Ok lets starts by saying yes it is a little like a metroid vania clone and at the same time it doesnt try to emulate these games at all.
The game layout is similar to metroid in that the caves open up and make one huge map for you to explore but then the game starts to show you that theres where the similarities end.
Let me explain you start of on the surface of mars and then proceed to go underground to make first contact with a new lifeform,then there is one huge cave in and you find that the only way forward is to progress further into the cave and therfor further into the mystery that unfolds as you actually play the game.You eventually come across different lifeforms in the form of plants that you must actually feed with the various items you collect and then eventually you find that there is a whole eco system under the surface of mars and you also find out that the lifeforms you have received messages from actually need your help.
To progress to the point where you eventually find the ones who need your help you have to manipulate the eco sysytem are there are (doors) plants that block your progression from one area to the next and will only open when you have raised the life in that area to a certain level.
You eventually gain the ability to hover with the jetpack and this is invaluable in some later parts of the cave as some of the sections get quite tricky and this makes them slighty easier.
I love the whole atmosphere that this game was aiming for and everything does its job perfectly,the graphics are good and the music and spoken dialouge work really well (the music suits the fact that you are basically on the red planet),the script is good and the eventual pay off at the end of the story is one that is worth waiting for.
Just to say that this is a thinking persons game and there is no gunplay and basically the cave and the eco system are one huge puzzle and if that sounds interesting to you then this is your sort of game if not then stear clear and buy something else.
All in all though i really love this game and would reccommend it to anyone who likes this sort of thing and enjoys a good sci fi story with great game play elements.
Posted: January 23rd, 2014