What baffles me is how developers who clearly had the time and resources to make such beautiful visuals and ambience managed to screw EVERYTHING ELSE up this horribly.
Multiple times I had to replay portions because the game is, as much as I hate to say it, too open world. It's way too easy to get stuck somewhere you shouldn't be and have to restart. And surprise, the game saves itself very rarely and there's no way to manually save it. It's utterly ridiculous. Several of the settings options also seemed to flat out not work.
The game has a lot of those little flaws where they're not big enough to cite for a review, but they pile up. A few examples: Before each puzzle you need to collect an unknown number of arbitrary glowing blue dots lying around the area. ...Why? What's the point of this? It's not like getting them is a challenge or something. They're just lying there. Another example, they give you the ability to gain up speed and "boost" forward, yet the collision is so accurate that the bumps in the ground will usually send you hurtling in some odd direction if you ever dare boost across the ground. Yet another "hyper-specific" example: There's a point in the game where you activate a thermal vent that serves as a natural cannon. It's right next to you, you get in it, go flying, aaaaaaand- slam into a stalactite. Upon further examination, when you activate the first vent it also activates a second vent slightly back from where you activate them. You have to enter that one. What? Why is the giant vent that EXPLODES right next to me not the correct path? Why do I have to go backwards? It's a pointless waste of time. And I could go on and on about little nitpicks like these.
The puzzles themselves aren't awful but they tend to be very straight forward and bland. What's awful with them are the underlying mechanics. Citing Portal as the obvious comparison, in that game you pick up, easily move, and place cubes. Since they're square, they stay where you want them. But that would be too simple for this game. You have to use your magnetism powers to attract or repel spheres that just roll around everywhere. I can't for the life of me conceive a good reason for this awkward and frustrating control scheme.
In the end, Influx is visually and thematically beautiful, but not enough so to excuse the incredibly poor gameplay and massive amount of bugs.
Pubblicata: 29 Novembre 2013