No Sun To Worship is an action-adventure stealth game where you use your environment to your advantage to eliminate targets while avoiding varying obstacles along the way. Developed by Antonio Freyre and published by Merlino Games, a mostly-solo Mexican developer, their other titles include Chameleon, It Comes In Waves, and Luckily My Arm Is a Shotgun. No Sun To Worship hits Steam on September 15th of this year.
Patience is key
At the start of No Sun To Worship, a small clip that looks from 1942 of a man going on about how humanity has turned on itself. Once the cutscene has finished, the game begins immediately. There isn’t any explanation of who you are or why you’re here. You play an Assassin whose main objective seems to be hunting down targets and taking them out. These targets are in various locations around the map, and the game uses a bullseye symbol to help you locate them.
The gameplay is heavily stealth-focused. The player must stick to the shadows and not make too much noise. If the player makes too much noise or is in a bright room, the bars at the bottom of the screen will fill accordingly. Walking in water or on metal flooring will create more noise.
What are some of the obstacles?
After finishing a level in No Sun To Worship, the game will gradually add more obstacles for the player. The common challenge is the guards. Some wear ski masks and are easily taken care of with a headshot. The other guards wear a mantis-like helmet that protects them from headshots. The best way to get around this is by stealth takedowns. Cameras are a problem and will periodically move from left to right. Shooting the camera will take it out of commission, but be aware gunshots will attract nearby guards when hitting a wall.
You’ll also be able to hold up guards, similar to the Metal Gear franchise. Unlike Metal gear, this doesn’t provide any benefit or information. The player will be able to climb over fences and lockpick doors.
Graphics & Audio
Graphically and audibly, No Sun To Worship gives me 90’s stealth game vibes all around. The slight crackle in the audio as guards speak over the radio feels nostalgic. Despite its retro look and feel, that’s not to say there aren’t some impressive graphical qualities. The dynamic lighting and shadowing present is brilliant. I liked how the florescent green rods in the nuclear power plant level glow and was impressed with how lighting stretches around walls and objects.
Another great yet ominous detail I enjoyed was how the guard’s yellow goggles pierce through the darkness, visible from a distance (and more so when they turn red if they spot you).
The audio is no slouch, either. Your footsteps change sounds depending on what you’re walking on, which is a fine detail and a helpful mechanic for the sound bar when being cautious near enemies. A particularly gruesome but brilliant sound effect is the neck snap sound when stealth-killing a target. In addition, the narrator executed their role well and did a great job setting an unsettling tone.
No Sun To Worship isn’t a very long game. There are six levels for players to tackle. Once finished, the player’s mission time is displayed. My average time for each was roughly close to ten minutes, that is, without the constant restarts when dying. Anyone looking to challenge themselves can try the hard mode. This mode changes all guards to heavies and removes the target’s locations. Let’s hope your memory is better than mine.
The game was very short and okay. I expected a bit more in the ways of the story. The controls felt a little janky but didn’t ruin the overall experience. I found it annoying with just how hard the guards could be. If you unfortunately get caught, they will sniff you out like bloodhounds, and losing them is quite a challenge. I wish there were more ways to get past guards besides killing them or sneaking. The game could also offer more ways to get around the environment. Since the only way is walking, maybe adding some pipes to climb.
Although only one man made No Sun To Worship, It’s impressive what he’s done with the lighting and audio. I would definitely love to see what Antonio’s future projects would look like if he had a bigger team.
The game is okay, and what it does, it does well. That’s why I’m giving No Sun To Worship the Thumb Culture Silver Award.
If you enjoyed this review, check out Paul’s PlayStation Review for Goodbye Volcano High.
Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.