After Us – Review
Follow Genre: Platformer
Developer: Piccolo Studio
Publisher: Private Division, Take-Two Interactive
Platform: PC, PS5, Xbox Series X/S

After Us – Review

Site Score
Good: Atmosphere, Overall decent platforming mechanics
Bad: Feels a bit hollow at times, Unclear UI, Weird design choices
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Games are ever-evolving when it comes to graphics and their mechanics, but also with the story they wish to tell. We have seen many games over the years that also have impactful messages to share with the world, and some of these titles are absolute gems. After Us is the latest title that wants to share an important message with the world, namely to take care of our planet, as we have only one Earth. While the platforming was decent, After Us missed the mark on several occasions.


The story in After Us is a fairly simple one, as it revolves around the impact humans have on our planet. It seems that all life has withered away from our once lush planet and only spirits remain. Sadly, the spirits are now lost or trapped, and it’s up to a small spirit, Gaia, to gather them once again so they can live a peaceful harmonious life. The game is fairly limited in terms of story, but it does manage to tug at the heartstrings when freeing spirits. Some optional comic book-like pages can also be found if you wish to explore every nook and cranny.


Graphically, After Us left us with mixed feelings. You’ll see some amazing sceneries as you progress through the game, but you’ll also see a lot of assets being reused ad nauseam. We found Gaia to have quite a few rough edges as well, but you’ll mostly only see these imperfections during cutscenes. All in all, the game looks good, but we were never truly under the impression that the game was pushing our PS5 to its limits. We did encounter quite a few stutters and frame drops when playing the game.


After Us’ soundtrack was simply amazing. We loved the atmospheric soundtrack from start to finish, and even though some of the tracks made us rather uncomfortable, they were perfect for the game’s setting. The tone was set mere moments into the game, and we couldn’t help but become entranced by the overall sound design. Granted, the sound effects impressed us a lot less than the soundtrack, but even so, the overall soundscape here was great.


After Us is a 3D platformer with some combat sections thrown in to switch up the gameplay. The game is rather straightforward, as you’ll go from one area to another to find spirits to set them free. The world has been corrupted, and so the game is more than simple platforming. You’ll have different skills at your disposal, ranging from a double jump and a dash to a life-restoring pulse and orb. The latter is used to activate switches or defeat enemies. We found the overall platforming mechanics to be fairly solid, but the game isn’t easy, so we did perish quite a few times when attempting some of the game’s harder jumps (and puzzles).

The game is divided into different zones, and there’s not really an order in which you’re supposed to tackle them. In the end, it doesn’t really matter in what order you set the spirits free, so that’s actually a huge plus. If there’s a set of levels you don’t like, you might be able to try another set first, giving you the motivation to retry levels that you perhaps found a bit too hard. Each of the levels often has a new mechanic you need to utilize, which does spice up the gameplay a bit. Sadly, this newly introduced mechanic is often already ditched in the other levels. We understand this design choice because you can complete all the levels in the order you prefer. So, having to need skills from specific levels would make this impossible.

After Us drops the ball on several occasions, ranging from the unclear UI to track spirits, to more glaring issues like very awkward camera angles and extremely bland combat. The latter sometimes felt a bit tedious, as Gaia only has her spirit orb she can shoot and recall. This will be your main way of attacking Devourers throughout the game. While we didn’t mind the idea of having combat in a game such as this, we felt as if Gaia could have used a few more interesting moves to best the evil spirits. As it stands now, most battles boiled down to running circles around our enemies to just spam Gaia’s spirit orb until we killed all ghoulish fiends. Combat also felt rather low stakes, as when a Devourer caught us, we would just spam the X button in order to be released, and this worked every single time.


After Us is a nice platforming game with some monotonous action elements. The game does have a fair few imperfections, but as a whole, we loved the overall experience and the platforming segments proved to be quite entertaining. While the story also felt a bit simplistic at times, it did manage to pull at the heartstrings at key moments, making us motivated enough to keep pressing forward. For us, the soundtrack is what tied everything together to make After Us more than just a simple platformer.

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Aspiring ninja.

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