Developed by Final Boss Games
Release Date: 1/19/18
Greetings gamers, and happy new year!
To kick off this year, We’ll be going over a fairly new release: Vesta.
At first, I assumed Vesta would be equal parts dungeon crawler, platformer, and puzzler. As it turns out, I was only partially correct. Vesta is, at its core, a game of puzzles, taking place on a space station in the midst of what can best be described as an energy crisis, and you play (primarily) as Vesta, the last (human) survivor. You’re goal is to collect enough energy in each level to activate the gate that takes you to the next level, and then repeat the process, roughly 120 times (if the floor number labeling system is accurate). As far as puzzle games go, it’s a well built one, and filled with little intricacies that sometimes obscure that fact, but behind all the mechanics and snippets of story, each level is a not-so-straightforward lesson in thinking ever-so-slightly-more outside the box, and beyond your expectations. The first few levels are easy enough: collect the energy and find the exit, but as the game progresses you gain a companion, enemies, and multiple holding slots, and soon it becomes a balancing act requiring planning, foresight, and even a bit of strategy.
On a technical level, Vesta shows great potential; some of the environments are quite visually detailed, and a handful of the cut scenes are as well. For the most part though, things look a bit on the bland side. The still frames aren’t particularly engaging, and the animation at times feels a tad clunky. The music isn’t bad, though it’s nothing worth writing home about; it breaks up the monotony of levels and is pleasant, but otherwise it’s nothing noteworthy.
As far as story goes, because some people care about that it seems, Vesta makes almost as many good choices as it does bad. I found the story itself intriguing, and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I wanted to see the world, and the circumstances behind it, unfold. That said, the pace at which said story was revealed felt agonizingly slow; as virtually everything seemed to be revealed through found terminal logs. Also somewhat agonizing to bear was witnessing the interactions between several of the characters; nearly all of BOT’s (the NPC responsible for sending you on your journey) remarks come off as unjustifiably caustic (from the amount of story I’ve cleared so far anyway), not to mention slightly repetitive.
Which brings us to mechanics! Fortunately, Vesta adds just enough to each level to keep things from getting stale; whether it’s the inclusion of collectibles, station logs, or new functions for you to master in order to survive, by the time you feel comfortable with what you know, Vesta adds more to your plate.
Overall, the game is decent. It’s not great, and it’s nowhere near the likes of Portal or The Talos Principal, or even Thomas Was Alone. But it’s good in it’s right and if you’re new to platformers and like occasionally controlling a robot that can shoot missiles at other robots, this is probably a good game for you to get into.
Overall Score: 6/10