Beyond a Steel Sky (Switch) review

The first golden age of point-and-click adventure was brief. Moments after Lucasfilm Games graduated from Kindergarten at Maniac Mansion, Excavation was in his grave approved by Spielberg. That was from 1987 to 1995. Everyone agrees that the early ’90s were in their situation, even those who mistakenly preferred Sierra Online. (See you soon in the comments!)

Sierra-philes and Lucas fans united in grief in words “Cat hair mustache”, the eternal death knell of the golden age of the genre Gabriel Chevalier 3the infamous doppelgänger sequence. But Beyond a Steel Sky invites you to pretend it never happened. This is a direct sequel to Revolution Software’s beloved 1994 review Under a sky of steel, recreating its charm and depth for 21st century gamers.

The storyline is Douglas Adams meets Phillip K. Dick: Everyone’s trivial worries unfold under the noses of a world-class villainy, defying reality, but it’s all semi-serious. In the distant future, life is a scattering of mega-cities on a wasteland known as the Gap. Cushy city dwellers must bow to the extreme social codes of the mega-bodies that own them, while Gaplanders must fend for themselves in self-sustaining tribes. The story begins with a kidnapping and the resulting efforts of your character Gaplander Foster to infiltrate Union City. It’s a great setup, and the comic book layout inherited from the 1994 prequel is bursting with energy.

While it’s hard not to see Beyond a Steel Sky as point and click, there is no point or click. These are standard two-stick third-person controls, with a leisurely exploration pace. However, the basic concepts of interactive hotspots, verb choices, and inventory are all here. The puzzles are, in the best way possible, like something from 1994. There’s the good old teasing of discovering a new scene and knowing what to do but not how to do it, and the insider satisfaction of unlocking the secret that runs through it. finally brings you in with an NPC.

However, not everything matches the pink hue. In the 2D era, the game world was unfolded screen by screen, and puzzles had pretty clear boundaries. The closed areas here do a similar job, but some are quite large, so squeezing past every last nook – the 3D equivalent of hovering over every pixel – can be difficult. This is sometimes exacerbated by pop-ins: even if your eyes tell you a space is empty, it might not be once you get there – so walk on.

Dialogue can also be a test of patience, something true to the roots of the game. Too often the dialogue trees we assumed were exhausted actually hid the last comment needed to get a new item or trigger the next event. It led to many, many repeated lines. The dialogue is good, but not good enough to withstand this level of overuse.

Nonetheless, Beyond a Steel Sky magically brings its 1994 ancestor back to life. Style, humor, gay dystopia are all rekindled. However, a lot has happened since that early golden age of adventure, and if you want a creative addition to the indie-fueled inventiveness of the modern genre, you should look elsewhere. It’s a game that exactly remembers how great things were in 1994, but doesn’t care much about how great they were last week.


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