Discover the world through the mind of a blind girl.
Beyond Eyes is an adventure game unlike most I’ve played. When the word adventure is brought up, one tends to think of running, jumping, exploring the unknown, and solving puzzles. This game is way more slow paced and mellow. Beyond Eyes involves the story of a 10 year old girl named Rae that, after a fireworks accident, was blinded. She is not depressed by this change in her life, but she is lonely. This is until she encounters a stray cat that she forms a bond with, and eventually naming the cat Nani. When Nani seems lost, Rae goes on a journey to find him.
A game with the basic premise of finding a lost cat might sound boring. Considering other games use that as an early quest to learn the controls before even getting into more complicated areas of the gameplay, what the game lacks in story it makes up in other areas. The best feature of the game comes from the visuals. This game is beautiful. The colors and style of the areas look like they’ve been ripped right off of a canvas on an artist’s easel. That is what you can see. Being that the main character is blind, the game doesn’t just place her in a fully formed area. She can not see around and neither will you. The canvas I mentioned before is a fitting analogy as the game is pure white until Rae touches, hears, or smells the objects around her. As Rae moves the world becomes painted vibrantly with colors that the player can now take in. But you can only see as much as you explore.
There are some wonderful effects to witness on Rae’s journey, like the sounds that cause Rae to be frightened. She will shy away from barking dogs, crows, seagulls, and cars. This makes some areas harder to pass through because it means avoiding and finding ways around those obstacles, even helping her to overcome her fear at points in the game. But not every sound or object is what it’s first thought to be. Some items that Rae learned the sound of earlier in the game will make her think of those same items first later in the game. One example is when a fountain appears when she hears water falling from a pipe drain. As you approach, you’ll see the fountain. But only upon getting closer will Rae discover what it truly is. There are moments were Rae crosses a bridge over a river, and because of the sound of the river, it is visible on screen before the sections of the bridge start to form beneath her feet.
If, for any reason, you need to backtrack to earlier in an area, places where you have been will still be visible. There is only one section of the game that erases what you have seen, making only a small section around Rae visible. This is the hardest portion of the game, but once you make it through it, things will be back to normal like the rest of game. Something I loved to do was walk through an area, turn the camera around and see the filled in scenery that had formed behind Rae.
There are some things I wish the game had, but mostly I would have preferred more interactivity throughout the game, like opening gates. For many things, once you’ve interacted with it, you’ll never even touch it after. Another thing that I wish it had included was more characters. There were only three other people in the game that I noticed, but only one that Rae actually interacted with. Even for a small town, I would imagine there being more people around at least–and maybe even a mention of Rae’s family.
The visual beauty of the game makes up for what the game lacks to an extent. It makes the game more enjoyable. The story itself is short and simple. It takes a long time to work through areas as Rae progresses slowly as the world fills in around her. If you have the chance to play Beyond Eyes on PC, I would take it. To properly hear the sounds of the grass, wind, and Rae’s steps makes for a more immersive experience. The PS4 sounds are somewhat enhanced as they come from the controller itself. The PS4 still can’t compare to having the PC and wearing headphones. While this is not the best game ever, it does introduce a unique way of exploring with a blind main character that I would love to see expanded on and used in other games.