprised. If you've played some of the previously mentioned games, you know exactly what to expect in terms of pacing and story, even if the subject matter is different. The lack of combat is an interesting choice, but the simple puzzles and slightly frustrating chase sequences dull the experience, while the inability to view collectibles after you leave a level significantly diminishes their value.
Although the slow tempo of the gameplay might not be appealing to everyone, and although the story could have ended much, much better, Close to the Sun is still a great title that easily worth 5 to 6 hours of your time.
Review in Persian | Read full review
Storm in a Teacup did an excellent job in creating an intriguing and at the same time anxious setting, even if it's held back by shallow puzzles and pointless action sections.
Review in Italian | Read full review
Close to the Sun is a harrowing and thoughtfully designed first-person exploration adventure that shows a twisted world in which Nikola Tesla's ideas came to life.
Close to the Sun is certainly an enjoyable journey, one that does include some jump scares and horror moments along the way while exploring what is a bit of a disturbing view on an alternate timeline.
As a blend of intrigue, mystery, sci-fi, and horror – Close to the Sun may not be the turn of the century BioShock that pre-release media might have suggested, but there's plenty of electricity and power to be found in the story it tells.
I was intrigued about Close to the Sun from the very first time that I saw the trailer and the original concept art. The comparisons with Bioshock, which can never be a bad thing, are many. The ocean setting, the art deco style, the communication via radio and the scientific element of the story. However, this is where the comparisons stop. Close to the Sun is a game that deserves its own identity and will offer a different experience to Bioshock. Read on to find out about my time aboard the Helios.
Close to the Sun has a huge potential. Supported by a technique of good quality, it however lacks dynamism. The fault of very slow movements and a gameplay that requires that we agree to walk to the discovery of clues more present to define an atmosphere, than to advance in the story. Not quite adventure game, not quite FPS either, it does not take clear enough direction to stand out. Nevertheless, it will satisfy the fans of the genre who do not have much to play at the moment.
Review in French | Read full review
Close to the Sun is an exploration adventure game that has the visuals, the atmosphere and the tension, but one key element, the gameplay, is under cooked compared to the rest.
"The only problem with the experience, is the performance, a problem I can’t look past, and a problem I hope the developers do acknowledge through an upcoming update, or at least give an explanation as to why their game was limited to a single core on a CPU. If they can fix that, then this game has it all, and it’s 10-hour adventure is – regardless – a quite remarkable one that uses Greek mythos as its foundation."
Overall, I found Close to the Sun very enjoyable and, to be frank, it has been a long time since a game has grabbed my attention enough to not only complete it but do so in such a timely manner. The ending of the game did leave me with some hopes for a continuation or at least a standalone DLC to explore the other angles of the story only hinted at. Currently, I find myself wondering what exactly does Tesla and rose to do in the future and how do they do it!
A very competent, well-made survival horror adventure with clear BioShock inspirations, Close to the Sun is a smart and compelling game marred only by some ill-advised showing of naff monsters.
Horror-adventure Close to the Sun pairs an emotionally-engaging narrative with arguably one of the most stunning and memorable game worlds of 2019. Pity about the frustrating gameplay choices and story decisions that ramp up in the final third of the game. They cast a shadow over the accomplishments that preceded them.
All things considered, though, I would heartily recommend Close to the Sun. With some fantastic world-building, an incredibly well detailed and atmospheric setting that's enhanced by a cast of interesting characters with great voice acting. The real issue comes from the lack of replay value, though for those who like to explore the world and story, there are reasons to go back.
With interesting setting and characters, Close to the Sun starts as a piece of art, but it doesn't keep its premises due to hurried pacing and a bit superficial evolution of the story. Non trivial jumpscares and a good direction make this short game really a missed opportunity and only a decent horror adventure.
Review in Italian | Read full review
Close to the Sun is a hugely ambitious title from such a small team. It doesn’t quite stick the landing but it’s a (mostly) great experience and one that sci-fi horror fans will enjoy.
Close to the Sun starts out quite promising, but simmers out the longer you play. Despite its walking simulator gameplay and predictable story, however, I find I would still recommend Close to the Sun to anyone who likes adventure horror games. The well-written characters and excellent ambiance really stands out, which can make the game quite enjoyable regardless of its flaws.
For anyone that plays lots of games, Close to the Sun is sadly not going to impress. While the aesthetics, graphical fidelity, sounds, and backstory does have the means to intrigue a lot of people, I feel that the average avid gamer will drop off after the first hour.
Granted, the chase sequences are frustrating and the story falls a bit flat, but there's some wonderful attention to detail in Close to the Sun's environments, and tension is present even in the game's calmest moments.
Close to the Sun manages to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. The early parts of the game establish a genuinely interesting narrative and world before the later parts throw most of this away in favour of repetitive and dull chase sequences. The narrative remains interesting enough to keep you playing and there's some strong character development, but the ending comes as a relief rather than a reward. It isn't a disaster but it is a missed opportunity.
While some nicely designed environments, and a scattering of enjoyable puzzles stop this ship from sinking without a trace, Close to the Sun doesn’t manage to reach the lofty heights of ambition it’s clearly aiming for.
Overall, I have pretty mixed feelings about Close to the Sun. I love the setting and the atmosphere, but the technical problems, chase sequences, and lack of story cohesion ultimately left me wanting.
I don’t know how simply I can put this: Close To The Sun is brilliant. I’ve already gone back to play it and I’m still getting caught out by the jump scares and the wrong-turns when being chased. It’s bloody fantastic. The game encompasses all of the best parts of survival horror games, brings to life alternate realities with adaptations to non-fictional characters such as Tesla and his wacky inventions, and really grips you with the storyline. If you haven’t already got hold of it, go and get it. However, I can’t just let the graphical deficiencies slide, so as much as I like the game and I do recommend it, I’ll be giving Close To The Sun a Thumb Culture Silver Award!
While Close to the Sun is a visual treat, it isn't quite matched by the game's substance; it dips a toe in the waters of numerous genres but fails to fully commit to one, and ultimately suffers because of it.
Simple puzzles and bland chases prevent Close to the Sun from living up to its numerous inspirations. While the game has a decent retro style and an intriguing horror narrative, it never makes the player a true participant.
At the end of the day, Close to the Sun is the exact opposite of what its name implies. It's not aiming for the sun, and while that also means it doesn't get burned by it, it's such a safe distance away that it doesn't feel like it's even trying. It's unfortunate to say for such a pretty, atmospheric game, but the superb presentation and a decent story are contradicted by slow gameplay that doesn't deliver the satisfaction that the setup deserved. Even at a highly reduced price, Close to the Sun had a lot of promise but ultimately fails to create a memorable experience due to its unengaging and bland gameplay.
An interesting premisal that becomes less and less interesting while you advanced in this 4-5 hours horror adventure, that doesn't excels at anything.
Review in Spanish | Read full review
A frequently beautiful and atmospheric horror effort boasting an evocative setting, Close to the Sun finds itself almost wholly undone by plodding exploration, eye-rolling puzzles and detestably sloppy chase sections that utterly fail to exploit the game's strengths.
Close to the Sun is a game that’s only remarkable for its scenery. And it’s a shame, really, as the Helios could have carried a great tale. As it is though, while there’s nothing about Close to the Sun that’s broken, there’s nothing compelling enough to make it worth your while, especially with its short run time and lack of replayability.
Close to the Sun's art direction, themes, and basic ideas are going to draw many in, but once the story gets started and the gameplay fails to advance, they'll be trying to jump overboard.
The lack of interactivity and emotional connection, the ease of gameplay, and the almost total absence of replayability unfortunately prevent the Italian studio from flying high towards the sun.
Review in Italian | Read full review
Close to the Sun could've been a really cool adventure game, but boring riddles and predictable plot with a crumpled finale are like a cold sobering shower to the player.
Review in Russian | Read full review
Taking clear inspiration from the seminal BioShock series, Close to the Sun promises much but delivers a somewhat lacklustre exploration of a world 'enhanced' by Nikola Tesla's fascinating vision. The horror is ramped up with a tense and unsettling atmosphere, but cheap and repetitive jump scares lower the tone and the rudimentary puzzle sequences provide little in the way of real challenge. To make matters worse, the Switch is far from the ideal system to contain such a visually striking game; while the Helios remains a sight to behold, there's little here to warrant jumping aboard.
Close to the Sun is just not that great of a game. The low price certainly works in the game's favor, but even then, it is difficult to recommend without considerable hesitation. The setting, the concepts, and the ideas presented are all fantastic, but the actual execution, the simplified gameplay, and the lack of resolution on multiple plot points left me very disappointed.
Close to the Sun is a lackluster and subpar example of first-person immersive horror. It fails to realize its potential by relying on cheap scares and gore without strong atmosphere and narrative to back it up. You can find better.
Maybe the most damning thing I can say about Close to the Sun is that the main story it’s so interested in telling—the story that everything else on the Helios funnels you back toward—just isn’t the least bit surprising. All of it borrows pretty heavily from the BioShock playbook, and all of the plot points it trots out have been done better (and far more shockingly) elsewhere. The portrait of Tesla it presents seems conflicted—and I hoped Close to the Sun would attempt to close the distance between the egomania that would prompt a man to build statues of himself and the gentle humanity Tesla shows elsewhere — but the game doesn’t do anything to dig into those contradictions. That’s the consequence of all those chase sequences. Close to the Sun just doesn’t have the time to dig into anything. It’s got somewhere else to be.