When I started Albedo, I don’t quite know what I was expecting, but I wasn’t expecting this. The premise of this game is that you play as a nightwatchman, named John T. Longy, who works at a research centre named Jupiter. Scientists have been conducting experiments which have had some interesting results and it is not quite abandoned, with monsters roaming the halls.
When you take in to consideration that this game was developed by one man, you cannot help but be a little impressed. The game is short, and takes influence from b-movie/sci-fi films from the sixties. Albedo is reminiscent of games such as BioShock and The Residents, but with a retro feel to it. The visuals for this game are striking, with beautiful colours splashed out all over the screen as you play. Considering this game was made by one person, the visuals are on par with games developed by large teams.
However, the voice-acting is dead-pan at its finest, with John showing practically no emotion as you make your way through the game. Whilst there are humorous moments, it is sometimes hard to tell if they are genuinely funny or because the dialogue was said in such an unemotional way. For example, the game opens with an explosion, causing John to land in the basement. Realising that a co-worker was around him when the explosion happened, John decides to go look for him. But he tells you this in such a bored and unenthusiastic way, you cannot help but feel conflicted before you even get control of John.
Green is the indicator colour in this game, with your menu also being green. Most objects that you can interact with give you the usual list of things you can do with it, such as observe, use and store in the inventory. The menu interface is not particularly fun to use, as you have to scroll through the inventory and then scroll through the options. Albedo is inherently a puzzle game, with adventure mixed in. The main problem I had with this game is that it is not exactly user-friendly. I was playing on easy, which I am very glad I chose, as the game gives you practically no instruction on what to do. You are given an objective, but not told what you need to do to achieve it. From the opening scene, the game leaves it up to you to work out. This is the type of game that requires a tutorial, but we are not given one.
Another issue I had with the game is that it is rough to use. The fighting; the puzzles and moving around all feel rough. With no explanation given on the UI, when you first get control of John, you are bumping in to things, clipping and spending quite some time trying to work out what to do. The first time I played it, I got so frustrated I turned it off and had to come back to it later. Once I understood the UI, it made the game easier but by no means easy. This game is the kind of game you finish once, with half the players not even making it to the end.
When I take in to consideration this was developed by one man, I want to like this game. Sometimes I do. But most of the time, I do not. This game is the video game equivalent of marmite, with people both loving and hating it. Nonetheless, I think the price of the game is too high considering what you are being given, so if you are to play it yourself, I recommend catching it on sale.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 4 code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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