Dark Souls has always been a series that is very near and dear to my heart. I have spent countless hours just trying to perfect the movements of each and every single boss to make the next play through even smoother than the last. At first, the punishing difficulty was a bit of a turn-off but after I gave it some patience I was able to create a gaming experience that I will never forget. If anyone else has had a similar experience then allow me to introduce you to a game that you might get a kick out of, Immortal Planet.
Following the Souls recipe, Immortal Planet puts the player into a cool and cyber punk world fraught with enemies, bosses and traps. On the whole, the game presents itself as a very polished 2D isometric game that fits right at home with the souls vibe. Anyone who isn’t too invested in the souls games, allow me to elaborate on the style.
In Immortal Planet your key objective is to make to the end of each level and get past various enemies. The game utilizes a progression system that allows the player to gain experience points from each monster. The moment you die in the game you lose every bit of that experience and only are able to pick back up from where you started by going to the place where you died and finding your experience laying on the ground. These types of games give death a little bit more of a meaning than in other games. When you die you not only get sent back to your check point but now you have to find where you first died in order to level up. Die again, you lose all the experience and start fresh. Now that we got the fun stuff out of the way, what about the game? How does it stand out, what makes it special?
On a graphics front, this game is gorgeous if you are into the dark brooding and cybernetic style. Everything has a purpose and Immortal Planet presents itself in a way that allows you to have an understanding of what is going on in the game by some visual cues. Every monster and boss fit into its environment making the level design smooth on all fronts. It seems like the creators of the game knew exactly where they wanted everything to be set. The cybernetic style adds a nice twist on an already incredible looking game. Question is, does the sound match the drapes?
Imagine this, but with sound!
Inappropriate joke aside, yes they very much do. You see I am kind of a stickler for sound design in a game. I am a firm believer that if a game has horrible sound it is going to be a pretty disappointing game. That being said, Immortal Planet comes out the gate with impressive sounds that brings you right into the game. Creepy and daunting creaks and bangs give a sense of this games mechanical structure. The occasional moan and scream demonstrate its dark and macabre design. Every sword slash, gunshot, and magic bolt seem to have more of an impact. While there really isn’t much music to the game, it more the proves that it doesn’t need music in order to get the vibe and feeling of that it’s looking for. The final step is to see how it plays.
Now, when I say this it is not to be taken so much as a criticism, but more as a hiccup. This game is Dark Souls with an isometric feel, and in some ways that works wonderfully. It is great to get the scope of the game by seeing it from that perspective but the game also gains a little bit more difficulty based on its isometric view. I can understand that a game should be difficult and I am not saying that this game doesn’t get that point across it very much does, but the difficulty shouldn’t come from the inability to hit your mark all the time. Your character has a 360-degree window to move within and can do so in a very smooth manner. The problem is, every enemy, as well as your character, hinges on 4 select positions. When something like this comes into play, it tends to make me feel like I could be doing better at this game if I could just get a solid understanding on where I should be standing to defend against an attack. And, maybe that is all in the fun and difficulty and I am just not seeing it yet. But at this point, it seems like the game has some issues with its hit box detection on the enemies but not so much the character.
That all being said though, this game still stands up to a lot of indie games on a graphical and audio sense. It even stands up to the grand daddy of souls games… Dark…Souls… It is a great achievement for a small company to be able to create a game that will keep players coming back just off of its sheer difficulty. Because you know, were in that kind of society where were into masochism and shit.