Soul Axiom, a game created by Wales Interactive, screams of promise. The opening sequence is interesting and sucks you right in, but whether it holds on to your attention depends entirely on what kind of games you are interested in. Whilst it may sound like I just defined gaming as a whole, this game has been known to divide its audience. Wales Interactive, an award winning company, is quite popular in the UK, with their accolades including the BAFTA Cymru awards. Whilst I gave their game ‘Coffin Dodgers’ a bad review, I was excited to see what they did with Soul Axiom.
The premise is you play in first-person, through a cyber world called Elysia. You make your way through this world, collecting powers as you go. This game has multiple endings, as it wants you to ‘pick your own destiny’. Sounds cool, right? The main issue is you never really get to explore your powers, even though they are quite unique in comparison to the superhero/superpower’d games that are being produced as of late.
The gameplay is interesting, but repetitive. The actual skills and gameplay that you do to activate your powers is similar to games such as BioShock and Dishonored. Both of these games are special in their own way, and Soul Axiom could have been just as good, if not for the clunky controls and dark atmosphere, which many people have found difficult to navigate through. Whilst this personally did not affect the game for me, it did make me want to turn the game off just a little bit faster, as I prefer games that are constantly light and bright.
But you just know that if Wales Interactive had the capacity to produce AAA games, this game might have been a big seller. It is interesting, it has a great opening and a good story, the puzzles are fun, albeit easy, but there are just small things that come together and bring the game down. Players have taken to forums to have these small bugs patched, but Wales Interactive have stopped responding to many, if not all, posts, so if you buy this game, you should expect the bugs and expect them to stay. I think this is quite disappointing, because I feel like if these small bugs were fixed, the game would pick a lot more attention from fans and better reviews overall, because the quality of story is there, but the gameplay is just not refined.
The graphics could be better, but such is life with many indie games. The soundtrack and ambience suit the story, so I have no complaints in that regard – there is a spooky feel to the game that sticks around for the whole story. The mechanics have room to be improved, but I do feel as though you could easily take the mechanics as they are and have fun with them. But, I know that many people will disagree, as many people already have.
Soul Axiom is interesting, definitely. The game has promise and I feel as though Wales Interactive were on a good train of thought when they designed it. But it does not feel quite finished, and seeing as they have stopped interacting with their fans in their forums, it seems it never will. However, if you can deal with that, I think this game could be a fun addition to your gaming library. If you have enjoyed games such as BioShock and Dishonored, I would recommend buying this to mull you over til Dishonored 2 (Woo!). But, if you are still on the fence about it, try and catch it in a sale.
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