Journey To The Savage Planet Review: When No Man’s Sky has offered to explore unknown environments, Journey To The Savage Planet takes the opposite bet, with a single world, dense and varied. This is the first title from Typhoon Studios, formed by former members of Ubisoft, Warner Bros, or Electronic Arts. Test transformed for the team?
You are on a mission. And not just any: you are the daunting task of exploring a distant world, on behalf of your employer, Kindred Aerospace. The company, led by eccentric Martin Tweed, has sent hundreds of astronauts through the galaxy to radiate the human species and gather as much scientific knowledge as possible. This is how you wake up in your ship, heavily damaged by the passage of the atmosphere. And while inspecting the area, you discover a huge building where an overwhelming energy is hidden. The blood of Martin Tweed only goes around: “You have to find out what’s inside.”
A beautiful and living world
So you go on an adventure! One thing stands out when we launch Journey To The Savage Planet: Despite a fairly modest technique, the title has a real visual aspect. The first environments are beautiful, varied, ranging from snow to lush forest, from underground to valleys overlooked by giant mushrooms. And even if Typhoon Studios has used pop or even showy colors, we are far from the colorful gloubi boulga that The Outer Worlds had offered us. Journey To The Savage Planet emphasizes striking plans, with an artistic direction that sometimes works wonders. Even if the last third of the game is not that inspired, either artistically or in terms of level design.
Something else that stands out (and sometimes even literally does) are beings. This is a second point on which Typhoon Studios places its personality. Indeed, the world of Savage Planet is populated by bizarre animals, which quickly grow to be fascinating. Some shout over time and multiply when they are shot, others float elegantly in the air and go wherever they want. But not everyone is peaceful. During your adventure, you have to fight against different creatures, including three bosses, who make up three-thirds of the game. Ultimately, if the living things on the planet are not particularly numerous (there is no question of a complete ecosystem that regulates itself), the whole pleasantly underlines the player’s progress. And in terms of progress, Typhoon Studios knows how to do it.
Equipment improvement and progression
Because it’s all very good to visit light-years from Earth, but you have a mission! And to find out what’s in the middle of this tower, you need a lot of equipment. At the first moments, you start with the minimum: a gun (the only way to defend yourself during the ten hours of the game) and what you need to scan the flora and fauna. The beginning of the title is therefore dedicated to trial and error and to discovering the rules that govern the planet. A particularly fascinating phase, because it is sometimes the environment itself that teaches us the rules of the world of Typhoon Studios. By looking at how creatures deal with certain plants or substances, we understand their usefulness, such as when “extraterrestrial birds” bounce on a greenish mass for fun. The game teaches us that this mass allows us to reach platforms that were previously out of reach.
All Savage Planet’s progress is therefore based on the use of organic materials. So there is something to make trampolines, to make hooks appear or even to fix enemies. Some substances can be picked up in nature and used immediately, and others require specific items, often part of the main quest, to control. This requires certain skills to overcome the key points of the adventure. The same rule applies to a handful of objects (grab, jetpack, propellant gas to make a load on the ground) that you absolutely must restore to see the end of the game. Note that these mandatory elements are also subject to the harvest of four resources (aluminum, silicon, carbon, and extraterrestrial alloy) scattered throughout the planet. The problem, if the player does not have enough for an important object, he must walk back. A painful dead end, especially if it is aluminum, a rarer element than the other, that is missing.
And fighting in all this?
Because yes, we were talking about enemies and bosses, and your gun is not there to decorate! As you explore, you encounter various creatures, some of which will attack you immediately. It is, therefore, necessary to play the trigger to get rid of it: After you have accumulated sufficient resources, you can improve the power of your weapon and the reload speed. Note that the new alien substances you acquire will help you against the most difficult monsters. You unlock an equivalent of bombs, enough to hold and therefore immobilize your opponent, or an electric seed that stops the fastest enemies for a few moments. Finally, the battles will gain in dynamism as the player progresses: in addition to a double jump, the jetpack makes it possible to quickly evade left, right, and back. But everything quickly gets rough when different beings surround you.
The art of renewing exploration
Expanding your paraphernalia will certainly help you to continue the game, but above all to unravel all the secrets it contains. Indeed, drawn from Metroidvania, the title of Typhoon Studios offers to find its steps back to get bonuses, whether these are the famous remedies mentioned earlier or “the orange bad luck”, a kind of alien quarter of heart that serves to increase life and endurance. A combination that is used sparingly in Journey To The Savage Planet, so that the player is not intimidated by the number of objects that he must obtain. And to prevent the painful back and forth, Typhoon Studios has integrated a teleporter system to quickly travel from one area to another on the planet.
If going back isn’t the funniest thing in the world, it’s much more profitable to fall into the air and have fun with the entertainment hook. This is indeed the strong point of the jetpack and the grab, the two most important improvements we get during the game. With the first one you can make a double jump and thus catch up just before a fatal fall, which becomes increasingly clear as you climb the famous tower (use the verticality of the title casually). And the grab not only invites you to advance in height, but also invites you to glide on extraterrestrial membranes, just to accelerate and give dynamics to movement.
Alone or in collaboration
Another good point from Journey To The Savage Planet: it is possible to enjoy the entire campaign online with a friend. However, the title offers no emoticons, making it almost mandatory to use a microphone.
Moreover, no special objects are needed to discover secrets in the title. Sometimes a little distance from the main road is enough to find a cave whose heart contains an enigma and a treasure. When such areas are nearby, a question mark appears on the player’s radar (a simple bar at the top of the screen, in the Bethesda tradition). This radar is the only way to find your way on the planet. And so much better. Journey To The Savage Planet is in this sense a pure exploration game, in which you rely more on your curiosity than on the pointer on your map.
Finally, there is one thing that we have not touched so far: the humor of Savage Planet, which is an integral part of his identity. This good humor manifests itself in different layers of the game, from the artificial intelligence that follows us during the adventure to the sounds of creatures that fluctuate between funny nonsense and bad taste (sounds of pets). But it is undoubtedly the ship, the area where we return to every death and where we make improvements that crystallize this choice of tone the most. While the player keeps coming back, various video & # 39; s are broadcast on the screen: absurd (and often very funny) advertisements from Kindred Aerospace partners, and especially the video messages from Martin Tweed, CEO of the company. Another good idea to mark the player’s progress, with a good mood.
- A real visual leg …
- A good exploration game
- Absurd and fascinating creatures
- Omnipresent humor
- Which unfortunately has no steam at the end
- A less interesting last third
- Sometimes rough fights
Typhoon Studio provides a pleasant and controlled experience for the first game. Journey To The Savage Planet is a good reconnaissance game, in which our curiosity (and no pointer on the map) encourages us to explore. Technically not flawless but convincing on an artistic level, the title is often fascinating to continue, even if the last third is not that inspired. Everything is further underlined by humor that often hits the mark, dynamic battles, and progression through which the character evolves, as well as our way to approach the levels. In short, a great adventure for lovers of space exploration and unusual universes.