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8 Mar 2021

REVIEW: In Rays of the Light on Xbox One

In Rays of the Light is the latest release from Sergey Noskov. A "first person meditative quest" game, whatever that means.

You start of the game in an abandoned Russian school/university. You have no idea who you are, nor do you seemingly know what to do, or where to go.

Within the first few minutes, you will figure out the general mechanics of the game, you will find a flash light, a pipe and keys. Flash light to see in the dark, pipe to open boarded up doors, and keys to erm... open locks. From this point on, you can basically go anywhere in the game, still no real instruction of what you are supposed to do, or where to go. And this is why I would assume the game is called a "first person meditative quest".

Around the school, there are a few buildings, a bus and some cars. You can't go much further than this. So what do you do? Well you wonder around, a lot. Slowly but surely you will start to figure a few things out, find a few puzzles to solve. For example a locked lucker with a 3 digit combination to work out, by looking at a few of the photos dotted about the location, you will realise that they have numbers on. I had already made a mental note of two of the numbers, so just through trial and error figured out the lock.


Eventually you will find yourself in the basement and turning on a generator, and without spoiling things further, you will find yourself aimlessly walking around in near pitch black, trying to figure out what to do or how to get out. Although this is supposed to give you a feeling of fear and dread, I just found myself frustrated, and only found my way out I am sure by pure accident. I kinda knew what I needed to do at this point, use some coins on a machine, to get out a part, that would then be used in a lecture room, to allow a projector to run. The only problem, I have no coins, and no idea where to get them, I have spent hours wondering around, searching every inch of everywhere without luck. I even did something I hate to do and checked out a walkthrough video, the only problem? The coins in the video are in a car, but in my game, they are not there. So that is it for me, I finally gave up. The walkthrough video was for the PC release from a while back, and I am playing the Xbox version, so obviously the coins are in a different as yet undiscovered location. At some point I will check out a walkthrough and then finish the game.

**UPDATE**
I found the coins, right near the start, next to the vending machine you kick to get a can of pop!

I finished the game, and watched one of the available endings, all good in the end. But missing one little thing really did drive me mad!
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The Good
There is a feeling of wanting to continue, to figure things out, and that is why I spent so much time on this game.
The music is really cool, very melodic. The graphics are decent, and there is an interesting story to figure out.

The Bad
The lack of ever really knowing what you need to do, or where you need to go, as well as the fact that if like me you get stuck, that's it, the game for you is basically over, if you have looked at every inch of the place and still can't find what you are looking for, this quickly becomes tedious.

Overall
An interesting concept for a game, but the lack of instructions will put a lot of people off. For as far as I did get, I enjoyed getting there, but beyond frustrated that I couldn't finish the game.

I score this game a fair 6/10 - A few tweaks, a hint system, a bit of instruction etc, a few more puzzles and this game could easily get to 7/10.

Review by Jon Donnis



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