Your intrepid heroes fall off cliffs, run out of oxygen, and chase a moon-girl. Lifeless Planet faces the CHAIRQUISITION!

Game: Lifeless Planet
Webzone:
http://store.steampowered.com/app/261530/
Devel: Stage 2 Studios
Engine: Unity
Price: 19.99 / CDN 21.99

Wazzat: While seeking life on a distant planet, an astronaut discovers an abandoned Russian town. He suspects his mission is a hoax until a mysterious young woman saves him from a strange and deadly phenomenon…

Disclosure: The Devs sent us keys


CHAIRQUISITION:
CHAIR– Nooope

CHAIRCHAIR– Not sure if want

CHAIRCHAIRCHAIR– Check it out

CHAIRCHAIRCHAIRCHAIR– Shutupandtakemymonies


Makes with the working

V-

  • Unity scream of NOPE in a game clearly made to be played with a controlla.
  • Performs like a standard Unity title farted out by the export button.
  • Meaning that the FERPS jump from 30 to 60 and back again for FK and ALL reason.
  • The save system is wicked unreliable.
  • If you die it will restart close to where you noped and you be be facing backwards.
  • If you save and exit it will drag your happy arse all the way back to the last checkpoint of its choosing.
  • If you walk back over an old savepoint it FKN resets your progress.
  • That should give you hint as to how on-rails this critter is but more about that in the fun section.

J-

  • The savepoint thing is super annoying. Also Unity scream

P-

  • Unity screen of nope!

Total-


Shiny / Sounds

V-

  • Welp, it looks like something developed for $17,000 plus whatever they received from their publishing deal.
  • By that I mean it’s either exceptional programmer art or the byproduct of a first year art student.
  • Granted it has moments of pretty but that’s just the Mad Max effect.
  • You know, sand texture + sunlight =’s nothing special but kinda pretty.
  • Indoor areas look like something from a HL-1 custom map.
  • Sharp corners and low rent textures… everywhere.
  • The sound in this game is a mixture of wind noises, random “spoooky noises” and failed attempts at mood music followed by semi-competent voice acting… and some Slayer.
  • Yes, Slayer, because that is what you will pop on after 30 minutes.
  • I’m not saying the shiny or sounds come off as lazy, just amature.
  • Well, not including nozzles for the jet pack was lazy.

J-

  • The only reason that this gets three chairs is because I love brutalist architecture
  • The spoopy fog of revealing can be used effectively at times, but it gets a wee old
  • Lots of stock unity textures
  • The russian narration tends to drone on a bit
  • The spoopy atmospheric music is pretty effective, but can get overblown at times
  • Much like venn though, I very quickly put something else on in the background

P-

  • The graphics are simple but in their simplicity they convey exactly the kind of visuals the devs were going for with no frills or much of anything else, really.
  • The same goes for the sound, the background noise and faint music provide enough cues as to whether you should be running or exploring.
  • The sole reason I can’t give it 4 chairs is because, in my opinion, aesthetics should serve as a compliment to the mechanics and there were points I spent a good 10 minute stretch walking around like an idiot before I figured out what I needed to do or where the way forward was.
  • As effective at conveying the atmosphere as the aesthetics here are, they do a bad job of signposting the way.

Total-


Control

V-

  • Camera can go eat a big ole floppy bag of dicks.
  • Yeah, I know you can change it but the options are nope, FK off, and Really?!?
  • This is especially perplexing since outside of a few mind numbingly simple puzzles the only gaming mechanic is platforming.
  • Speaking of platforming, it’s hella difficult when making the same jump from the same spot can result in two completely different results.
  • Ended up having to use the keyboard for the robotic arm since RT on my Xclone don’t work, son.
  • This is irritating since another Linux user in the forums had the same problem AND provided a fix… that the developers promptly ignored.
  • Don’t get me started on the janky object interaction.
  • That can only be described as hit-or-miss.
  • At the end of the day I guess the controls work if you throw some big arse air quotes around the word works.

J-

  • It’s fun to just be hopping around, and then you suddenly break your neck and die
  • The camera, as mentioned, is pretty damn bad
  • Kinda controls like a butt overall

P-

  • Much like Venn I too had an issue with the camera at first
  • But they do give you the option to disable the automatic recentering it does by default.
  • You get a Unity screen of nope if you want to rebind the keyboard keys and the default controller mappings were pretty sane, if I may say so myself.
  • My biggest gripe is the inconsistency as to how your character moves.
  • He’s too slow when moving around and too damn fast when you’re in the precision platforming bits.
  • It gets three chairs because thankfully, those precision platforming bits are few and far between.

Total-


FUN

V-

  • Puzzle platformer on rails.
  • Really, that could encapsulate my entire fun section but I will elaborate.
  • Remember how tense Metro was when you were wearing the gas mask?
  • Constantly swapping out air filters, wiping off rain and mud while trying to figure out what the hell was going on?
  • Yeah, Lifeless Planet is the exact opposite of that.
  • Oh it tries to make you think that there will be some type of mechanic built around running out of oxygen but it’s a load of crock.
  • The only time you run out of oxygen is when a recharge station is immediately visible.
  • So yeah, after you realize that it really is nothing more than a walking sim with platforming elements.
  • Granted, some things can nope you but only if you run into them head on. Nothing will ever jump out and chase you around.
  • All that said the first bit of Lifeless Planet are borderline gripping.
  • Powerlines on an alien planet? Oh, you have my attention.
  • Soviet Russians? Alright, I’ll bite.
  • Random disease wiping everyone out? Overdone but I can roll with it.
  • This is all dumped on you in the first 30 minutes or so followed by two hours of NOTHING!
  • Seriously, am I supposed to be interested in chasing moon-girl who is so poorly textured and rigged that I burst out laughing?
  • Because I’m not.
  • Hell I even tried to entertain myself with a bit of exploring but I was only rewarded with invisible walls.
  • I ended up making it to the moon-girl cliff transition when the game basically teleports you to another location without any explanation other than… it’s nighttime now.
  • To which I responded by pressing Alt+F4.
  • What you have here is a one hour story (I’m being generous) stretched into a 6+ hour game.

J-

  • This game starts off seeming all open ended and explorey
  • It then very quickly reveals itself to be super on rails
  • The setup is pretty interesting though
  • Russians go through the fargate, mysterious virus wipes them out, all the while the dude exploring the place is hallucinating
  • Then some spoopy chick shows up.
  • And all the while, bad controls, railroady levels makes it all kind of boring
  • The oxygen thing at first seemed like a thing you needed to worry about, but it just arbitrarily falls low when they want you to hurry to some place. It’s a bit dumb

P-

  • Remember my shpiels about the 2 different schools of narrative storytelling in games?
  • “Tell, don’t show” – Where all the narrative is conveyed through dialog or text on screen. A good example of that is The Dwarves.
  • On the other end you have “Show, don’t tell.” – Where narrative is conveyed, in my opinion, much more organically. As you explore and you see the world around you and you try to figure out why things are the way they are. The best examples of this are Half-Life 2 and Hyper Light Drifter. With the latter having no legible text on screen outside of the menus.
  • Obviously, I much prefer the “Show, Don’t Tell” approach.
  • And Lifeless planet almost did it!
  • …Weren’t it for all the diary logs of the russian expedition and the lengthy notes your character seems to be able to type nearly flawlessly with his space mittens on.
  • Still though, it does a reasonable enough job of world-building even if you were to ignore all the text bits entirely.
  • And the reason it doesn’t get a mediocre score is exactly because those text bits are completely optional.
  • Even with its terrible signposting of the way forward, it gives you just enough leeway to make the exploration feel organic, even though it’s plainly obvious this is about as linear a game as they come.

Total-


Final –

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