Indie-ana Jones Reviews: Lifeless Planet
Updated: Jun 7, 2018
You are an astronaut, you and your crew spent 15 years traveling to a distant planet that can support life. When you reach the planet something goes wrong and you crash land. When you wake up your crew is nowhere to be found. So your journey begins, you must find your crew and figure out a way to survive or get back to Earth. While searching you stumble upon a greater mystery, you wander into a Russian town. It is a ghost town and not a soul to be found or is there? To get home you must solve the mysteries of the planet.
I really loved the environments you travel across. You cross ice fields, deserts, Russian facilities and so many others. They are all pretty and/or eerie and just adds to the mystery! It really shows the power of the Unity engine. There is nothing better than standing on a cliff overlooking a beautiful landscape. The Russian facilities are creepy and give you the feeling of an Alien movie or a Doom game.
Lifeless Planet makes you feel like there was something terrible around every corner. The music makes you anxious and fits the mood perfectly. About half way through you realize that there isn’t really going to be anything lurking around the next corner and you just get on with the adventure and then bam you are getting killed. I was hoping for Lifeless Planet to be more like Amnesia: The Dark Descent, it is a little disappointing that it isn’t but this isn’t horror it is an adventure.
It has a bare-bones story and a lot of the time I was wishing that there was more dialogue. A lot of the explanation comes in the form of guesses and documents/recordings scattered around. I loved the recordings because they are spoken in Russian but translated on your data pad. It just added a little something to the story and added a bit of eeriness. The sad thing is the other survivor does not speak your language, I wish they had translated her dialogue. It might have been a gameplay mechanic to make the world seem even more isolated but still disappointing.
The space walking/jumping is fun and at time frustrating but more often fun. I really liked boosting around and seeing how far I could go. Near the end though it gets annoying, there are large expanses to cover for no reason other than stretching out the game length. The empty areas a lot of the times have you running back and forth because you didn’t see something you needed to pick up.
Controlling your character is pretty easy and the controls work surprisingly well. There isn’t a whole lot of technical bits so the controls are not super tight like they would need to be in a shooter or platformer. Plus, you are in space so you are a bit floatier than normal. There are a few wonky things, the rocks that you push around to get to higher areas are a pain to get onto and to stay on. Other than that there really isn’t any other issues with the controls.
I truly enjoyed Lifeless Planet, it is even more impressive that it was made by one man essentially. The game from end to end is enjoyable, some parts much better than others but what game doesn’t have slow parts? Lifeless planet is a game that I think everyone should experience, at a minimum it will show people that if they have a great idea for a game they can achieve it. You will get about 6-8 hours of gameplay out of it and for $20 that is well worth it (you get about that much out of $60 game). If you are still on the fence or don’t have the cash I am sure in a few months there will be a Steam sale and you have to pick it up then. If you are looking for a fun eerily beautiful adventure then Lifeless Planet is for you!