[PlayStation 4] The Sojourn Review
The Sojourn is a first-person adventure that puts you on a mysterious island with challenging puzzles to solve. Find out if the challenges that await you are worth tackling in our The Sojourn review!
The story of The Sojourn starts with you waking up in a small room with some lights floating towards the room’s exit. As you approach the door, the lights, which look like some weird floating fish creatures, continue to guide you through the corridors. You’ll eventually end up outside with a statue of a blindfolded couple in front of you, with stairs that guide you forward. After a bit more walking, you’ll end up in a place with a blue flame, you can step on to enter the dark world, and thus will begin your adventure.
Each time you enter a new area, your goal will always be the same: get to the other end. The one thing you’ll always notice when starting a new puzzle is that there are statues and places with blue flames. When stepping on those blue flames, you’ll enter the dark world, which makes everything around you darker and will open up some roads by making bridges or stairs appear. It will also allow you to use the statues around you. This doesn’t last forever, since walking around will deplete your time in this world, and when it runs out, you’ll be back in the light.
The first statue you’ll encounter is one with an eagle on top of it. When in the dark world, those statues will allow you to instantly swap places with them, without consuming any of the limited time you have when moving in the dark world. Carefully placing the statue on a blue flame spot will allow you to instantly recharge your time in this world when swapping with it, which will help you reach further in the area while in dark mode, eventually solving that particular puzzle.
Most of the time, some gates will be locked, and you’ll need to open them by playing around with the statues and the flames to bring an eagle statue to a specific platform that is connected to the gate. As you continue, you’ll gradually discover more statues that will add up to the challenge and the possibilities for solving new puzzles. Harp-like statues will play music for a limited time when you activate them in the dark world, which reconstructs broken bridges that remain in place even in the normal world, as long as the music is playing. More twists will gradually appear as you advance, such as portals that come in pair that duplicate a statue you place in one portal into the other, or relics that you can swap between statues that will allow you to access the statue’s power even when not in the dark world.
Visually, the game features a great art style and a look that is powered by the Unreal Engine, feeling at times minimalist as well as very detailed due to how the small environments are presented. Each chapter has its own theme and environment, so you’ll see some changes in the locations as you progress through the game’s different chapters.
After solved a couple of puzzles in The Sojourn, I thought I was in for a smooth ride, with rather simple puzzles to serve as transition pieces between the story segments, but the challenge does ramp up at a steady pace as new elements are introduced. The whole dark world thing with swapping statues and portals is incredibly fun and easy to pick up, and since the game introduces new features at a steady pace, you’re never left feeling overwhelmed. There are even extra levels to complete on the side, which also include optional bonus sections you can take on for an extra challenge if you’re up for it, collecting bonus merits.
As for the trophies, it’s a rather straightforward list, with several trophies that will unlock as you take on and complete each of the game’s chapters. The additional challenges for collecting merits will also play a big part in unlocking the remaining trophies, and the good news is that if you miss some of the challenge levels and didn’t collect the corresponding merits, there is an area close to the end of the game where you can take on any of the challenges so that you can obtain the remaining merits. Do all this, and you’ll have a new Platinum to add to your collection!
Other than the occasional difficulty spikes, The Sojourn is a fun, charming, and rewarding experience. It has some interesting gameplay mechanics, beautiful visuals, and it’s not the type of game you’ll complete in a single night. Definitely one to play if you’re a fan of puzzle games!
This The Sojourn review is based on a PlayStation 4 copy provided by Iceberg Interactive.