Have you ever just played a game and completely fell in love with it and its core concepts immediately?
For me Journey to the Savage Planet is one such game. So let me give you the basic run down. In Journey to the Savage planet you play as an intrepid explorer boldly going where no man has gone before to the mysterious planet of “AR-Y26”. Once there you have to explore your surroundings, study and fend off strange creatures, gather scientific data and further the reach of the human species. That is the lofty sales pitch but here is the reality. Once you have landed on the planet you will find that due to budget cuts you have no fuel to get home, no equipment to help you survive, terrible Intel and you work for a company that expects you to eat crap for the next X amount of years – this leaves you with no other choice but to push on, like Cortez when he landed in South America.
Before we get into the game play I will tell you why I love the game. The tone of this game comes off with a Monkey Island meets lost in space (the original series) vibe. It is witty, self referential. odd, quirky, dorky and most of all fun. The game never tries to be anything other than fun and that is the key to what makes this so great, it never forgets that games are supposed to be fun.
Another aspect which makes this game fantastic is the idea that humanity has reached the pinnacle of space travel yet we are still slashing budgets and doing what ever we can to cut costs and make money. The idea of having no budget, while working for the 4th best space exploration company around, is a great excuse to include resource gathering into a game and of course resource gathering leads to a fantastic RPG element. Which brings me onto my next topic, Gameplay.
The game play is a one part RPG, one part FPS and one part adventure – but in the vein of the 90’s exploration games. It gives it a wonderful and unique feel to it, unlike any game of the moment. With a game that focuses on exploration you have several ways to travel round this strange and possibly hostile world. You can walk, use a grappling hook or booster jumps – the latter of which are unlocked through the RPG element of the game, which will see you explore and grind, it is surprisingly therapeutic.
And at this point I should have mentioned that I kind of lied to you because the game also has sections of platforming and even a little sharpshooting – if anything this game will never get boring. Not only can you do all this on your own but if you want you can take part in all the same activities but with a friend in an equally as enjoyable Co-Op mode.
As for the graphics the game looks stunning. It is colorful, vivid and chalked full of things to see and places to go. It really feels like a complete and fully realized world. ( A minor mention for the foley work as well, the general sound affects are the perfect mix of realistic and silly) I used the word wonderful area and it truly is appropriate because this world is one that will fill the player with a sense of wonder.
But no world would be complete without flora and fauna and AR-Y26 has a plethora of both. Some harmless, some hostile. From the adorable and far to easily to kill Pufferbird to the freaky Meat Vortex this world has quite the variety of alien life forms.
Before I close out I will say this, if anything the constant video messages from your CEO, your AI companion and the random infomercials that you see on your ship all help make this game that little bit different from the rest of the pack. And if you have questions about the CEO and the infomercials well then you just need to play the game and see for yourself because words do not describe how weird yet funny they are.
All in all this is a fantastic game and Journey to the Savage planet is really worth picking it up, it allows you to jump into a whole new world and feels modern yet classic, it never tries to be more than it is and that is what makes this game a real treat. Journey to the Savage Planet is available on all X-box, PC and PS4 with digital world wide release and Physical release in Northern America on January 28th 2020 and Worldwide Physical release following on the 31st of January.