Alaska is an absolutely beautiful yet dangerous place. The natives there have many legends that have been passed down through the generations. Never Alone (Kisima Ingitchuna) steps into one of these stories.
As someone who already lives somewhere rich in beauty and history, Alaska still makes my jaw drop in awe. They have some of the most gorgeous scenery I’ve ever seen. The natives there also have some absolutely fantastic stories. As people who actually live off the land, along with living in some harsh conditions, it’s no wonder they have legends that are passed down. Never Alone touches into this – it’s the story of a girl who was from a village experiencing a lot of blizzards. She finds a fox friend, and after losing her home to a crazed man they set out to find the source.
The artstyle is absolutely fantastic in Never Alone. That’s what initially drew me to wanting this game, though I never actually got to play it until it was put on PS+ in April, 2015. That’s pretty much the best thing in Never Alone – the art. The clips of insight into the people are also pretty good, though to find them all you will need to find the collectibles in-game.
That’s where the “good” part of Never Alone ends, however. The game is a puzzle-platformer. Unfortunately, the “platforming” part isn’t that great. Never Alone features a co-op option to control either the girl or the fox. Of course, you can do it alone but be prepared from some awful AI on the partner’s part. Some of the platforming tends to be a bit particular, and there’s a nice little thing in the game that if your partner dies… you die. So prepare for some bullshit deaths.
There are other points where you’ll need to quickly switch over to the other character to do something real quick. Often times they will be way behind. When you need to switch to the girl, it’s often to use the bola. To use the bola, you need to use the right analogue stick. The timing on it is fairly particular – you can’t be too fast. Aiming it can also be a real pain and it’s pretty easy to miss I found.
The control issues continue beyond that, though they start to go into the land of glitchy. This also leads into some of the “bullshit death” issues. Even if you see that you’ve clearly made a jump, the game will just give you a big “nope” and drop you into spikes. And sometimes if your fox is a little too far away, the spirits he reveals will vanish… also sending you to your death. Then of course there’s the times where you just barely clip a spike and die.
While Never Alone is an absolutely gorgeous, the various bullshit deaths really hinder the experience. The numerous glitches also don’t help much. So while the art style is fantastic, it’s hard for me to recommend this game. I did mostly enjoy my time playing but I was definitely getting frustrated with the amount of deaths I got from the game just saying “oh no you don’t”.
Never Alone (Kisima Ingitchuna) Review Score