P.A.M.E.L.A is a unique sci-fi, open world adventure, where you venture through the fallen utopia of Eden, plagued with a deadly disease. Your main goal is to survive alone in this world and help rebuild Eden. This game shows great promise of being Mass Effect meets Fallout 4, however, has not reached its full potential yet as it is still in development.
You start the game by being awakened from a cyro-sleep chamber at the Medical Clinic and begin the journey of exploring the remains of Eden. Immediately discovering dead bodies standing, lying in disfigured positions, creates an eerie presence, and raises a lot of questions. It is unknown to us, what has happened, however, the A.I overseer of Eden, P.A.M.E.L.A is the only form of life that is willing to help us and reveal what happened to Eden. There is no linear storyline in P.A.M.E.L.A, therefore, the player has the choice to immerse themselves in the plot through flexible mediums such as audio logs, NPCs, computer terminals, documents etc. This allows the player to understand the story through their own pace and finding answers for themselves, rather than being tied to continuous cutscenes.
The gameplay of P.A.M.E.L.A is like other survival exploration titles, the player has to survive by combat and collecting food and drinks to replenish our health, hunger and thirst levels. The player also must scavenge Eden for materials, such as glass, circuits and plastic to craft items and weapons that will aid your journey in Eden. However, to craft anything, you also need to find the materials to create a crafting table to create further items, so players have to work hard and plan ahead to get anything done. As well as crafting important items and weapons, you can also rebuild Eden by restoring power at power stations and fixing Cyrano tubes around the map. P.A.M.E.L.A’s gameplay is presented in a unique way, with the use of tools, such as the AARM and the hologram you can scan the areas for hidden items and craft items in any location, furthermore, upgrade any weapons and equipment that you own to aid your journey on the go.
P.A.M.E.L.A offers tutorials at the start of the game for the controls to make the experience easier for the player. You can also incorporate the use of the controller, which is a lot easier to handle compared to the keyboard. The controls are simple, work smoothly and easily customisable. When you first open the inventory and customisation screen, it is extremely daunting and confusing at first, but it is quite simple. To equip an item such as a weapon or a utility item, all you have to do is drag the item to the correct function box. Accessing the hologram function by pressing TAB or SELECT (controller), allows you to look at the player’s stats, view the map and can view tutorials, if you’re stuck on something in the game. One aspect that was disliked was the melee attack, you press RB which allows you to use your fists. However, the speed at which you throw punches is slow compared to the enemy who is able to throw more punches and kicks, which drains health faster. Situations like this really forces the player to require to weapons as early as possible.
P.A.M.E.L.A is visually stunning, with clean graphics and style inspired by Mirror’s Edge and Mass Effect. The calm music adds to the eerie atmosphere, creating a sense of solitude but also comforting, especially when feeling uneasy at confronting an enemy. There were a few aspects in P.A.M.E.L.A that personally bothered me. One aspect is what happens when you die, you start from where you woke up, losing your inventory and this isn’t even Permadeath, which is optional. However, losing inventory can be avoided by placing items back into storage containers, by dragging the items into them. Incorporating strategy, planning and building a small base around the respawn locations is a good way for players to throw themselves back in the game and not spend extra time trying to find new items. Otherwise, the player has the option to kill the specific enemy that killed you, which may be a challenge to reach to with limited supplies. However, when the enemy is defeated, your well-earned inventory will be returned. You can unlock new respawn locations across Eden by creating scavenging cyro-cores; unlocking new locations will certainly save time in the long run.
P.A.M.E.L.A has shown open world survival in a new light, allowing players to venture through a beautiful world map of science fiction fantasy, fighting a range of enemies and scavenging to survive. With a detailed crafting and upgrade system, and the freedom to explore the map, the player has a lot of options of how they choose to explore and rebuild Eden. Although there is difficulty with melee combat and having to start over when you die, the difficulty can be altered and there is a middle ground for every gamer, beginner or advanced. P.A.M.E.L.A is still in development, however currently available on Steam. Therefore, we can still look forward to new locations, weapons and features in feature on the way, so this game is definitely one to keep an eye on.
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