35MM | PS4 Review
35MM is an indie adventure game developed by Sergey Noskov and published by Sometimes You. It is currently available on Windows PC, PlayStation, XBox, and Nintendo Switch, and for the purpose of my review I was playing the PlayStation 4 version.
35MM is a single player first-person adventure game and takes place in post-apocalyptic Russia after a global epidemic of Ebola has wiped out the vast majority of the world. The game follows two characters who seem to have united after becoming lost in a desolate wasteland. You have nothing, except your memories from a life that feels so far removed from reality and a complete stranger wandering alone with you. Along the way you’ll have puzzles to solve and a few key decisions to make but the vast majority of your time in 35MM will be walking, exploring and soaking in the truly grim and depressing atmosphere.
One of the most poignant things for me throughout 35MM is that the atmosphere which was built up was incredibly rich and with everything being in greyscale, it created a really eerie atmosphere throughout which I appreciated. It did bring its own problems, however, namely making it really hard to see in some darker areas which lead to me missing things and having to retrace my steps which I found frustrating. Perhaps the game could have benefitted from items being better highlighted when you look at them and a visual cue when you're looking at something that could be interacted with.
At its core, 35MM is a walking simulator. It’s seemingly a survival game ,however, there are very few, if any, survival elements at play other than simply making sure you don’t die. Unfortunately, despite the atmosphere being there visually, this is as far as it went for me as very quickly it felt like I was simply walking - there were very few lootable items, very little lore scattered throughout the world and rather than feeling like a rich and fleshed out world, instead it fell flat for me and felt like a hollow shell of something that could have been great. The gameplay itself felt exceedingly slow, but the story progression was on point in terms of its pacing. Unfortunately it was really dragged down for me by making me walk for what felt like 30 mins at a time to get to the next location.
To make matters worse, I experienced a few bugs throughout my time playing 35MM that were incredibly frustrating. The first one I experienced was after meeting an elderly lady that was a little bit worse for wear and after dispatching her, I could no longer move my camera and could only walk in a straight line. This then caused me to reload the game which took me back about 30 or 40 minutes of progress which was deeply frustrating. I then attempted to redo what I’d lost progress wise, only to discover that an item I needed to progress was NOWHERE to be seen. After another 30 minutes of wandering around confused, I decided to reload the game again, went to where I originally found the item and this time, it was there.
35MM was a mixed bag for me. A wonderful environment that was distinctly lacking substance; an intriguing story with good pacing that was hindered by slow progression elsewhere and some unfortunate bugs that just left a sour taste in my mouth. I feel like with some work, 35MM could end up being a lot more instead of very much feeling like a demo of something that isn’t quite finished yet.
Lj’s Rating: 2.5 out of 5.
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Many thanks to Sometimes You for supplying the review code.