Lifeless Planet - lifeless gameplay
should I have looked more closely at the game before buying it? Seriously, the game did not make the impression to be a platformer. How could the players of the early access version be satisfied with what they got? Even as a platformer, this game is underwhelming and I payed 20 euro for this. Aaargh. I thought I would get my personal game of the year but I got my personal embarassment of the year.
This game seemed to have so much potential, but when I arrived at the soviet village at the beginning it started to dawn on me that something went wrong. The village was deserted, ok. But there was nothing else to do than finding one of my crewmen and searching for oxygen (last of which occured now and then later on). And of course the "puzzle" here consisted of jumping around to find parts of a code... really, how boring with 10 'o's.
In general, all puzzles are not challenging as well as most of the jumping parts. There is a barrier on my way? Oh, how nice that someone forgot some dynamite some meters away... that's one example how dull the puzzles are and they did not become more complex which I hoped.
The story and the atmosphere are both good. But even story and atmosphere are destroyed many times. Again, in the soviet village, there was nothing really to explore. Sometimes there are personal logs or that of the villagers, but they don't transport the story really well. There are some occurences that give the hero a deeper character (remembering his wife's disappearence on earth). Still, it's not enough. The hero's character keeps to be very shallow. If the gameplay is so dull and linear at least the atmosphere should suck me in. But f.e. I could not enter any of the soviet village's houses to find out the personal tragedies of the persons that lived there.
Imagine what could have been done:
- photos and other personal belongings of the former inhabitants
- f.e. finding the soviet book at the beginning of the village, reading in it, finding hints about how to activate a scientific machine to examine probes of the plant life
- the game is not so linear, the world gives more space for exploration with the danger to get lost in the desert. By carefully examining an reading logs of the people you find out how to locate the next colony or the power plant structures...
So many possibilities. I hoped this game would at least partially follow the spirit of Arthur C. Clarkes "Rama" novels or those of the Strugatzki brothers. But no... instead