By Valeisha Jackson
After Us is all about soulfulness – and action, a super artful game where you play as a girl named Gaia, the spirit of life. The overall task is to restore the spirits throughout the planet which would bring the grim, dark world back to an aspect of what it was originally before its decimation by humans. Along the way, you have to go on a lot of adventures to find different environments along with the souls of all of the poor animals that have gone extinct – and to rescue the planet.
I enjoyed this experience since it felt like I was the overall hero of the world and the game itself. I loved the idea of resurrecting wildlife animals, including a whale who died by a brutal harpoon.
While playing, you will face different enemies, including statues that come to life, creepy robots and difficult obstacles that will try to get in the way of your mission. There are a few features in the game that resemble real life such as abandoned cars, and desolate places with only rocks due to a drought, extinction, deforestation, and desertification. These remind me of actual life today because we, the people, are also experiencing the exact same global environmental issues that Gaia is planning to fix in the game.
One of my favorite details of the graphics is how smooth and clear the path becomes when grass and flowers spawn in a trail while Gaia is walking. It’s a detail that somehow gives me optimism and keeps me going. Another favorite is the ability to make a certain area full of grass and trees if you have enough energy and power to do so. This bright trail behind Gaia and the change to the environment represent Gaia’s spirit of life in tangible form, and I find it aesthetically pleasing.
After collecting a certain amount of souls you can revive creatures such as dogs, cats, deer, fishes, dolphins, horses, and many more! As I played through and brought many spirits back to life, the music really helped me to remain focused and calm even if I was battling an opponent. I feel as though the tone of the soundtrack was very emotional yet very soothing and mellow. There’s also a very light tune that sounds majestic whenever Gaia’s powers are used.
After Us is a very fun, adventurous, and quite long journey depending on how fast you find souls. The souls are a light blue color, but they are also mystically see-through. I really enjoyed playing About Us. I loved the realism and fantasy, but mainly the lesson about to the real world’s global issues. Lastly, this game gives off a message of hope for a better planet since the agenda is to bring the world back to life full of glorious spirits, green grass, and precious wildlife.
Valeisha Jackson is an NYVGCC intern who lives in the Bronx. She will be attending Hunter College in the fall.