Lifeless Planet is an early release beautifully created title developed solely by David Board. In its early release state, it is available on Steam for $12.99. Please be aware that the images within this article are screenshots from in game which could be considered spoilers.
The initial twenty minutes of Lifeless Planet seemed much like a walking simulator to me. Walk here, follow tracks, re supply your oxygen and learn to use your burst jet pack. In the back of my head I was thinking “Is this all the game has to offer?” That was until I reached the deserted town and got that eerie feeling. Weird things began to happen including a black cloud much like the monster from the TV series LOST, tormenting me a bit. At this point I realized that there was much more to Lifeless Planet than simple exploration.
The game gives you a true feeling of isolation. There is no mini map, no compass and really no way for you to tell what direction you are going. It is an uncomfortable feeling, one which I welcomed with open arms. All you have to guide you through the game are tracks and glowing balls of light focusing your attention on a certain area and or item. I have to say, if the developer was looking to place us in an environment where we were truly out of our element, he did a nice job.
While wandering around this planet you will encounter challenges such as finding a way to jump a large gap between stones without falling to your death. You will be granted enhanced jet pack abilities for a short time of the game as well as a mechanical arm which will help you figure out some pretty simple puzzles. Both of these abilities simply add a little something extra to the game to help you along your way.
This beta includes no combat what so ever. No weapons, no melee, simply explore, figure things out and follow the storyline as it comes to you. Lifeless Planet offers an excellent story keeping your hands on the keyboard and mouse in anticipation of what you will find and learn next.
Graphically, this game is very nice. Actually, it is pretty impressive to think that everything within this game is created by one man. That being the case adds a little something extra to the game, simply knowing that everything you are experiencing has come from the mind of a single developer. In my eyes, that surely deserves some credit to the game itself. Below you will find a gallery of in game screenshots I had taken through out my 3 1/2 hours of gameplay taking me to the end of beta, which in fact was a nice cliffhanger, keeping you interested and anxious to finish the story when it releases in full on June 6th, 2014.
This is an impressions piece on Lifeless Planets beta, but to be completely honest with you, the game plays and looks as if it is a completed piece of work. When receiving beta titles from developers in this space, you not often find such a polished, complete, enjoyable game.
Sound and voice acting through out the game are excellent. The light sounds of the wind or the crackling sound of electricity give the game a perfect, lost in space feeling to go along with both the story and overall lost feeling you experience. Voice acting is well done and fitting of the characters and voice logs. I often don’t pay to much attention to voice acting in games, but since Lifeless Planet has very subtle sounds through out I found myself listing to every word spoken.
I played Lifeless Planet using mouse and keyboard and had no problems during the experience. The controls offered are simple and familiar making it easy to simply jump into the game and play.
If I were to review this title as a completed game I would give it a perfect score. For it’s price tag of 13 bucks, there is no way you can miss out on the experience. Since the game is still in beta I will have to reserve a score until the game has had a full release with everything in a completed state.
While venturing through the fantastic “lifeless” world you will ask yourself many questions, one of them being, “Is this place really lifeless”?