Review Score: 4/5
I'm someone who prides myself on being able to work my way around puzzle games with relative ease. Perhaps the most challenging one I've ever faced is The Witness, which was without a doubt one of the most intense and addictive video game experiences I've ever been through. Since playing that game, I've been looking for one that would challenge me in ways I hadn't enjoyed before, and so when I got the chance to check out 7th Sector, I jumped at the opportunity.
Set in a mysterious cyberpunk world, 7th Sector comes from developer Sergey Noskov and throws you in at the deep end. There's no hand-holding here; you'll have to use your exploratory skills if you're to make your way successfully through this environment, piecing together chunks of narrative to discover the story being conveyed.
You start your journey as a spark of electricity, first making your way from a small television across wires that often lead to dead-ends. It quickly becomes apparent that if you are to escape from the confines of this current, you'll have to hop between a whole bunch of different objects that can be powered up by your voltage, solving puzzles along the way.
There are plenty of times you're going to be left stumped by one of the various challenges the game throws at you, and using trial and error is likely going to be your only way around a number of scenarios. Don't bother looking for online walkthroughs however, as many of the puzzles you'll face change with every playthrough. This allows for replayability for those of us who really want to give our brain a tough mental massage!
Whilst the puzzles aren't revolutionary, they are certainly challenging enough to keep you invested and pushing along. You'll get that sweet feeling of satisfaction when you spend 30 minutes utterly bewildered by one, only for all of the pieces to click together and allow you to progress to your next area.
Props must also go to the design team, who have created a world and an atmosphere that so brilliantly envelops the player within in. Coupling the stunning graphics with the sounds and music - which do so much to set the scene - allows for the evocation of emotion in a game which would feel very flat without them. There's no need for dialogue here.
As an overall offering, this is a puzzler that will likely frustrate many casual gamers, but really delight those who are a little more patient and don't need everything to come together immediately. You're not quite a detective in 7th Sector, but if you go into it with the frame of mind that you're going to have to do a lot of grunt work to get ultimate results, then you won't be left disappointed.
7th Sector is available now on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch and PC. A code for Xbox One was provided to Female First in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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