Immortal Planet is challenging, but not unforgiving and a patient defensive player with prevail. Those who are familiar with the Souls title will immediately recognize the patient lumber of the enemies who will wait for you to make the first move so that can hit you twice as hard. Their stamina bar is helpfully displayed so that you can better bide your time- and strikes.
Upon starting the game, you’re given the option of three starting weapons, each of which feels significantly different from each other. The story here–the reason why you walk these ruins in the first place – is that you’re the last remaining immortal, awakened t o stave off the ruin’s violent inhabitants.
The game can be controlled with keyboard and mouse or gamepad and, though the latter is recommended, there was a bit of a learning curve involved. You lock onto enemies by pushing the left stick (which is done with your mouse otherwise) towards them. You’ll have to constantly align your character’s facing in order to block and dodge accurately. Dodging into an enemy that is out of stamina can stun them and potentially knock them off of the stage for a quick KO if you position yourself well. You can also “Awake” your weapon if you hold down the attack button, which initiates a wind up then powerful attack. Use these only when you have the drop on the enemy, however, because they will intercept your strike and take advantage of your lowered guard.
In addition to your weapon and shield, you have at your disposal one ranged weapon, healing item, and spell each of which have limited uses that can be recharged at rest areas. These buttons and keys can be rebound at will. You can also play with any combination of utility items you’d prefer, but I’d recommend always having Immortal’s Blood, the game’s healing item, in your kit.
Rest areas allow you to spend your experience points, and change your equipment with the added bonus of restoring all your health and item charges. Using one will repopulate the area with enemies however. These stations essentially allow you to retain your progress and the game falls into a rather grindy routine of defeating enemies until you have enough experience to level up, running back to base to power up, and then either attempting the boss and failing, then starting back at square one or succeeding and moving on to the next area where you’ll do much of the same.
The amount of grinding you need to do varies with skill level, naturally, so a veteran may be able to level up only a few times whereas a newbie may require more preparation. It’s nice that the game allows you to progress at your own pace, but that also means that your own pace can be your undoing.
Because it is set in a post-apocalyptic world, the majority of Immortal Planet is dismal and mechanical, lacking any flora or fauna. Enemies are a mashup futuristic tech, automatons created to stave off intruders, and genetic experiments gone wrong. There’s nothing aesthetically astonishing about the game, but it does a serviceable job of creating the moody atmosphere of a world on the brink of total destruction. There also isn’t a soundtrack to speak of, but instead the howl of the wind and the groaning of the ancient building which is interrupted by the occasional clash of combat.
This is definitely a slower rogue-like/lite in comparison to recent releases like Ruin of the Reckless or Dead Cells and there is a distinct lack of variety in terms of picking up new equipment and switching it out on the fly–but that’s not a bad thing. Combat will still get your adrenaline pumping, but more in the way a slow face-off against a large animal would.
- Comnbat has a solid feel. Impact is powerful.
- The atmosphere is great. The game sets up “desolate and despairing” really well.
- Progression can be saved in the form of spent experience points.
- There’s a healthy amount of challenge in the normal game mode and a nightmare mode for those with a masochistic streak,
- Enemies tend to resort to cheap tricks like keeping you stun-locked.
- You can fall off the edge of a level while dashing across a gap and lose all of your experience accumulated.
- Game is slower paced. This is subjective and heavily dependent on skill level. Using a rest area reswpans enemies, forcing you to choose between proceeding straight to the boss and possibly losing your progress or fighting the same enemies over and over again.
- Limited number of weapons/spells/secondary weapons when comparing to a roguelike.
For those who are more familiar with the Souls games, this is a solid purchase and for those like myself, who are utter garbage at those games, Immortal Planet has a safety net that will make progression a little more possible. From a subjective standpoint, the game is a solid Souls-like, but from a personal perspective this was a bit too slow-paced and the small pool of equipment to choose made plus for the aformentiontion gameplay cycle made progression tedious.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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