My jaw was on the floor as I played through the entire demo Season has up right now in as part of the Steam Next Fest. Every single moment on screen is beyond beautiful. From enchanting village alleyways to spectacular vistas, this game’s visuals are flawless. And it’s a good thing, because the act of moving through the world leaves a lot to be desired.
It’s not that I have anything against the title’s pensive pace. Season treads in a deeply introspective territory and its mode of exploration — which has you strolling through stunning locations while recording everyday life and arranging journal entries — will not be for everyone. But that’s just the kind of game I love to get lost in. And Season’s philosophical bent should be a home run for me.
Sadly, I ended the demo more disappointed than optimistic, as several fundamental things about the game didn’t measure up.
Walking in a video game should not be noticeable. It should be so commonplace that it recedes into the background. Unfortunately, I felt every jarring step in my gameplay experience. Whether I toggled between the painfully slow crawl or the “I’m about to miss my train” jog, locomotion just felt off. And it stuck in my brain like a pebble in my shoe. There’s also something strangely stilted about the voice acting every so often that just pulls me right out of the game.
However, I’m holding out hope that these distractions will be sorted out. After all, the game is very clear that this demo represents an early build of an in-progress work. If the developers are able to take the rocks from Season’s proverbial footwear, it stands a chance to be a genuinely unique piece of art.