Journey to the Savage Planet Review: 31 Savage
Exploration in extraterrestrial environments pirates us, so when we saw a new proposal coming into the genre like this Journey to the Savage Planetspacesuits our space suits were trembling with excitement. What we did not expect is that this new stop was so crazy, thanks to the friends of Typhoon Studios. This relatively new team is captained by Alex Hutchinson, who had worked at Ubisoft on titles such as Assassin's Creed III or Far Cry 4. Journey to the Savage Planet puts us in the shoes of anonymous space explorers, hired by the shameful company Kindred for a seemingly simple mission: to explore a planet in which there is no intelligent life. But ... oh, surprise! When he wakes up, he finds himself in a strange environment, in which there are remains of a mysterious civilization. To make matters worse, your ship has been damaged and without fuel, so if you want to return to your home, you must find different parts and materials, while investigating who is responsible for having left mysterious gadgets on the planet ... possible to enjoy the adventure alone or in an online cooperative for 2, but the development does not change.
We always move in subjective perspective and, as is usually common in exploration games, we have to alternate moments of pure investigation through the scenarios, with others of jumping and combat. Our hero is equipped with a spacesuit to which we can add new utilities, such as a jetpack to perform a long double jump or the possibility of getting hooked with certain surfaces. This is one of the most interesting facets of the game because each time we will be able to execute more actions and we will end up reaching places that were in front of us at the beginning but seemed totally inaccessible.
The planet is gigantic and, although it is possible to reach most of the sites with our own abilities, the most practical thing is to activate and take advantage of the 20 teleporters that are scattered. At this point we have to launch a critique: although we are invited to browse and explore and, in fact, this leads us to find very satisfying secret places, sometimes the jumps require a lot of precision.
If we do not succeed, we can fall into an area that is "windy" than we were doing and force us to reorient ourselves and reflect on where the hell was the nearest teleporter. Since it is an adventure and exploration game in which there is no fast travel or maps or minimaps of any kind (something that the game cries out, even though we have a compass), sometimes getting lost can be a bit frustrating. Even so, if we explore well and use our intuition to examine the environment, we can find many secret routes and items that improve our health or help us build new tools. It is assumed that the game can be overcome in 10 hours if we are going to get a bag, but it will probably take longer (we almost double) if you want to see in-depth all the routes it has to offer. To help with our task, we have an environment scanner, which allows us to analyze objects and enemies to better understand how they work or what their weaknesses may be. In addition, by pressing the stick we have a quick indication of where our main and secondary objectives are.
As for the action, Journey to the Savage Planet goes to the point: we only have one weapon, called Nomad which we can improve. It is not as flexible as we saw in Control, but it allows us to launch normal or charged shots and improve both our damage and the number of shots. It has unlimited ammo, but every X shots, we have to reload and that steals a couple of seconds.
In the left hand, we can also carry throwing tools, such as bait to attract extraterrestrial animals, pomegranate plants or seeds that turn certain surfaces into anchor points. Combining all this is crucial not only to fight, but also to explore.
Most of the moments of action are quite simple, but each alien bug has its own routine: there are those that fly and launch projectiles, others teleport, others have a protective layer that requires a suitable projectile ... And, of course, There are also huge and dingy final bosses, which should be scanned right away to understand how to attack them. In those moments, the difficulty is usually triggered, which brings us back to the problem that the game would need some more balance in its difficulty curve. It is usually pleasant, but sometimes the challenges become unnecessarily complicated, with some final bosses that can take you too many minutes to defeat.
And what happens if we die? Well, Kindred will create a clone of us (yes, Bioshock style ) on our ship, so that we return to the point where we stay and, if we can, retrieve the items we carried when we died. When "resurrecting", we will receive some very funny messages of support. And there is the great strength of Journey to the Savage Planet: its constant sense of humor, which makes this adventure almost more comic than epic. The good fault of it is EKO, the artificial intelligence that is advising us during the adventure, which does not stop sarcastic comments and even pop references in front of everything we find. The messing also takes place on our ship, where we can receive spam in our mail, watch absolutely crazy television ads (watch out for vegan burgers made with authentic vegan meat).
And, of course, the design of the alien creatures is also very colorful and fun, with special prominence of the "space chicks" that we can kick, hit and crush in the moments of greatest black humor.
On a graphic level, this space adventure uses the Unreal Engine to display huge environments and bright colors, with high-resolution textures, but with surfaces and characters that clearly do not have as much detail as the most advanced AAA adventures. Still, it shows surreal and friendly worlds. The sound section presents us with very funny voices, but only in English. Of course, the menus and subtitles are in a hilarious Castilian that has adapted word games and references of all kinds very well (to see who finds the tribute to singer Patricia Manterola). The music has a very funny border "tex-mex" tone, although it is true that it is repeated too much.
Together, Journey to the Savage Planet is a game a little smaller than others of its "species" (its creators say that it is intended for "people who work and can not be 100 hours with a game"), but that has a very particular charisma and offers plenty of fun for entertainers during a good season. It is a game with some DNA of Mass Effect or No Man's Sky, mixed with the craziest Far Cry, but at the same time knows how to be unique. With a little more polishing in its difficulty and a more advanced technical finish, it could have been one of the last surprises of the current generation.