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    dkirschner's Lifeless Planet (PC)

    [June 5, 2018 11:02:29 AM]
    In Lifeless Planet, you play as an American (?) astronaut crash landed on the titular lifeless planet (surprise: it's not Mars!). Your crew is dead, but there's something perplexing. Your scans showed the planet teeming with life, but it appears barren! As you begin to explore this linear puzzle platformer world, you come across signs that the Russians attempted to colonize the planet during the Cold War after discovering a mysterious portal. The story unfolds from there, as you learn what they set upon doing on the planet, and how everything went wrong. It's actually a sad little story with a surprising amount of emotional punch.

    The game nails its atmosphere. It's eerie from the beginning, with equal parts wonder and dread. When you see your first alien construct and the bass rumbles and the orchestral strings rise, you'll feel like you stepped into 2001: A Space Odyssey or something newer like Interstellar or Arrival. I played it on my TV with surround sound, and the bass shook the walls. I can't say enough great things about the score. The visuals look bland and textureless up close, but actually create beautiful landscapes and vistas in the right spots. Some of the game takes place on high places, and you should take the time to look around.

    Cool stuff aside, the puzzle platforming is only mediocre. I lost a lost of time redoing platforming sections because the space man is imprecise to control. You can jump and boost once with your jetpack (and multiple times when you get some extra jet fuel for longer platforming sections). It's hard to control his direction. Like, if you jump a little to the left of your target, you can't really correct mid-jump. You'll die a lot because of this. The puzzles are generally easy, and only difficult when you didn't see something that wasn't obvious. For example, I spent about 45 minutes on the crater level trying to walk a wire tightrope to get across a chasm. But that wasn't the solution. Turns out there was a tiny button on a tiny shack inside the crater and then off through a gap to the right. Granted, there was some steam which, in retrospect, signaled to go over there, but the game led me to believe I could walk across this wire. I was to the point of thinking it was bugged, and it's the only thing I looked up online. After I'd started trying to cross the wire, every time I died, it would respawn me on the wire! Why would it respawn me on the wire if that wasn't a checkpoint? I couldn't cross it because another wire came down from above connecting to the one I was walking. I even figured out where the high wire came from, and got really good at getting up to its origin. But then, oddly, I couldn't walk on it; I'd fall through it. This was weird because I could walk on the lower wire, and where the two wires connected, the upper wire stopped me. It also stopped me if I jumped from underneath it and hit it. But I couldn't walk on top of it.

    Other puzzle elements and tools to solve them include: ability to pick up and push some objects; a couple 'place/push blocks in correct order' puzzles; a robotic arm tool to push buttons and move objects that your space man can't reach; dangerous plant life that lashes out at you, but if it misses, creates a root bridge you can traverse; power stations to turn on; etc. There could definitely have been more puzzles, or more complicated ones.

    Anyway, I definitely enjoyed Lifeless Planet, despite its flaws. It's slow paced and goes longer than it should (clocked 5 hours, 44 minutes, but I'd say it should have been condensed to 4 hours or so). Makes me want a good space exploration game!

    * Oh yeah, the ending is really cool. It gave me chills. *

    This entry has been edited 1 time. It was last edited on Jun 5th, 2018 at 11:05:53.

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    dkirschner's Lifeless Planet (PC)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Monday 4 June, 2018

    GameLog closed on: Tuesday 5 June, 2018

    dkirschner's opinion and rating for this game

    Great atmosphere. Eerie. Enjoying the story, if it is dragging. ------------ Cool game, neat ending!

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

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