Review – In Rays of the Light

Review – In Rays of the Light

In Rays of the Light is a thought-provoking, secluded and atmospheric walking simulator from The 7thSector indie developer Sergey Noslov and publisher Sometimes You. This remake of 2012’s ‘The Light’ has the player take control of a faceless and nameless protagonist who awakens in a dilapidated Russian university. With no backstory other than a brief CGI introduction that shows that people have disappeared, our character is all alone and it is up to them to work out what is going on in Russia, the world and In Rays of the Light.

As the game launches, players are taught the basic controls including walking, running and using objects such as a torch and pipe to open up boarded doors. Sadly, this is where some of the games’ issues begin, with noticeable input lag from button presses and interactions with the highlighted objects. Our protagonist also moves and more so turns at a snail’s pace. Upping the control sensitivity is a must, and also is constantly holding down the run button, otherwise the player will move at a slow dawdle. Unfortunately, the biggest issue for me is the lack of any control inversion, especially where the player needs to scour places high and low for clues and objects. While none of these issues are game-breaking, they all add to the frustrations of those wanting a fluid experience.

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After the brief control introduction, it quickly dawns on the player that In Rays of the Light has zero handholding and is totally up to the player to decide where to go to solve the mystery of what has happened. This is where the game opens up and will split hairs on those loving its freedom or hating it for its uncertain activities. Like any typical walking simulator, there is no pressure, time restraints or immediate dangers (or is there?), and the majority of gameplay involves searching the university to solve puzzles or collect objects that will open up the next area.


In Rays of the Light puzzles are hit and miss and reminded me of being in a large escape room. The best puzzles have the player slightly scratching their head but working out by usually combing the area for clues on walls, photographs or notes, while the laziest ones are just boring, slow moving fetch quests that seem to be there just to stretch the games length. There is one puzzle in particular that had me and a fellow reviewer both stuck until one of us literally walked in circles enough times to find the solution, while the solution was somewhat satisfying, the frustration in the lead up squashed the experience.

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In Rays of the Light’s atmosphere, highlighted by its audio cues and wonderful piano score, really makes this game something to experience for fans of the genre. The haunting feeling of being alone but at the same time concerned if you are really alone, will have player’s hairs on end. Even though it is not at all near PlayStation 5’s best looking titles, the visuals, lighting and art style holds up well. From the overgrown foliage that grows around the deteriorating university, to penetrating light through a janitor’s window and the unwelcoming and haunting basement areas, they all outstandingly capture the dread of being alone and that no one has stepped there for some time. Disappointingly, In Rays of the Light does not hold up with its framerate, with it at times shuddering below 30fps and pulling the player from the experience.

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Exceptionally, composer Dmitry Nikolaev has provided a touching soundtrack that evokes In Rays of the Light’s atmosphere. It adds to the serenity of the world’s outdoor areas and to the feeling of sadness and dread when exploring the dark and claustrophobic areas. The audio design will also draw the player in, and with use of a headset, the scripted audio clues will have you swinging around, wondering if you are being watched or followed.


Unless the player finds all notes, clues and reads the writing scribbled on walls, the story can be very vague, making searching rooms and corridors a tedious challenge. While the story does unfold, the endings (there are two), will have players deep-thinking and discussing their interpretations long after the game has ended.


In Rays of the Light is a single player affair and its length comes in at about 2 hours that comes with a $12 AU price tag, which I believe is a good price for its length. There is minor replay value with getting both endings, finding all notes and getting all trophies/achievements but outside that, there is nothing else. While searching the university, it was great to discover a number of gaming and pop culture easter eggs, some from Half Life, Silent Hill and even Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker. In Rays of the Light atmosphere, lack of guidance and overall themes make it not for children, but the game can be paused at any time if needed. Annoyingly, if the game has to be dropped quickly there is a lack of a manual save option. The game will auto-save at the beginning of one of its eight scenes but has the player losing their progress if they do not advance to the next scene.


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Pottsy for One More Game

6Above average – As stated, this game is above average. The game provides a solid experience while not delivering anything outstanding. It’s a game that fans of the series will definitely enjoy but one that others may want to wait for a sale.

Please click the link here for a full rundown of our rating scale.

In the Rays of Light was reviewed on a PlayStation 5. It is also available on PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and PC.

Sometimes You kindly provided review code for this title. All thoughts on this game are ours and ours alone.

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