South of the Circle from 11 Bit Studios and State of Play is a charming cinematic narrative experience in which you’ll explore the relationship between Clara and Peter. Check our South of the Circle review!
South of the Circle from 11 Bit Studios and State of Play is a charming cinematic narrative experience in which you’ll explore the relationship between Clara and Peter. Jour adventure begins in 1964 in Antartica, as you see that Peter’s plane has crashed in the middle of nowhere! As Peter exist the plane in search of some help for the pilot and himself, you’ll be presented with a series of intertwined flashback cutscenes that will allow you to experience the choices that Peter made along the way, shaping his relationship with Clara and eventually leading him to this particular trip.
As you explore each location, you’ll move your character with the left analog stick, interacting with objects or characters with the X button. You’ll need to pay attention to each situation so that you can select the right dialogue to move forward with the story and push things in this or that direction by pressing and holding down the corresponding button. Dialogue choices, which you can review in the Help section for South of the Circle, are represented by circles that will have different symbols in them. A red circle inside is for panic, confusion, or concern. One with a clear blue icon is for caring, honest, and open answers. One with a black rectangle is for forthright, strong, and assertive responses. A yellow sun is for enthusiastic, interested, and curious replies. And one with a small purple circle is for negative, shy, or downcast dialogue choices.
The game features an interesting minimalist art style with an old-school feel to it. The characters are brought to life thanks to the solid performance from Gwilym Lee, Olivia Vinall, Richard Goulding, Anton Lesser, Adrian Rawlins, and Michael Fox. The motion capture work performance also helps to give everything a more realistic feel, which is crucial for a game with a considerable focus on its narrative and the settings you’ll visit.
While playing the game, you’ll be able to collect concept art, photographs, and more about how South of the Circle was made. You can then check out the Behind the Scenes section on the main menu to check all of them as you move from icon to icon on the large map. Just hover over an icon and press the X button to enlarge it and see how the sausage was made!
Trophy-wise, the game has a short trophy list with no Platinum trophy in sight. At least this is a Cross-buy title, so if you have a PlayStation 5 console, you can get two sets of trophies for your collection. The list is split into 3 Bronze trophies, 6 Silver trophies, and a single Gold trophy. There are a handful of trophies you can miss during your initial run, but you can do some cleanup afterward by way of chapter select. Completing the game will unlock most of the trophies, so enjoy your first run with the game and then focus on any trophies you’re still missing.
South of the Circle is a charming cinematic narrative experience that will take you on quite the journey on PlayStation. Other than some slight pop-in here and there, and the fact that not having a Platinum trophy is going to rub trophy hunters the wrong way, there’s not much to complain about South of the Circle. The game is out as a Cross-Buy title, so your $12.99 purchase will give you access to both the PlayStation 4 and the PlayStation 5 versions of the game.
This South of the Circle review is based on a PlayStation 5 copy provided by 11 Bit Studios.