Developer: Mighty Polygon | Publisher: Deep Silver | Release Date: August 3, 2020 | Genre: First-Person Puzzle| Reviewed On PS4 Pro
The copy of Relicta used for this review was provided by the publisher.
Relicta comes from Spanish developer Mighty Polygon which was founded in 2015. Five years later they created their first game which became Relicta. It is a first-person puzzle game in the same vein as Portal or The Talos Principle. Instead of using portals, you are using gravity magnetism to navigate the environments.
Relicta is played from a first-person perspective like the aforementioned titles. You use the L2 and R2 buttons to change the polarity of objects with your state of the art gravity gloves. You also have objects such as launchers the allow you to move crates at high speed, and you can even surf on them if you jump on top of them. This is a great way to get from point A to B. You can also manipulate gravity with the R1 button, this allows you to drop crates and give your crates the momentum to move/float. There are also some obstacles that can prevent you from completing the puzzles. They range from force fields of various colors to droids that’ll reset your crates polarity.
The difficulty ramps up at a fast pace, and there were many times (especially at mid to end game) that I found myself stuck. A hint system would be a great addition to aid less skilled players to complete the puzzles and get through the story. Overall, it plays well, and when you solve a puzzle it feels very satisfying.
The graphics are beautiful with a lot of variation ranging from an arid desert and a jungle beach, to industrial and futuristic labs. If you have a PS4 Pro, you can run this game at a variable 60 frames per second or go for a higher resolution at 30. The framerate is more consistent at higher res mode. During my playthrough, I encountered some dips and tearing with the performance mode.
Relicta’s story is one of its strengths and is told through radio conversations (similar to Firewatch) and collectible journal entries. The game takes place on the south pole of the moon on a lunar base known as Chandra Base. You play as a physicist named Angelica Patel who is on a mission to save her daughter. The base is on lockdown with the discovery that Relicta is possibly a living organism that is being pursued by Angelica’s organization, the UHA. It has a similar feel to the film Alien with dialogue that is ruggedly realistic like The Martian. Both coincidently Ridley Scott films. It has some elements of 2001 as well. There’s even a direct reference to The Martian which I won’t spoil.
The game does sport some replay value with the collectibles that are easily missed to get the game’s platinum trophy. The game took about 12 hours to complete and is well priced at $19.99.
Overall, Relicta is a solid game with satisfying gameplay that pushes your lateral thinking but might frustrate players unfamiliar with the genre. It has an intriguing and suspenseful story and is of good length. Any fan of puzzle games will find a lot to chew threw.