Review – In Rays of the Light

One of the best, if not the best game ever published by indie curators, Sometimes You, is The 7th Sector; an innovative and occasionally thought-provoking puzzle game developed in its entirety by Sergey Noskov. When I heard about him having a brand new game released not only on last-gen consoles, but also the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series S/X, I was intrigued. He does come up with some interesting ideas for games that usually go beyond the janky and mostly uninteresting concepts featured in games by this publisher. Let’s see if said title, In Rays of the Light, managed to deliver in this regard.

In Rays of the Light Park

In Rays of the Light is almost good looking. Too bad the abysmal framerate ruins it.

The game begins after a brief, but well-designed CGI cutscene not telling you a lot about its story. In fact, you’re pretty much given zero background as to who you are, where you are, what you’re doing or supposed to, and what happened to the world around you from the get-go. The game begins with the nameless protagonist locked inside an abandoned Russian university. You’re told to figure out what’s going on, as you seem to be the only person in the entire vicinity, as if you were some sort of disaster survivor.

The first area of the game, a small corridor with just a few open doors, is a good introductory area that basically teaches you the very few mechanics it has to offer. You learn about using keys, operating a flashlight, and grabbing a pipe to remove planks of wood attached to doors. After completing this first puzzle, you’re given a staggering amount of freedom of exploration. However, without any proper notion of where to go and what to do, this becomes more of a chore than a feature worth praising.

In Rays of the Light Bird

Hey buddy, can I use you as a pigeon post?

In Rays of the Light is horrendously cryptic to an irritating degree. I like when a game doesn’t hold your hand and tells to figure things out by yourself, but this one takes the cake. The lack of progression, coupled with the terrible level design and pretty much every single room looking exactly like any other, turns the game into a frustrating exercise in patience. You don’t feel like you’re solving a mystery, you feel like a janitor looking for a missing object. I haven’t even touched on how the game’s performance turns an annoying experience into a depressing chore.

Despite being a fairly good looking game that does take advantage of the PS5’s improved horsepower to fill its world with high-quality textures and above average lighting effects, In Rays of the Light is the worst performing PlayStation 5 game I have played ever since getting my hands on the console nearly five months ago. It barely manages to achieve 30 frames per second during its less graphical demanding moments. As a result, it negatively impacts on the overall gameplay. This is some of the worst input lag I have seen in years, with some camera movements taking nearly a second to be registered. Honestly, its only other solace is the somewhat interesting piano-driven soundtrack. I’ll take any positives I can get.

Subtlety is a beautiful thing, isn’t it?

In Rays of the Light is a massively disappointing game hampered by its confusing nature and abysmal optimization. So far, it’s the PS5-specific game with the single worst framerate in the console’s fresh, yet ever growing library. It’s a shame, considering that Sergey Noskov’s previous effort was such a delightful surprise, but this one fails to deliver in every single aspect except its soundtrack.


Graphics: 5.5

Considering its low budget, it’s a surprisingly good looking game with high-quality textures. However, it is hampered by an abysmal framerate.

Gameplay: 3.5

Not only is the terrible framerate borderline nauseating at times, but the input lag is so severe it will frustrate you right from the get-go.

Sound: 7.0

In Rays of the Light features a surprisingly competent piano-driven soundtrack. It doesn’t fit at all with the game’s atmosphere, but it’s well-composed enough to be worthy of praise.

Fun Factor: 4.0

You can almost see glimpses of a good time scattered in this confusing and poorly optimized mess of a game. Sadly, it fails to deliver.

Final Verdict: 4.5

In Rays of the Light is available now on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, PC, and Switch.

Reviewed on PS5.

A copy of In Rays of the Light was provided by the publisher.