The game starts off as a walking simulator with very little to go on. You will find out about Project Pendulum and find an early World War II Mech. The L.E.A.F. System will allow you to jump higher, run faster, take and give life, and will become upgraded as you play through the game.
It is a fascinating design where you use the power of Life to create and destroy things to get you through the story. The controls are really simple as you have standard FPS controls, and the game even handles a controller really well. It really isn't about movements early on as it is about learning how to use the L.E.A.F. Mech and how you have a Quantum Life connection; meaning your death shifts dimensions and instead of dying, you suck life from all things around you. The more you die without replenishing the Valley's life essence, the closer you get to perma-death. Your L.E.A.F. will allow you to collect orbs and energy tanks and you can use those to bring an animal back to life, or restore a tree to its former beauty.
As you progress through the game, you will find upgrade chests and pick up boxes. The pick ups include: more energy tanks for the L.E.A.F., energy power ups, acorns for special doors, artifacts for a super secret temple, letters, and L.E.A.F. upgrades.
The music and sound are top notch. It really sounds like you are out in a large Valley, in a deep cavern area, or inside a man-made compound. There is enough ambiance to go with it, as well as Audio Files that are played as you enter certain areas. Some of the Audio Files are a struggle to hear without a good set of headphones, but that is not enough to knock anything.
The scenery is just amazing. So many cool shots of the game were made as I was reviewing the game, and only a handful I could cram in here.
The L.E.A.F. suit has really cool upgrades such as running over water, running on speed rails that will move you well over 100km/h, allow you to walk on walls with magnetic boots, grapple across large expanses, and even double jump. By the time you reach the last few areas of the game, you will be utilizing everything and combat becomes a stronger point. You will be fighting creatures that have been twisted and starved for the life resource you use to power your Suit. You can avoid some, but others you have to "free" from their negative ways by feeding life into them. It will move more toward a light FPS mid-way through the story, and pretty hardcore and major boss fight in the last two zones. It can get a bit hectic, but it was nothing really mind blowing, so even if you suck at an FPS, you should be okay in here.
At the end of the day, if you are looking for a relaxing walking simulator with a bit of a challenge, this is for you. The game is beautiful, the story is interesting enough to want to read all the letters and listen to all the audio files. It is not that long of a game and it feels about right for the price of entry. I do recommend it to anyone who just likes to explore and not deal with crazy FPS games that can get hectic. This is a good change of pace!
Review Note: The reviewer of this title received a copy of this game for free. This does not affect the content of the review or its final grade.
The game handles easily with keyboard/mouse and controller.
Beautiful game. It only takes a hit on the caverns and some of the facilities as they feel repetitive.
The music is so good. The female singer has a haunting voice, love it! The Sound FX are perfect and the Audio Files are interesting.
Unless you are a 100% person, there really is not a need to return to the game. It is relaxing though.
PROS / CONS
- Gorgeous game.
- Terrific soundtrack.
- Bioshock-lite feel.
- Interesting FPS mechanics.
- Caverns and Facility feels repetitive.
- Story was more or less filler.
- Getting into the pyramid is just a grind to extend gameplay.