Very good environments design
Far from being randomly generated, the environments were all designed ‘by hand’ and therefore always offer something interesting to do or see. The gameplay is similar to a survival game. If one of the main objectives is to scan a maximum of elements of the local ecosystem, it is also necessary to recover different resources (carbon, aluminum, silicone and extraterrestrial alloys) intended for the 3D printer of our spaceship. This miniature factory makes it possible to manufacture various tools and equipment improvements, including a pistol and a grapple. The latter makes it possible to hang on to certain particular fixed points, but also to ‘surf’ on certain ramps in the manner of a BioShock Infinite.
Once again, everything is done to encourage exploration. If they are secondary, the fights are still very present. On the one hand because the game often encourages you, and even forces you sometimes, to slaughter the innocent creatures of AR-Y 26, which allows you to recover a good bundle of resources. And on the other hand because the planet also shelters aggressive animals, against which you will absolutely have to fight. Some of them can only be eliminated by drawing on very specific weak points, a principle which is systematically taken up again for the few bosses who punctuate the adventure.
More anecdotally, it is also possible to slap and kick the smallest creatures. In order to vary the pleasures and to be able to cross certain passages, it is necessary to collect different ‘weapons’ in nature: bait to attract animals, gooey to immobilize them, acid fruits to dissolve the shells, fruits allowing to deposit points of grip for the grapple on certain surfaces, electric fruits, explosive fruits, etc.
This point of gameplay also gives us the opportunity to address the few faults of the game, since we can only carry a very limited number of each tool. So it happens for example that we find ourselves in front of a passage that can only be crossed with the help of an electric fruit and that, if we do not have it on hand, we must then make laborious back and forth journeys to find some.
The backpack system that must be recovered each time you die is also imperfect. Sometimes the bag is placed in a place that is difficult to access, or too far from the place where you actually perished, due to the verticality of the environments. The interface also deserved more care, especially on PC since keyboard navigation is not at all practical (while the keyboard / mouse is preferable to the controller during the exploration and combat phases). All this prevents the game from being a total success, but does not handicap it too much.
After having defeated the final boss at the end of ten hours, we also take pleasure in continuing the exploration in order to unearth all the elements to collect, and in particular the barrels of fuel which allow to come back on earth. .and thus trigger a second display of the end credits!