Uncover a future earth with a twist in our After Us preview.
Last week, we were given the amazing opportunity to play the first 90 minutes of a brand-new indie game, After Us. Developed by Piccolo and published by Private Division (OlliOlli World, Kerbal Space Program 2), this gorgeous and dystopian game was a thrill to experience and shone a light on what we humans are doing to the planet. Let us take you on a whirlwind tour of After Us in our exclusive preview!
This sounds like my house after the kids are asleep.
After Us Preview – A Tale of Extinction and Hope
On a dying Earth in the far (or possibly near) future, you play as Gaia who resides in the last sanctuary of life. As the remaining animals perish, the mother (tree of life) uses the rest of her life force to save some of their souls. Now, you must save all 8 of these animal souls to restore life on the planet.
Post-apocalyptic fashion is so strange…
Your journey begins in a city torn apart by the “devourers”, which is clear they are humans. You must traverse the wreckages and oil spills to find a path to the spirit you need to save. Along the way are huge platforming sections, puzzles and some combat to boot. Oil is used as the “enemy” in this game as you must avoid it, fight human souls made of it and shut down huge rigs to try to right the wrongs of the past.
“Everything is dead. Only metal and plastic remain.”
After Us Preview – Navigating a Dead Earth
After Us is mostly a platformer adventure game with a touch of action added for variety. Gaia has so many parkour skills even Michael Scott would be impressed! She can sprint, jump, glide, dash, wall run and cable grind to traverse this world devoid of life. These combined abilities make for some interesting and fun platforming sections, which I’m sure the full game will have many more of both.
Another main skill she possesses is the ability to use her life force to cleanse the world of oil. Gameplay wise this means she can remove oil-soaked obstacles and kill oil-covered enemies. Gaia can either shoot a small ball of light to damage enemies or release a huge burst of life that covers the surrounding area in greenery for a short time. This can clear away oil or push back enemies if they get too close.
Ecologists would love this power.
The few stunning landscapes I was able to experience were exceptionally expansive. Although lifeless, that didn’t detract from the dozens of gorgeous vistas and depressing scenes. I was only able to complete a city section, covering approximately less than a quarter of the game.
From underground car parks, to climbing up crumbling towers and across barely functional cranes, you’ll uncover a world that is way past its use-by date. The music felt deeply dystopian which gave you an eerie yet relaxed vibe as you explored the deceased earth.
After Us Preview – Run, Jump and Collect
From what little I experienced, I couldn’t see any side quests available or additional activities. You can hunt down smaller spirits to collect which didn’t seem to serve any purpose. The other collectable you can find are human memories. Each area has a certain number, all of which tell a story of an old life long past. The memories I was able to find told of a man who watched his surroundings go from countryside to steel city.
The best world-saving boy.
Gaia’s final ability is singing, along with sounding beautiful also shows you if any collectables are nearby and in what direction. There are also other spirits you see on your adventure and can even interact with some of them. Of course, I pet the first cat I came across!
Can pet animals, automatic 10/10.
Conclusion – The Fate of the World Lies In your Hands
After Us was fantastic to experience the start of the game and we can’t wait for it to release on the 23rd May! I would love to see more puzzles, abilities and unique environments to be conquered.
Gaia wants a full release right now!
Although the comparisons of the effect humans have on the world are a tad on the nose, some of the emotional scenes caught me a bit off guard. I think this is definitely one to keep an eye on especially if you want something that is pretty straightforward with a deep meaning.
A preview code on PlayStation 5 was kindly provided by the publisher for our After Us preview. Be sure to read the full review here closer to the game’s launch, and join us on the Qualbert Discord to chat more about the game!