Tequila Works have released a few decent titles before, which made me undoubtedly interested in this quirky little horror come adventure game. I especially enjoyed Rime and The Sexy Brutale.
Gylt, which is nothing like the above-mentioned games and is a third-person action game bathed in stealth and horror. There is a combat system of sorts but as you will read later, I found that the weakest part of the title. In Gylt, you play Sally and are looking for your missing cousin, Emily.
Through a mixture of cartoon and real-time cutscenes, you are thrust into a parallel world filled with beasties and eerie happenings. While the story did have its moments and depending on the conclusion you reach, did now and again pluck at your heartstrings, I found it on the whole quite predictable and well-trodden.
Gylt Review (PS5) – Supernatural And Sinister Stealth
I think the lack of NPCs and any real meatiness to the story did increase the feeling of loneliness and sadness, but it also makes long stretches of the story feel empty and not fleshed out enough.
There are weighty story themes throughout like bullying but they are never really touched on heavily enough to make them really feel important enough to the story arc.
As you traverse through interconnected areas you must solve puzzles, evade the game’s goopy, black, uncanny enemies and attempt to rescue Emily. You can fight a lot of the enemies with your trusty flashlight but most of the time I found stealth was not only more fun but a lot more practical. Aiming your torch at certain parts of the enemies’ body was cumbersome, especially when multiple enemies were involved.
The stealth system, as in most games has indicators to tell you when enemies have seen or spotted you. There are also items you can throw to move enemies to your desired location and I found it definitely worked well and fit the style of the game perfectly.
It is certainly a simple system but it works and was entertaining enough to see you through to the game’s conclusion without becoming repetitive or boring.
Along with all the stealth and tomfoolery, there are light puzzles sometimes blocking your path, you know the standard fare of switches, moving objects and backtracking, nothing too fancy or obtuse. On your travels, there are bits and bobs to collect from books to birds and other weird tidbits.
I liked there was a tracker for each area and once you saw a collectable, it got marked on your map so you could return to it later. That was certainly an appreciated touch.
I did have a few small issues with the gameplay. I thought the resources, both for your health and your flashlight were far too abundant. Most of them were left behind as I was maxed out for most of the game. This did drop the feeling of tension a little because I always had items to fall back on and rarely felt in any true danger.
I also found any lack of true progression or upgrades made exploring less rewarding. All the tools you require are handed to you and when you could explore, which was infrequent due to the game’s mostly linear style, it only led you to a collectable or resource. A reason to stray off the beaten path would have gone a long way to improving Gylt’s gameplay loop.
Tim Burton-Esque Visuals
Graphically, like the other Tequila Works games, the game has a defined cartoon-like art style that I found charming. It has an almost-Tim Burton-like vibe that really accentuated the grim presentation the game was shooting for. The eerie art style and the dank sound work really made the entire presentation shine.
On the sound front, as I have mentioned previously, I found the music helped increase the feeling of being trapped in a horrible place perfectly. I thought the voice acting was of a decent level and everything tied together to keep you invested in this world.
The whole thing made me feel lonely and lost and I think that’s definitely what the developers were going for.
No Guilt in Enjoying this One
Gylt will not set anyone’s world on fire. However, combat aside, I enjoyed it a fair bit. It does not overstay its welcome, it’s good on the eye and does stir up some emotion here and there. If you are after a shorter title with a bit of stealth and puzzle work, you could do far worse.
While it never reaches the highs of The Sexy Brutale, it was always interesting and fun, which is all I wanted really.
Gylt is out now on PS5 and PS4.
Review code kindly provided by the publisher.