Beyond a Steel Sky
So first of all thanks to the PR team for the code for this game and I'll be honest here I thought what we were getting here was a HD remake of a game that I played on the Amiga what must be almost 20 years ago now. But while that is kinda right but also totally wrong this is actually a sequel to that game made by Revolution Software and I'd guess their most well known game series to date is the Broken Sword games, starting with stunning hand drawn 2D animation and by the time they were up to the 3rd game in the series they went to a full 3D game engine as was the style back then.
Now I remember the dodgy few games when Revolution tried to make the Broken Sword games in 3D, but after a couple of miss steps I feel they managed to make a really good looking game that now had full 3D character movement but also the developers had to figure out a way to make the puzzles work in a 3D space. But this isn't a history lesson so lets get into this review.
So the game is set in the far-off future, people living in mega-cities on a wasteland known as the Gap. The city folk must comply with the extreme social codes of the megacorps that own them. Gaplanders must fend for themselves within self sufficient tribes. The story kicks off with a kidnapping and your Gaplander character's efforts to infiltrate Union City. The set up is really nicely done and the comic book style presentation is inherited straight from the 1994 prequel.
I know that Revolution Software started off as a point and click studio but from Broken Sword 4 I would guess they have moved more to a puzzle action game with a little bit of clicking. So we have your standard third person controls, the character movement is a little on the slow side even when you are running. But there are still the normal interactive hotspots, the conversation choices and an inventory system all present and correct. The puzzles like the best ones from the original where there is a tease of what you need to do and you get a little buzz when you discover the solution.
Like all these style of games the dialogue can really be a test of patience as you have to go through loads of choices before the game will move on to the next bit, sometimes missing that one important line needed to move on but can miss this and you have to go through the same lines again and again.
The main issue with the game is that although the game pulls amazingly well the soul and spirit of the 1994 original unfortunately that game back then was a masterpiece but bring it into this year and you see a lot of problems with the combat, story and general gameplay. While this game is an amazing jump back into the original world, so if you loved how Revolution Software moved into the 3D world with the later Broken Sword games then give this a go.