30.05.2024

The idea of adventures in the flooded post-apocalyptic world does not leave the heads of various game creators. And today we are facing another project of such theme – Highwater. The action of the game takes place after the Great Climate Catastrophe. You find yourself in the flooded region of Highwater, which is a buffer zone between two dry areas – the Battle Zone tormented by endless battles and the fortified city of Alphaville, where rich people live behind high walls. Rumor has it that humans have not long left to exist on Earth, and the rich have plotted an escape to Mars. In the role of young Nikos you will have to go on a risky journey to get on a rocket and escape from the doomed planet. Along the way you will make friends, fight with rebels and representatives of Alphaville

Perhaps not everyone will like the stylization of the game. In front of us is another variation on the theme of “Waterworld”, moreover, made in the style of Deponia series. Everything is assembled naturally from debris and dirt, and in acid colors. Some mystical way people manage to live on small islands in the middle of radioactive and polluted water.
Things don’t go very smoothly with the presentation of the story either. It seems that the plot is not worked out to the end. The ending looks illogical – everything became suddenly very good. True there is some analog of interactivity. Some of your choices will determine a couple of moments at the end and get rid of the battles, but there is very little of that. As you progress through, the developers will constantly toss in new characters that the protagonist knows, but not you. They don’t have any backstory even on the level of a hint, like, this is a childhood friend. No, you’re simply given a person and told it’s your responsibility to get them to the rocket. You get the feeling that the game should come with a book or TV series to explain this sort of thing.
The story takes a maximum of four hours to complete, with two bonus chapters for another hour and a half once it’s finished.

In terms of gameplay, we have a typical linear adventure game in front of us. Exploration of the world, in addition to the main plot islands, is reduced to the possibility of visiting bonus islands, where you can find a couple of magazines or amplifiers. Passage consists in traveling through straight and limited from all sides locations. Most of them are monotonous – typical flooded roads with lanterns on the bumps. There is a completely useless world map. Sometimes you will be sailing through unimpressive and similar to each other areas for several minutes. The developers could easily throw out all these segments and replace them with a dozen screensavers – it would be prettier, more fun and the project would only benefit from it. In some places they did, and these are some of the best moments in Highwater. In the finale and bonus chapters, the boat was removed, which did them some good.

Periodically meditative journey through the world will be interrupted by turn-based battles. Such battles are scattered as unevenly as possible – then few, then many. Most of them are disguised puzzles. Almost always your task is reduced to using various tricks to destroy opponents. For example, a fishing rod, which allows you to throw enemies into sinkholes or pull them under other natural hazards. Each map has a pre-plotted combination of actions that will lead to victory. There are only a couple “battles” found in the entire game, where there is some freedom and interesting tactics can be tried.

On the technical side, things aren’t great either. A year ago the project was released on phones and tablets. When porting to PC and consoles, the developers did not change anything. Textures remained the same soapy, and buildings and trees still appear out of thin air as you move. The camera is controlled rather awkwardly and does not know how to adjust its angle when launching cut-scenes.

The set of trophies/achievements here is as simple as possible. There are no difficult ones, but rather boring ones, which consist of collecting all the reinforcements, books and newspapers. The main problem with them is that there is no indication in which chapter you missed something. Just a general list of what you found. So you’ll have to compare and look. But even without the guides it is quite possible to collect everything and complete the game on platinum within ten hours.



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