Dear Xbox Generation readers, it’s time for a long talk about an indie that I can honestly recommend without too much trouble, it’s about “The son, a tale of the Far West” a stealth adventure with a very powerful message.
Let’s start by talking about the general details of the title. Developped by Honey Studios and distributed by Practical games, El Hijo, is an independent film that presents an adventure in which stealth is our best ally.
When we talk about an independent production we are not going to see graphics that are really amazing or that leave us with our mouths open, we can even see it in the videos or the captures, it is a game with a simple aesthetic but very beautiful for be honest .
Since its story takes place in the old west, we will see very particular structures and landscapes such as mines, wooden structures, the desert – how it could not be otherwise – or a monastery, the game will not allow us to appreciate the magnitude of it all. scenarios, but in return, it allows us to admire the details and it becomes a very pleasant experience to see.
Por otro lado, tenemos el apartado sonoro, no destaca mucho lamentablemente, al tratarse de un juego de sigilo, entiendemos que los sonidos o la música deben de ser sutiles, para no desconcentrarnos a nosotros y por supuesto, se entiende para aumentar la inmersión con the title. However, being a game set in such an iconic era, a little more dedication to the sound section would have been appreciated.
There is no dialogue at any time, we understand our intentions and those of the characters that we meet thanks to very specific sounds or gestures, it is not something that I consider particularly negative, because it even gives the game a certain personality, plus The Son is very clever in the way he presents the story so no dubbing is necessary.
As you can see, it doesn’t have a spectacular tech section; It looks visual, but not aural, however, it conforms and honestly doesn’t need more.
The Son: A Wild West Tale is a stealth game with very basic mechanics, but well used we are talking about a short game that counts the minutes to get the most out of it.
The story is presented to us through pictures and as I told you before, we don’t need any more, it just happens to be easy to understand. We are a child who, along with his mother, is the victim of an assault by a band of thieves from the Wild West, they destroy their heritage and therefore the child and the mother have to take different paths. The son is received in a monastery of monks while the mother seeks revenge against this gang.
A story that you think will be full of action, right? Well, not so much if we’re being honest. The game allows us to control this child separated from his mother and trying to meet her, through thirty levels we can only use our ability to stay hidden.
As you can see, we are in the desert, that is to say that the sun will always be there and it is very intense, for the same reason the game asks us to take advantage of the shade to move freely, when we walk under them no enemy will be able to see us, but don’t trust yourself and distance yourself.
The objective is to finish a level and go from point A to point B without being detected, we have some control points, because there will be levels that will be clearly longer and therefore more difficult, but do not neglect anything to worry about , simply They will make us think a few more minutes before walking freely.
The Son is very simple in its presented premise, but don’t be fooled by that, in fact what it presents benefits from it very well, we will have at our disposal throughout our adventure objects that we can use to distract our enemies, like stones or dolls; The stones will be very useful, as they are not finished unlike other items.
It is a simple title, since the monks of the monastery or the band of thieves have diagrams that we will have to analyze before moving forward, we will have to put in place a not so elaborate strategy and for that we have a bird that will help us to see our options better (something like the eagle sight of Assassin’s Creed) and it will indicate where we can hide or the range of vision of each of these characters.
As I told you, it is very simple to play and master, but don’t think that this makes it extremely simple game, on the contrary, you will be detected several times and you will have to plan your strategy better, it too. has a dynamic that gives it a very powerful social criticism.
Save the children
Throughout our adventure and from the first levels of the monastery, we will find a single secondary task that is repeated in all the levels to come, which is to speak with certain children that we meet through the levels. The dynamic becomes interesting and gives us the motivation to take another path that may be blocked and in which we must better think about our movements. There isn’t a lot of rewards, i.e. it’s not like we get a bonus in the same game, but let me explain it a bit better.
It happens that we remind these children how much fun it is to be children, to draw or to do silly things and it is that unfortunately from the monastery we see how these are used to do their homework that clearly they should not, ie the game subtly touches the theme of child exploitation and the same goes when we have to face the gang of thieves.
It’s not that El Hijo gets sentimental when we have to inspire these kids, but we understand what we’re doing and we understand that they’re not here to have fun, so their message is subtle and effective.
I think it’s worth saving that we don’t just use this kid, there will come a point in our adventure where we can use his mother and see her perspective on things, however, the gameplay or the objectives are no different. and it’s like we played with the child. What I mean is that it would have been a good idea to change the dynamics of the game a bit so that playing with the child and the mother is different and gives a bit of variety to the playable formula.
The Son: A Wild West Tale is a very short game, in particular it will take us around five to six hours to complete it and as I mentioned there is only one secondary objective which is to accompany these children throughout the levels, a task this also does not increase too long, but it does.
It’s a short but straightforward title that also doesn’t invite replayability, it’s good, it’s entertaining, but when you finish it honestly, it will be hard for you to want to come back to it at another point. .
It’s a fun game and with well-designed concepts it’s not a revolution in the genre, and yet it does things quite well. Simple to understand which is always appreciated and presents a certain difficulty which makes it enjoyable without making it frustrating.
I think the relationship between what it offers us in a fun way and the duration is proportional, if it was longer it would become tedious and I should have presented more concepts to make it diversified, of course it would have been appreciated.
It’s an experience with a great message, a simple but fun story that will keep us entertained for at least a few days if we are short sessions or a well focused day if we want to finish it soon. Recommended and fun.