With Cyberpunk 2077 on the horizon, I promised myself I’d take a deep dive into the cyberpunk genre—a genre of class inequality, overruling corporations, and loads of neon. Cyberpunk comes in all flavors—some humorous, some serious, and some mind-bending. Soul Axiom: Rebooted earns its place in the third category. Combining the aesthetic of cyberpunk with the gameplay of The Talos Principle sounds weird on paper, but I appreciate the final product the developers Wales Interactive gave us. However, I do have a few issues.
Soul Axiom: Rebooted starts with you waking up on some sort of ship. And no, not a sci-fi ship like the cyberpunk marketing would have you believing, but an honest-to-god sea ship—a galleon. One thing leads to another, and suddenly you find yourself flung off the ship after a disastrous crash. From then on, the game finds every excuse to take you through different timelines: neon cities, Mayan temples, Egyptian pyramids, and vice versa.
There is a story intertwined with the random (and gorgeous) set pieces, though if you’re not the type to inspect every collectible you pick up, you’ll easily miss out on 95% of it and won’t know what’s going on. Though, I guess The Talos Principle suffered from the same kind of problem. The aforementioned random set pieces are linked by proximity, with each “teleporter” being located 5 feet from the next. The purpose of visiting these places? To find random puzzle pieces that will lead to one of the few endings Soul Axiom: Rebooted touts on its Steam page.
The game feels aimless, and with the lore of the world hidden in collectables that are themselves hidden pretty well, many players will only feel confused by the end of a play session.
However, Soul Axiom: Rebooted makes up for it with its art style which, while not mind-blowing or spectacular, has its moments. Overall, however, the art style is very basic, sporting a simple polygonal look. It’s not the best, but it’s not trying to be.
I do wish the praises I gave to the art style could be given to the sound style, but alas, it leaves a lot to be desired. There’s nothing special about the sound design, and some sounds (such as the walking) sounds low quality, like a LimeWire download from the early 2000’s.
Now, let’s talk about the bread and butter of Soul Axiom: Rebooted: the gameplay. The gameplay consists of you solving puzzles using one of three powers you acquire through the game. The powers you acquire are, in order:
- Reconstruction & deconstructing, signified by a blue aura,
- Freezing and resuming, signified by a green aura,
- Igniting and destroying, signified by a red/orange aura.
These powers allow for some truly unique puzzles, though I found most of said puzzles lacking in the difficulty department. I’m not the best at puzzles games—you don’t have to twist my arm to admit that—so I found it odd I was able to breeze through most of the puzzles.
When it comes to the length of the game, you can look at spending around 20-30 hours in the game before you hit one of the many endings the game has. I do admit, I didn’t play through the game multiple times to unlock all of the endings, but if you’re someone who likes doing that, you’ll find many hours of entertainment in the game.
All in all, I can’t say Soul Axiom: Rebooted blew me away. It’s setting, concept, and puzzles held potential, but the end result leaves us with a decent, but forgettable experience through a cyberpunk future.
If you’re a fan of walking simulators based off puzzles, you may enjoy Soul Axiom: Rebooted.
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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Soul Axiom Rebooted Review
Gameplay - 6/10
Graphics - 6/10
Sound - 2/10
Replay Value - 6/10
A cyberpunk landscape, mysterious powers, and time travelling make for a decent, but forgettable experience
- Art style allows for some breathtaking moments
- Plethora of puzzles
- Lots of endings
- Terrible sound quality
- Easy puzzles
- Aimless plot, world