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Review Beyond A Steel Sky PS4 – graphic novel adventure

Beyond A Steel Sky – this month’s Best Sequel winner (photo: Revolution Software)

The ’90s landmark adventure Beneath the Steel Sky features a belated sequel from Revolution Software and Watchmen artist Dave Gibbons.

No one knew it at the time, but 1990 was the beginning of the pinnacle decade for point ‘n’ click adventures. The Secret Of Monkey Island and its sequels, Indiana Jones And The Fate of Atlantis, Day Of the Tentacle, and Broken Sword all share a common interface, a sense of humor, a problem-solving attitude, and a age. In those days, pacing wasn’t so important, while sloppy characters, colorful art style, and sassy dialogue were the absolute focus.

In that context, 1994’s Beneath A Steel Sky was a perfect fit. Its serious theme; comic book talent, in the form of Watchmen’s Dave Gibbons; and the general absurdity of its script is clearly part of that fanaticism. And to give you an impression of how not so long ago it was originally released for Windows, Amiga and old aborted CD32 dear.

Arriving 27 years later, its sequel, Beyond A Steel Sky, has gone to great lengths to retool the genre for a modern world. That means the 2D point ‘n’ click interaction has been replaced with a fully 3D environment, while its puzzles, dialogue, and shaded interface are still rooted in the ’90s. even yielded Dave Gibbons, whose work of art was extruded into 3D for the first time.

Taking place 10 years after the events of the first game, you begin by traveling straight back to Alliance City, the setting for the original’s sprawling cyber-adventure, only this time you are on the trail of the kidnappers. Your first conundrum is how to get into the city in the first place, since you find yourself locked outside one of its gates with no way to even raise the bridge to enter, let alone lift the bridge. comes to find a car to drive through it.

What follows will be immediately familiar to light-hearted fans of the genre. Talk to everyone you can see, pick anything that hasn’t been nailed, then try and figure out what new pieces of information combine with the newly acquired jewelry to trigger the sequel of the series. plot. If you know that routine, you’ll also know what happens next. You can either succeed more or less immediately, or try all the combinations you can think of before starting the tedious process of trial and error where you try everything with everyone in the hope that you will fall in love. flags find clues.

To help you in these cases, there’s now a suggestion system, which gives you increasingly leading suggestions about your next goal. They’re timed, so you can’t just spam them all in one go, and they don’t get you all the way around either – you still need to make small leaps to get what you need. However, they do provide guidance when you want it most, which is a welcome change.

Another new feature is the hack tool, which allows you to reprogram nearby electronics by dragging and dropping their instructions to make different machines change its behavior. That could force the cleaning robot to run out of water, so it has to visit the base station more, or give a broken toy another way to output tracking data but figure out how to hack it and how to change it. . The closest game to help you think for yourself.

The rest of the time, you’ll solve puzzles by figuring out what the designers wanted you to do. It’s all pretty well, despite the core of child abduction, often leads to frustration when the perfectly reasonable idea you come up with has nothing to do with how the game wants you to deal with things. .

You’ll also find numerous references to Beneath A Steel Sky, from recurring characters to the city itself. You certainly don’t have to play the original to enjoy this, but it helps. In particular, the game’s ending scenes are more likely to attempt to tie together the loose endings from the first game than it does to tackle the plot of this installment. It’s an odd choice in the absence of any synopsis and few explanations given for events you could only have witnessed a quarter of a century ago, if at all.

Beyond A Steel Sky – Blade Runner and Mad Max (photo: Revolution Software)

Despite launching on Apple Arcade over a year ago, the game is still rife with bugs. The museum’s security guard failed to overhear one of his conversations, and a man sitting outside the cafe hovered over his chair. You’ll also sometimes find Foster walking away alone, ignoring your controlling inputs until he finally settles down. None of the hiccups prove the game is broken but given the timeframe involved you’d be forgiven for expecting better.

That mild sense of frustration also extends to missed opportunities around the themes of the plot and world-building. For example, each citizen of Union City is assigned a Qdos score, which governs their social standing and whether they hang out with ‘degenerates’ at higher industrial levels, or end up hanging out. intersect with the chattering classes living below. It’s an interesting concept, reminiscent of modern China’s terrible social credit system, but along with many other seemingly puzzling concepts, it will rot with little more than a few references. survey passed.

Artistically, the city and its characters have a warm and inviting look, and the game’s dazzling skyscrapers stretch to the horizon. But look too long and you realize the city is dead. There’s no air traffic and its futuristic perfection is marred by the absence of a boisterous atmosphere, the game’s fragmentation of key scenes taking place in small, confined areas; never frees you of what could be an awe-inspiring open world.

If you’ve played and loved Beneath A Steel Sky, this is a nostalgic return to its themes, puzzles, and setting, even if it lacks the intelligence of the original. If you’re not familiar with the series, you’ll likely be confused by the game’s self-imposed limitations and missed opportunities, ranging from rigid attitudes to puzzle solving to pseudo-paradise. Union City’s unexplored idea. It’s not a bad game, but you can’t shake the feeling that it could be significantly better.


Beyond A Steel Sky PS4 review summary

Briefly: A colorful and humorous 3D re-read of the ‘n’ point adventures of the 1990s that despite its strange innovation suffers from the same frustrations and limitations as its ancient predecessors .

Advantages: Union City looks beautiful. The characters are humorous even when discussing serious topics, and the game’s hack tool is an interesting new addition.

Defect: Puzzles that still rely on fixed solutions don’t always make much sense. Lots of hidden interesting concepts that are still unexplored and full of bugs and glitches

Scored: 6/10

Format: PlayStation 4 (reviewed), Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC and iOS
Price: £34.99
Publisher: Microids
Developer: Revolution Software
Release date: November 30, 2021
Age rating: 16

By Nick Gillett

Email gamecentral@metro.co.uk, leave a comment below, and Follow them on Twitter.

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https://metro.co.uk/2021/11/30/beyond-a-steel-sky-ps4-review-graphic-novel-adventure-15685802/ Review Beyond A Steel Sky PS4 - graphic novel adventure

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