An unexpectedly dark story combined with enough exploration to satisfy the discoverer in your soul, JETT took me to unexpected places in a ship that I want to throw off the side of a cliff.
JETT is a space exploration story that follows Mei and her band of travellers seeking to find a new home for their people on a treacherous and rather dangerous planet. It’ll be their job to explore, excavate, and solidify the safety of those soon to come after them. While it does feel like they maybe could’ve chosen a planet inhabited by far less terrifying beasts, it ends up being what it is and as such, there’s a job to be done and you’re here to help do it. Equipped with scanners, a gripping tool, a flashlight, and a temperamental ship, Mei and her co-pilot will being handling 95% of the tasks as everyone else seems to be useless and always constantly needing to be rescued, but let’s be real, that’s what most games like this do so it’s just par for the course. For the most part, I enjoyed the game. I didn’t realize how explorative it was actually going to be and I absolutely love games in that genre, so it was a welcomed surprise to see just how much flying around was going to be needed to complete everything the game has to offer. That was, of course, until I actually started flying.
Look, it would be unfair to put my grievances with flying all on the game. Even after playing countless racing games, partaking in many digital flights, and zooming around on pod racers, jet skis, and all the like during my many years of this hobby, I absolutely suck at driving anything. The things I manage to hit is just sad. The things I manage to hit that developers didn’t even know was possible is probably even more sad. But even with that, I can’t help but feel like navigating the ship could’ve been just a little bit easier. If you’re going to have terrain that is full of mountains, hills, and crevasses, please don’t tell us that we can just “hop” to get above everything when it’s just not true. I didn’t mind having to go searching for landmarks or shelter points, but I did mind when I spent the majority of the time fighting with upward thrusts and rock walls that teased you with whether or not you could get on top of them. It eventually got to the point where I would just try to find a slope that looked like I could maybe just climb up it, just to fall off halfway through because gravity pulled down the left side of my ship, leaving me to curse everything before my ship hit the ground and rendered my shield disabled. It was, quite literally, an uphill battle.
I enjoyed the overall variety of “alien” life in the game and how, for the most part, each individual creature was needed to progress in some way shape or form. From activating Ghokeblooms with the shock serpents to using the Hoppas to take out a Griefer, it was fun playing around to see what everything did to each other (if anything, of course). For the most part, you’ll be pretty left alone to explore as you wish. You may run into some pests here and there, but that’s nothing a little jolt can’t fix and before you know it, you’ll be back on your merry way to find the next marked landmark on your map. The quest system in the game is incredibly easy to follow and with a simple press of a button, you’re immediately shown exactly where you need to go. If you spend a tad too much time lolly-gagging around, the game (or more so your co-pilot) will do their due diligence and remind you what you should be doing, though whether or not you listen to him is completely up to you. The tools you have available in your cockpit can be a little hit or miss in regards to whether or not you’ll actually use them. I do enjoy when encyclopaedias (for lack of a better term) are included in games, but I’d be lying if I said I really looked at it. The cockpit was mostly to access the map and sleep, nothing else really piqued my interest too much. The map system is easy to follow, but I personally would’ve liked an option to zoom in/move it around. Instead of each island being it’s own separate navigable map, they were all combined into one, whether or not everything was visible/unlocked yet. This became an issue with the smaller islands (Shores and Spires, to be more exact) and having them less than 50% of the size of the much larger islands. It would’ve been nice to take a closer look at them, but even without the zoom, the map served its purpose well enough and the game can still be completed without seeing the finer details of the world around you.
As far as the story goes, it was… something. In a good way. For the majority of the game, I knew what was going on. Why we were there, what the job we had to do, was everything was presented in a clear and understanding fashion. Just every now and then, something would happen that maybe I just didn’t understand, but I would get lost here and there with keeping up with what exactly was happening. I would just hit the objective button and go where it told me to, do the thing I was supposed to do, then the story would pick back up and I’d find my place on the timeline of it all. Mind you out of close to 12 hours of playing the game, this only happened maybe once or twice, no point of confusion lasting more than a few minutes tops (I can also blame the fact that my attention span has a mind of its own sometimes and while 99% of the time I can be thinking about JETT, 1% of the time can be spent on thinking about hamsters eating chicken nuggets). Even so, I still hate feeling like I missed something crucial or some finer detail that would’ve prevented the small state of confusion, but afaik, those details were never mentioned again so maybe they didn’t matter after all? It’s hard to tell. I still feel like I experienced a well thought out and explained story and yeah, it’s a really good one. It’s nothing super crazy, but even after not touching the game in a few days, I can’t stop thinking about it.
After you complete the game, you can go back and replay any chapter to clean up anything you may have missed (landmarks, ghokeblooms, etc). Full disclosure, this part of the review was re-written after a happenstance changed all views on the subject of cleaning up the game. When I first played this game, I admittedly couldn’t figure out the chapter select (that sounds stupid, I’m aware). I ended up replaying entire chapters because I didn’t see any sub-chapters available and I was losing my mind over it. It started to ruin the trophies (and partially the game) for me since what should’ve taken maybe 10 minutes to go back and do, I was spending 20+ due to unskippable cutscenes. But as if the heavens opened to show me the way, as I was playing through everything a second time, the one and only tooltip I saw throughout this entire journey was telling me which sub-chapter was the best for cleaning up everything and, more importantly, how to select it. Damn you D-pad, lol. I can’t even begin to tell you how much easier this made everything and I actually started having fun just playing the game again, because at the end of the day, this is just a fun game. There are little things I picked on, but really it’s beautifully unique. The art style is different and sure, the characters sell you on an unrealistic thigh gap, but it was well executed simplicity that didn’t felt never felt underdone. I tend to be drawn towards games that don’t go with ultra realistic graphics because I always felt that if the story was good enough, the graphics wouldn’t need to help sell the game, they would just make sense. This is exactly what happened with JETT. The graphics are still beautiful, but the story is what’s going to sit with you for a while after you’re all done. It’s a feeling that I haven’t experienced with a game in a long time in that I feel like I was left with unanswered questions, but don’t know what the questions even are. All I know is that I want more.
- The story is unique, even if hard to follow at times, I liked what it had to offer
- The environments are designed beautifully
- If you’re looking to just complete the story, it can be done in a few hours time, but if you want to explore, you have the option to do that as well, giving the game a lot of variety in what you can actually do
- The creature design was well done. I liked that none of them looked like each other but were easily recognizable should they creep up behind you
- The map is well done, just would’ve liked to see a zoom feature included
- The flying in the game is on the rough side and the ship can be difficult to control
- The story is both a Pro and a Con only because there were times when I got lost and couldn’t really figure out what was going on, but those moments passed quickly
Overall, I can’t say that I didn’t like the game. It has it’s temperamental issues and I struggled with the controls here and there, but I did have fun playing it. It’s not something for everyone and you really have to enjoy explorative games to get into it, but that just comes with the territory of games like this. You’ll definitely be putting in more than a few hours into it, which I did appreciate, so don’t expect to get it all done in one night. I’d say it’s definitely a game to keep on your radar.
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Game & Developer Information
Developer Website: Superbrothers
Developer Socials: Twitter
Publisher Website: Pine Scented Software
Publisher Socials: Twitter
PSN Store Links: £24.99/€29.99 Europe / $29.99 North America
Trophy Information: 26. 1 / 5 / 14 / 6
Images – provided via PressKit from PopAgenda PR