Developer: Cresent Moon Games

Publisher: Blowfish studios

Release Date: 2nd November

Price as of Article: $14,99  £12,99

Story

You take control of Myrah Kale who’s life is about to change. A simple mission turns into an epic interstellar journey of exploration. The story really is quite good and it keeps you wanting to find out more. Here you will find out more about Myrah’s mysterious past and what the relation to a coveted substance called Morphite is.

Audio

I think for an Indie title the audio is rather good but there are some issues. The fact that the protagonist is voice acted and so are a couple of other characters is always a win and especially when it’s done to a decent standard. I liked Kit Kat who has some really funny lines and is one of those characters you can’t help but laugh with. Who knew a floating robotic cat could be at times so funny and often breaks the ice in situations where danger is present.

The music here sets the tone very well for a game set in outer space. This is a slower pace FPS than most will be used to and the devs have done a good job with the music choices from the music in your ship which gives you a feeling of having to get a move on to the more relaxed mysterious melodies when you reach certain planets. The issues I mentioned are to do with the music being different volumes throughout. Sometimes it’s just too loud that it drowns out everything else. Music also sometimes just stops instead of fading out when you reach certain planets.

Visuals & Performance

The visuals are always going to split opinion but personally, I very much enjoyed the visuals even though they are a low polygon affair which gives it that retro feel. Of course, these games visuals will be compared to games like No Mans Sky but this is a very cool looking game in its own right. The planets look varied and the scenery looks beautiful. Each place showcasing the different wildlife. The architecture is drawn really well and everything just looks mysterious with that come and explore me type feel.

This game did give me a few issues with frame rates though which was a disappointment. These problems were more apparent in docked mode when having multiple moving objects on the screen. The frame rates were just a little too inconsistent at times and as it’s an FPS I often find that any frame rate problems in these types of games really become magnified and hamper the experience. There are no touchscreen options here.

Gameplay

This game has been a little hyped for a while now drawing comparisons to the games I mentioned above. No man’s Sky had its own hyperbole at the time and the game never really hit the heights everyone thought it would but you have to remember that game had a £45 or $60 dollar price tag. Comparing this to No man’s sky or even Metroid is a wholly unfair comparison and in my opinion, puts way too much pressure on this game to deliver the goods. It would, of course, be a quite incredible feat if it had but unfortunately this game does not reach the heights many wanted.

The gameplay is really quite a simple affair, on your ship you get to choose which planets you explore using a simple menu system which over time becomes a little repetitive. You can either go to the planet which will further the story by acquiring key items, solving some easy puzzles and by traversing some platforming elements. In between, you can take a break from the main quest by exploring some of the other planets which give you a little respite from the main campaign if you want it and gives you a longer experience of the game. You choose to a certain extent how you play, the main campaign only, side planets only or a little bit of both.

Exploring is ok at first and some of the side quests are different, to say the least, playing darts shooting ducks and roasting marshmallows but to name a few. You farm your resources scan some plant life, kill some dangerous animals and then leave. Scans can be exchanged for chunks if it’s common and chunks can be used for all sorts of upgrades. Rarer scans can be used to directly upgrade your suit for example and it’s all very simple to do. From upgrading your suits and weapons to the ship itself.

This is designed so you can explore some of the further to reach planets which are at the beginning uninhabitable due to them being too hot or cold for example. While these were some of the more fun side quests, it all became a little stale rather too quickly for my particular taste but that’s not to say it will for you.

The game is more about exploration which in theory sounds brilliant and the procedurally generated planets you would think to help it remain fresh, the reality, however, is different. Many planets are baron with not much around and were not that fun to explore. Killing enemies didn’t feel that engaging and the AI is not very clever. Often enemies will just rush at you begging to be shot. You will probably end up dying from falling off a platform more than anything else.

In between travel you will have to stop off at the local space stations within the planetary systems to refuel which you will need chunks for, so you can reach further distances in your ship. You can either refuel your ship at the space station from a menu which is welcome or explore each station to find further resources.

What really spurred me on was the main campaign as it’s the most interesting part of the game for sure. Each planet you reach in the main campaign isn’t randomised and as you progress you unlock items to help you progress further and it is rather interesting finding out more.

Controls are tight enough and if the aim is a little too sensitive for you, it can be changed in the options. There are some platforming elements which are ok but I never found mixing platforming with an FPS go together very well. You can use the shoulder button to auto aim if you like which makes things even easier.

 

 

value

The game sits in and around the price many of these mid tear indie games are priced at. $14, 99 or £13,49 in the UK. You get a decent story here and many planets to explore. However, once you manage to upgrade your character and ship there is very little to come back to. There is no online modes or multiplayer. This is strictly a solo experience which will be fine for most. Personally, I very much like a good solo experience as it’s a nice departure from all the multiplayer games.