[PlayStation 5] After Us Review

by EdEN, Owner

After Us from Piccolo Studio and Private Division will take you on a journey through a surreal post-human world as you try to save Earth. Check our After Us review!

After Us from Piccolo Studio and Private Division will take you on a journey through a surreal post-human world as you try to save Earth. You’ll be playing as Gaia, the Spirit of Life, who must explore a world where the souls of extinct animals are lost in the chaos. As you learn more about their final fate – the last whale harpooned, the last deer hunted down, the final eagle to be caged – your drive to do the right thing continues to grow.

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The wasteland is packed with the Devourers, the deadly oil-covered entities that survive the end of life as we know it. All of Mother’s Life Force was used to save the souls of the extinct animals, and it will be up to Gaia to locate them and bring them back to Mother’s Ark. We previously got a chance to review Arise: A Simple Story Definitive Edition, the previous game from Piccolo, so I was certainly curious about how things would go for their sophomore effort.

You’ll control your character with the left analog stick as you swing the camera around with the right on as needed. The X button will be used for jumping. Tap it for a short jump, or press it and hold it down for a higher jump. The Circle button will be for dodging. By pressing the R2 button, you’ll be able to spring, air dash, wallride, and surf, depending on the situation. Sprinting will allow you to jump over longer gaps with a lower jump. You can also press the X button a second time a the top of your jump to perform a second jump.

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If you press and hold down the X button after that second jump, you’ll be able to glide for a short time, which will allow you to considerably increase your jump distance. You can open your Lifelink with the Triangle button. From there, you can review the collectible spirits that you can try to save. To help you with this, you can sing with the Square button. By singing, you’ll be pointed in the general direction of the next spirit to save.

By pressing and holding down the L2 button, you’ll be able to perform a radial Burst of Life, which will bring life back to the world around you for a moment. This will be crucial for some segments where a dark, black goo has covered the area, keeping you from progressing. You can also tap the L2 button to launch the Heart, which will create a path of life. The Heart can also interact with some elements.

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You’ll run into many Devourers during your journey. While it might seem like they’re too far gone, by cleansing them with the Heart, you’ll be able to redeem them. Some of the Devourers you cleanse might end up leaving a memory behind, which is needed to better understand how life was before everything came to an end. Once you find your first Devourer, singing will allow you to make yellow butterflies appear to guide you toward the ones that contain a memory.

As you progress further and further into your journey, you’ll be able to create an oasis of permanent life at specific spots. These can be used as fast travel locations so that you can use them to revisit previous areas to try and search for any collectible spirits or memories you might have missed. This is important since, if you want to 100% the game and get a new Platinum trophy for your collection, you will need to locate all of them.

That’s right After Us has a full trophy list with a Platinum trophy for you to work on. The list includes 14 Bronze trophies, 16 Silver trophies, and 3 Gold trophies to unlock. For these, you’ll have to find all of the animal vessels, free all spirits for each animal constellation, discover all memories in each area, locate all memories, sing 100 times, and grow 100 sprouts with the power of the Burst of Life, to name some examples. There are 8 vessels, 100 spirits, and 89 memories, so it won’t be a short trophy run!

After Us Review - 4

After Us takes us on a journey through a surreal post-human world as you take control of Gaia, who is on a quest to save the lost souls of extinct animals. The game’s message is very clear, and its overall premise, presentation, and the design of the locations that you’ll visit will make it twice as clear. We’re getting to explore a gorgeous world that has seen better days, but the way jumps work means that sometimes Gaia will end up at the bottom of the screen with a quick fade to black. There are also some platforming segments that certainly overstay their welcome – looking at you, eagle – as well as some areas where the camera gets in the way of things. At least the checkpoint system is rather generous, so even when you end up falling to your death, you’ll quickly find yourself near where you failed so that you can give it another go. After Us is out on PlayStation 5 with a $29.99 price tag.

This After Us review is based on a PlayStation 5 copy provided by Private Division.

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