While seeking life on a distant planet, an astronaut discovers an abandoned Russian town. He suspects his mission is a hoax until a mysterious young woman saves him from a strange and deadly phenomenon… Lifeless Planet is a third-person action-adventure that features an old-school sci-fi story and spectacular environments in the spirit of classic action-adventures.
In Lifeless Planet players are tasked with exploring a mysterious planet with a combination of traversing the environment and solving small puzzles using a robotic arm. It is simplistic in its gameplay, with the majority of the game being about timed jumps. The robotic arm is only used at set points to solve some door combination locks and pick up mysterious energy balls to place in obelisk type structures.
The main elements of Lifeless Planet are being immersed in the stunning views of the Planets 20 unique environments and the games story, which is it’s strong point. if you think less of playing a game and more of an interactive story you’ll not be far off. Lifeless Planet’s story gets you thinking to begin with, wondering what’s going on and how things will pan out, and as the story unravels things start to click. It is excellently executed and definitely lives up to what Lifeless Planet creator, David Board set out to do.
The visuals have been upgraded for Xbox One with ‘normal mapping’ making for a noticable difference between the original and Xbox One versions. Also introduced into the Xbox One version are a number of audio and text logs, that add more depth to the immersive storyline. The Audio is great, from the unexplained eerie noises heard throughout to the natural sounds like wind and rocks falling etc. the music heard throughout the game is fantastic. Newly composed for the premier edition of Lifeless Planet, it really captures the games spirit of early SC-FI movies and TV shows.
Lifeless Planet is a wonderful experience. Pulling you into the story and spitting you out at the end wanting more. it is short, and as one of its achievements point out can be completed in under 4 hours if you speed run it. It will last longer if you take in the game and go off exploring. There are collectibles to find in the form of ‘science samples’ and ‘documents’ if you do.
I played solidly for around 10 hours and only found a couple of glitches where I got stuck and had to reset, but to be fair these were remote areas away from the main path. Speaking of which, although each area is open there is a sense of guidance. At some points it’s really subtle, like at the begginning of the game the path there is only slightly lighter than the rest of the terrain, and at other points there’s a definite ‘this way’ path to follow.
As I said earlier, I thoroughly enjoyed the story and the way it is played out and ‘told’ is spot on. It’s replayability is a little non existent, in the sense that you wouldn’t read the same book twice over. It is definitely a different game to the ‘norm’.