ENGLISH and SPANISH review:ESPAÑOL: http://imperiogamer.com/index.php/reviews/751-analisis-lifeless-planetENGLISH:
Lifeless Planet is a Kickstarter project which could see the light of day, and it really deserves it. In this game we'll travel through a seemingly empty planet, only to realize that something happened and it's not as dead as we imagined.
We'll have to walk a lot, yes, we'll really have to walk long distances completely alone with a relaxing soundtrack in background, which reminded me a lot of Shadow of the Colossus, making long journeys from an objective to the next. It's clear that the focus is not in action, but in convey a feeling of loneliness we'd face if we found ourselves alone in a planet.
This characteristic could be interpreted as something dull and boring, but it's the complete package we have to judge: environment, music and story. Those three aspects form a symbiosis which amazes the player.
About the gameplay: it's simple, with the low gravity of the planet as an ally and jumping to each goal. Other than a few puzzles, we won't find any big problems; this game is more focused in "appreciating" than "thinking".
Prepare for amusing chasms
The game features beautifully crafted environments in which we'll be able to appreciate the inmensity of the place and realize that many times the lack of life doesn't mean lack of beauty. As I said before and I'm not getting tired of repeating, the scenery which we'll stumble upon are impressive, really a piece of art.
Going through all kind of environments, from big deserts, old craters, to abandoned towns, lava-filled volcanoes and patrified forests, to mention a few.
The lighting gives a special touch which we won't be able to forget, it's sky is almost always clouded where only some rays of sunlight can go through, which makes you feel the end is nigh and your time is accounted for, which is no doubt a decisive factor to involve us in the story.
Take it easy dude…
Tranquil, and really quiet, with only a few abrupt changes to accelerate the game. If you're looking for a game with lots of action, violence or something alike, this is not the game for you; you'll probably quit after a few minutes.
It has a rich soundtrack which perfectly accompanies the gameplay, and the ambiance sounds really make you feel like you're in the game. This was all made by Rich Douglas, who also worked in the sountracks for Insurgency and Takedown. Douglas manages to jump from total calm to frenzy without any complications, moments where he conveys happiness and other moments where we'll be invaded with a feeling of adrenaline which makes us be alert.
Lifeless Planet is that game you need when you come home tired and need to relax, taking your time to play it and taking it to your own pace, appreciating every little thing in it.
In the last episode…
David Board, its developer, originally planned the game as an action game, but as development progressed and the story expanded, Board decided to change the game's focus to center on the story. We'll be able to notice how it's inspired in classic adventure games like LucasArts' The Dig, as well as platformer game Another World, and science-fiction movies based upon the Cold War. Board said he wanted to convey a combined feeling of optimism and horror about what science is capable of in the hands of mankind.
Victim of a great story and false advertisement (spoilers ahead!)
We're part of a team of astronauts whose mission is to explore a seemingly empty planet. Something goes wrong with the expedition and we wake up from a cryogenic sleep fifteen years after we boarded the ship to this adventure into the unknown.
When we wake up we can't find the rest of the crew and that's where the loneliness starts to take part in our journey. Did the Americans get to the Moon first? Maybe so, but the Soviets managed much more... in a planet! When we arrive we can't find anybody, only the remains of what seems to have been a big enterprise by the Russian. We'll soon realize that this planet is not as lifeless as it seemed in the title, so I'm sorry to have to break the news for you but you've been victim of false advertisement! Irony aside, the place becomes more and more confused as we move forward, with hallucinations about our life on Earth, alien remains and the print of the Russians everywhere. This is where the story truly starts, for we'll soon discover what happened as we search for a way to go back home.
Exploration, which seemed like a big part of the game, regrettably doesn't exist... the game is completely lineal and most of the times the way is forced to make us move forward. Maybe it's because Survival and Sandbox games are increasing in popularity lately, but this game is neither; Lifeless Planet intends to tell us a story, show as a world which is dying little by little. And it achieves it so perfectly.