Just last month Lunar Great Wall Studios released the very first teaser trailer for Another Sight. During Rezzed 2018, I had the opportunity to go hands-on with the Italian studio’s upcoming platformer, due out on Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch. Set in Victorian London, this adventure follows an unusual pairing during their descent into a wild fantasy world, just beneath the surface of London’s tedious façade.
I found Andrea Basilio, Creative Director for Lunar Great Wall Studios, housed in the Unreal room of EGX Rezzed, and although I had an opportunity to talk to him about this tale, our description does Another Sight little justice. Visually, this is a stunning mix of art styles. A total of six distinct environments are a striking, beautiful blend of Monet inspired watercolour and more realist animation. The opening moments of my own adventure dropped me into subterranean London. Playing as the main protagonist, Kit, the game challenged me to make my way through a fairly reasonable series of puzzles and platforming challenges. Unfortunately for the Kit, this descent into a London underworld is accompanied by a tragic accident. The loss of her sight allows Another Sight to experiment with a truly novel representation of the world. The watercolour world fades into darkness as it radiates out from Kit, so sound becomes is crucial to Kit’s understanding.. Items that buzz, whir, and tick all shine in the surrounding dusk. This is highlighted superbly when a train rushes by, shattering the placid surroundings with a blaze of light. It’s a great way of visualizing Kit’s other senses while still reminding us that, for Kit, the world she is exploring is unknown to her, in more ways than one.
Kit is aided in this escapade by a mysterious feline adventurer named Hodge. While Hodge’s intentions are not entirely clear, he remains Kit’s eyes. Players can swap between the two characters perspective at will, and controlling Hodge is an introduction to a whole different side of Another Sight. While Kit’s visual impairment allows Another Sight to experiment with different visual presentations, Hodge is a lot closer to what we would expect to see. It allows the audience to examine the wild mix of lush green gardens and steampunk shanty towns that spiral down into this subterranean adventure. A section of garden that could have come straight out of wonderland was a particular moment that makes Hodge’s involvement more than just a mechanical necessity.
Still, much of Hodge’s time is spent helping Kit navigate her surroundings. Controls are relatively intuitive and where human hands cannot reach, a feline foot can easily tread. Narrow ledges lead to a series of switches, barriers that only Hodge can unlock, and puzzles that require Hodge’s assistance. This is not entirely one way, however. Kit can coax Hodge through areas that are insurmountable without somebody big enough relocate an object. While none of the puzzles are particularly taxing, the symbiotic relationship is interesting enough to keep players engaged, and it complements the aesthetic approach.
Like so many things in Another Sight, the relationship between kit and Hodge is essential to the development of the game. This is true of the narrative too. Hodge’s mysterious appearance reveals little about his intentions, except that they are tied to Kit, and as the duo travel into the depths of Victorian London, we do start to find out more about Kit. A fully voiced dialogue hints at some terrible secrets, that make’s Kit feel all like more than just a lost Victorian dame.
When I stepped away from my time with Another Sight, I was scarcely able to decide how to start this piece. Lunar Great Wall Studios weave dozens of threads through Another Sight and create a fantastical world that just bursts with potential. It takes clear inspiration from titles like Gaiman’s Neverwhere and Alice in Wonderland, yet doesn’t feel at all derivative. I’m not sure whether Hodge is ultimately a Cheshire cat, but if you want to find out, follow the game on the official website.