About Sagebrush

  • Developer: Redact Games
  • Platforms: PS4, PC, Nintendo Switch and Xbox One
  • Price: $5.99
  • Reviewed On: PS4
  • Review Code Provided: Yes

Sagebrush is a short first-person narrative adventure game about exploring a cult compound in New Mexicoand discovering the history of what happened there after a mass suicide happens.

This is a spoiler-free review.

I met Anne first, waiting for the bus. I asked her what she was selling and she laughed and said nothing, nothing at all, that what she had to offer was free for anyone who wanted it bad enough. I asked her what had helped her. She just said ‘James.

Low fidelity scenery

The game is set on Black Sage Ranch, a farm where the Perfect Heaven cult resided before its fatal demise.

One of its highlights is the low-fidelity 3D environment where the game takes place, everything looks like a 90’s tridimensional game, but dont let it fool you since it manages to create some outstanding sceneries while keeping this low-fidelity look the game has.

The downside is a lot of the places are very apart from themselves with nothing interesting in between them, so having to backtrack or getting lost might become a little tedious.

The gameplay also is very simplistic, when you’re not reading notes or hearing voice tapes you gotta solve simple puzzles like retrieving certain keys to open locks or turning on generators to get power back on the buildings. This might be a turn off for anyone who’s looking for a brain-cracking experience or beyond “bring the correct item”.

 

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A story told through notes and tapes

The game starts on the desolate compound after all its inhabitants died, so the story is told primarily through Lilian’s tapes (one of the members of the communities) and notes left by the rest of the community.

The story advances naturally as you find this notes and tapes that guide you through the logical order where you need to read/hear them to slowly unveil the stories of the members of the community.

Slowly you get to know each of the inhabitants of the flock , discover their doubts and the reasons why they joined the cult in the first place and how being part of it affects them as a person.

The game knows how to bring this reasons without judging the decision this people made and sheds a light on why people are called into forming part of these groups and what do they seek on them.

But at the same time, a lot of the characters introduced don’t go farther than this, while the very few that do get fleshed out a bit more and we get to see more of them are the minority.

Its very clear where you need to go, but you gotta pay attention since each note hints at where the next audio tape or note is. Each audio tape and note is important if you wanna follow along through the game.

Desolation through silence

The sound design on this game is on point, the developers use music as little as possible and its only heard off on key parts of the experience. The desolate compound and the sound each of your steps makes the atmosphere shine and make key parts stand out more than the rest of the game.

You’re the only one here, every sound is a consequence from your actions and just makes the experience a lot more inmersive. I highly reccomend playing the game with a good headset on and with as little distraction as possible.

Finishing thoughts

Sagebrush is a short adventure that clocks in at about 2 hours that achieves a great narrative through its environments and how clear everything is placed so that a player doesn’t get lost before experiencing the full game.

Despite having some characters that didn’t get as much involvement in the story, all of them help paint a great image of who this group was and what happened to it.

The simplistic gameplay and short ended narratives hurts the game in the short run, but still makes for a great narrative experience.

It’s a short and great story that i recommend to anyone who just wants to play a short story on one sitting that will grab you from the start until you see the end of it.

8.5/10

 

 

 

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