Wartime tends to affect everyone in a country. And whether they are citizens or soldiers, they feel it to varying degrees. While it certainly is possible to live “peacefully” during wartime, the same can not be said for all. To have a handicap such as blindness would certainly add to the difficulty in living. This is seen at great depth in the game DeLight: The Journey Home.
De-Light: The Journey Home Gameplay
Living day-to-day isn’t the only issue in a country during wartime. DeLight: The Journey Home shows us exactly how one individual makes an effort to survive. For the game, I took on the role of Sammy. From the very beginning, I understood that it would not be a simple walk in the park from the visuals. From the very beginning, Sammy could only perceive things as far away as three feet. And at specific points, parts of the ‘explored areas’ would remain visible. For the most part, I could only see the people I was with or Deli the Dog.
The dog aspect was interesting. He would stay close by for the most part. And if a guard thought he saw Sammy, Deli would often run behind the officer. And that would be enough to get him to say, “Oh, it’s just a dog.” It was hilarious to see, but it was still nerve-racking thinking the guards would find me.
Because The Journey Home presents Sammy as blind, she does not run. So it is imperative to time your walks and plans your routes ahead of time. I had a few close calls avoiding soldiers. The only reason I was saved in one situation because the dog ran past him. This part of DeLight was interesting. Because, despite the game looking and being more straightforward, it made me think of Metal Gear Solid. While the games don’t have similar ‘stealth’ aesthetics, observing guard routes is the same. It also makes sense that because she is blind, Sammy does not risk her life by running.
When certain parts of the environment are inaccessible, I took control of Deli. He’s able to crawl into small spaces and help open up other routes.
DeLight’s Somber Story
Going in knowing that Sammy was blind already sounded challenging. Despite having a handicap, Sammy is a resourceful child. And since she was not born blind, it allowed her an advantage that few are ever granted. DeLight: The Journey Home makes it a point to show exactly how the child worked to develop their other senses before being robbed of her sight.
It turns out war has reached their home, which spurs Sammy’s grandfather to take her to the subway in an attempt to escape. Individuals calling themselves rebels decide to blow it up. The explosion traps some people, kills others, and takes away the poor child’s sight. Despite the attempt to maintain it, Sammy’s hope is often much tested. Wherever they go, the child is continuously ‘confronted’ with the results of the war in De-Light: The Journey Home.
It Hits You in The Feels
There is nothing in the way of traditional ‘action’ sequences. Though, some scenes can be considered action-oriented. Going into DeLight: The Journey Home, I didn’t expect the story to have the depth it had. The developers of the title did an excellent job with the writing. In a very short time, I was heavily invested in the characters and where their lives were going. Each person that Sammy encounters can speak to has their own sad story. At times, it was actually difficult to proceed through a scene without having to pause. While that is true, I greatly appreciated that I saw characters I felt for. It would likely be hard for anyone who is very emotional about certain scenes to play.
Additionally, exploration becomes difficult for Sammy after her accident. While scouting out the environment is not hard, there is no map. Of course, that should not come as a surprise. As a blind character, you must remember where to find things and people. Memorization is a crucial aspect of the game. And thus, it may be best avoided by anyone who isn’t fond of heavy memorization elements. But if one is resourceful, it shouldn’t be hard to create one’s own map. Doing so probably would have helped me complete certain objectives rather quickly.
If you have a relative that suffers from blindness of any level, check out resources here.
DeLight: The Journey Home was absolutely nothing that I expected. But that is what I liked the most about it. It dealt with a serious topic solemnly. Sammy’s blindness was a handicap that renewed my appreciation of eyesight. I appreciated that developers did not sugarcoat the devastation that war can bring to regular citizens. If you are looking to try the game out, you can find it on the Steam marketplace.