There’s a plan to work and it’s time to work that plan. That’s all I can think of as I’m skimming over the ocean, piloting a jett (a type of jet aircraft) towards a destination in the opening minutes of Jett: The Far Shore. Protagonist Mei and her copilot clearly know the plan, but I–the player–do not. Mei has just left home, a secluded village that speaks highly of her for being chosen as the anchorite that will be a part of a scouting party for a space expedition heading to a place called “the far shore.” I continue towards the far-off waypoint without really knowing why I’m racing towards it, taking my copilot’s advice to practice maneuvers ahead of reaching the giant spaceship that will take us across the universe.
The fact that Mei’s people are planning an exodus from their planet–one that appears full of pollution and harmful industrialization–to a distant destination in what I can only presume is an attempt to escape a dying world is already an intriguing premise, but the one-off comment that Mei is important for this journey solely because of her role as a religious recluse pushes me to quickly get through Jett’s prologue. There isn’t a mystery here, not in the literal sense, but I’m still left wondering what’s going on, as no one is needlessly expositing information–a plan has been in place for years now and I’m just now stepping in to control Mei as she sees it through. And I want to see that plan through, if only in hopes of the process uncovering the reasoning for that plan.
It’s an intriguing start to Jett, a cinematic action adventure game that sees you pilot a scouting ship across multiple islands located in the ocean of an alien planet. It’s a pretty game–and its visual display is enhanced via a stellar soundtrack composed of soft melodies, setting an oftentimes somber tone for your journey over the world’s stylish landscape–but the story falters on delivering a compelling narrative payoff and the gameplay is too restrictive when you’re not soaring through the air. I saw the plan through and I discovered the reasoning for the plan, but my satisfaction in that moment was largely dulled by the journey I took to get there.