South of the Circle | PS4 Review
Developed by State of Play and published by 11 Bit Studios, South of the Circle is a narrative adventure game set in the Antarctic during the Cold War era. It is available on Windows PC, PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch, and for the purpose of my review, I was playing on the PlayStation 4, with a review key that was very kindly supplied to us by the publisher.
South of the Circle begins with you, playing as Peter, a climatologist, whose plane has just crashed in the middle of a wild snowstorm somewhere in Antarctica. With the pilot, Floyd, injured, it's up to Peter to head off into the storm in search of help. Soon after starting the game for the first time, I found myself completely absorbed with the visuals and the music, and both worked so well to help set the atmosphere. As you head off into the whiteout, the present day switches back to Peter's past at certain points during the game. Without going into too much detail, to avoid spoiling the story, there are choices and decisions that Peter has made throughout his life, and you get to experience these as kind of flashbacks. There are moments in the game where you get to decide what type of emotional response that you want Peter to make in that conversation. These act similar to a QTE (Quick Time Event) and if you decide not to pick one, then one gets chosen for you. There is a useful guide in the help section of the main menu that explains to you what all the available options mean.
For most of the game, you will find yourself just walking through the snow, as you make your way to the next location, but there is also an element of interaction with other objects, such as radios and maps. You get to drive a little a Mini Cooper on Tank tracks through the snow, but the game will always keep you on the right path, not allowing you any form of free roam. Think of South of the Circle as being a narrative heavy story that you are part of, and assisting with some decisions and choices that the main character is making. There is no inventory, there is nothing for you to collect, and the game play here is as simplistic as the visuals, and for the short playtime (about 3 or 4 hours), you can lose yourself in the story.
South of the Circle features a very talented voice cast, including Gwilym Lee (Bohemian Rhapsody), Olivia Vinall (The Woman in White), Richard Goulding (The Crown), Anton Lesser (Game of Thrones), and Adrian Rawlins (Chernobyl). I think that this would be one of those games that maybe slips under your radar. It does not come with a large price tag, and for what you get, it really is worth giving it a go, especially if you like narrative adventure games.
I enjoyed my playthrough of South of the Circle. There is also the opportunity here for a fairly easy platinum. I just missed out by 2 trophies, so again, for the short play time, it is not that much of a chore for you to get that complete set, if you choose. The game visuals, the music, and the voice cast all make this game what it is, and that is a very enjoyable adventure game, with a gripping and absorbing narrative. South of the Circle is definitely a game that I would highly recommend. You can play through it in one sitting during a morning or afternoon, and like I mentioned, for the platinum trophy hunters, this can be a fairly easy addition for you. g1a5w3g1an's Rating: 4 out of 5.
For more information on South of the Circle please use the following links...
Many thanks to 11 Bit Studios for the Review Key.