Developed by Bellular Studios and published by Fellow Traveler comes a cold tale of a mysterious mission in The Pale Beyond. Step aboard a ship bound for death and chasing a myth as your actions dictate the lives, and deaths, of the crew around you. Manage what little resources you have and search for a relic lost in the ice. Bundle up and hold fast.
A Tale upon the Frozen Sea
The Pale Beyond begins with some sort of poetry. You are able to sort of steer The Narrative for short while. Then you are approached by an old Sea Dog looking for a first mate for his ship. You’re able to sort of dictate through the choices what your background and history was like, and these choices persist through the game. You are looking for a lost ship called the Vicount, and the captain is determined to make it there no matter the cost. However, while he does command the ship, many of the choices made on the ship will fall upon your shoulders.
As you play the game you will eventually meet more and more of the crew. You will learn what they like and dislike, their little quirks and habits, and knowing this information will help you make decisions later on. I may be skipping ahead a little bit but one thing I would like to touch on is the save system. Instead of save states in a traditional game, you have what is called a save tree. You’re able to go back to individual weeks of the adventure and make different choices, at the cost of cutting off any future choices you have already made.
Someone has to make the cold, hard choices
Ultimately, The Pale Beyond is a resource management mystery game. Every choice you make will affect the crews decorum, and if it gets too low they will Rebel. You also have to worry about keeping the ship you’re on well heated and in good repair as you travel the icy sea. You will have to manage food rations as well as keep sled dogs alive. All in all, you have a lot on your plate.
Sometimes the choices you make can have dire consequences. Putting a sailor to work in a certain area has a chance of going south. If this happens, they can gain a status effect such as wounded or scurvy or frostbite. This will render the Sailor unable to work, thus robbing you of a resource. Then there is the loyalty of the crew itself. Sometimes just talking to someone will cause their loyalty to drop. And there is nothing you can really do about it shy of going back to a previous save.
An icy experience
The Pale Beyond is a grim, sad, depressing and hopeless story about someone thrust into a position they were not ready for. People do not like you, the odds are stacked against you, and doom falls upon you in a slow creeping crawl. But if you are up for a challenge, then this game will provide it. You have an objective; it is simply a matter of survival. And while you survive you will find out what is stronger, your willpower or the icy world around you.
The Pale Beyond is available for PC on Steam. Review key provided by Double Jump Communications.