Format: Xbox One.
Available for: PC, Mac.
Publisher: Stage 2 Studios.
Developer: Stage 2 Studios.
Genre: Puzzle, Platformer.
Walk, Jump, Repeat.
Lifeless Planet is a story of discovery, a one way ticket to a foreign planet. The team is okay with this idea as they have little attachments keeping them on earth. I wonder why there was a picture of a woman on the window on the journey here? Little attachments are plants and being part of a Sunday football league, not a loved one.
Told that the planet is dense with lush greenery and thought to be filled with lifeforms our team set their sights for the planet, 15 years in a freeze chamber later, waking up to a crashed ship with no sight of your team members, you start your one way mission on a huge positive, an oxygen leak.
So what does any smart scientist do on a completely baron planet with little to no oxygen left? why run further into the planet in search of the sweet taste of air. Scientists always appear to be too dumb to be smart reminding me of Prometheus.
Now this is where my first problem occurs, when ever there looks to be some signs of danger on the horizon, the answer is literally around the corner, at no point do you feel like your struggling for life, no oxygen bar to measure your last breaths as you bounce along, each blast of air firing you into the atmosphere wasting oxygen along the way. Never fear, your oxygen tanks are full thanks to a handy space shuttle.
No dense greenery, no forms of life, just orange, orange and brown.
So far the game appears to be walk, jump puzzle, audio log, walk, repeat. Four hours later you come to an end, but I’m here to paint a picture for you with my basic knowledge of english words and a temper that rivals Tony Montana’s.
On a positive though our hero has super strength, pushing a rock twice as wide as him and just as tall with the power of telekinesis as the animations for our character are little to none, his legs move, and that’s it, quiet disappointing for a next-gen title, it has the look and feel of a PS2 game, and that’s being generous at best, it just feels lost, lost like this space man.
As the journey continues my interest peaks a little, a Russian audio log and a town. On this planet, whats going on, well turns out the Russians found a portal to this planet, instead of sharing with the world they thought they would keep it as their dirty little secret, building a laboratory along the way.
The atmosphere and music send chills down your spine as you search this dead colony, a grave yard and a church.
Inside the church is one of the surviving team members. As our hero goes to share oxygen with him he’s swallowed whole by a weird root plant that disappears into the soil.
He’s not fussed though, he just walks off, summing up my feelings for the game perfectly, I’m not fussed, after finding the town and discovering an abandoned research lab that appeared to be mining the lush green rock known as ‘Green Fire’ subsequently killing off everything on their path of discovery and colonisation, I just got bored.
The mechanics and controls for this game handle like a tank stuck in mud, the camera angle gets lazy, the animation gets lazier and the puzzles weren’t thought out enough to pose any kind of challenge along the way, jump on this rock, jump over to that rock.
Doors blocked? dynamite’s next to it.
Running out of oxygen? Your standing next to a refuel station.
Can’t reach that high rock? Have some booster packs for your rocket pack.
Finished the rocket jump section, you’ve run out of boost for now.
It’s plain lazy, somewhere along development David Board got bored with his own game and just gave up and that’s what I wanted to do, just give up, but the lore of achievements kept me going cause I’m like that, but by the end of the game even they had broken and stopped unlocking for me.
It’s quiet possibly one of the worst games I’ve ever played, I took no enjoyment from it at all, I was wishing the time away and I finished it in around 3.5 – 4 hours.
The controls are simple enough a monkey could understand them, A is jump and the whole gameplay mechanic revolves around you pressing A for extended periods of time, eventually you find a robotic arm which means you can pick up small rocks of green fire and place them in alien energy stations with Y and that’s the game.
The story becomes so bland my brain actually switched off as time started to go slower by the minute. Even the introduction to a native woman dressed in Russia gear couldn’t pique my interest as the game became follow the green path she leaves, turns out the native lady is the key to it all, Described in an audio log as a Russia woman named Aeleta.
As the plant life started to die on the planet, she grew a garden that thrived, when asked by the scientists to look at her garden she declined, which lead to the next logical step, kidnap the woman, inject her with green fire and see what happens along the way, turning her into half person half plant, hence the green path she leaves along the way as greenery grows back.
The Russians lost all hope of ever going home as the second portal started to revolt against them killing people along the way and even the remaining dead roots turned into child like forms luring them in then dragging them to their death along the way.
The second portal blew up and took away any chance of them traveling back to Russia as the original portal had changed from earth to an alien planet, Details reveal this isn’t an alien planet though and in fact is earth hundreds of years in the future, as each week passed on this Lifeless Planet was a month on earth, so the Russians gave up after destroying life on this planet and all died along the way.
Our hero decides to find this portal and travel back to what he now knows is earth, The native woman sacrifices herself by being absorbed by a giant evil tree and you go home safe and sound.
Part funded by kickstarter and developed by more or less a one man team,the game went over its original release window of 2012 by two years coming to steam early access in 2014 and Xbox One in 2015.
Save yourself £14.99, $19.99 on steam or Xbox One and just read my review, It’s way more fun, cost affective and tells you the story of something that could have been good and ended up being Lifeless.