Adr1ft arrives from developers Three One Zero and is published by 505 games. Its pretence is that you play as an astronaut stranded in space without any recollection of what got you into a mess that leaves you exploring a stricken space station searching for your past and a way home.
From beginning to end Adr1ft did one thing consistently which was to leave me astonished at the visuals on offer. Space probably hasn’t looked this good ever in a video game and frankly its going to take something spectacular to eclipse it. Constantly hitting the share button on that dual shock 4 was a constant occurrence.
Outside of the visuals though there are some cracks in the games seems. For those of you wondering how long the game will take to complete can feel at little at ease as for me it took around 4-6 hours over several sittings to complete. Initial reports in preview and early demos had this pitched as a 2 hour space simulator. This isn’t the case and although there’s not a huge amount of replay value in it there is enough here to encourage me for a second visit.
However the games length does have its quirks and by the end of my play through the games loop was overly apparent and I do feel like there was just a little too much padding in the middle. To that extent if 50% of this had been cut out it probably wouldn’t have degraded my experience. With the repetition of activity, reactivating the stations system and constantly searching for Oxygen cans to keep you going it does teeter on the side of bored however there is some spice in the mix to keep you going.
The station itself a derelict mess is great to explore, and whilst exploring you can uncover audio tapes and journals explaining much of the back story to the station and its crew. It’s all kept a bit short of blatant explanation but this works well in keeping you hunting to know more, immersing you in the experience and the fear of the unknown of being alone in space. My one gripe is that much of this station looks the same and a lot of the time becomes really disorienting to explore. I would have liked to have seen more variety throughout the areas and more control of how I utilise my suit through the upgrades available.
Upgrading your suit is linear to the story but none of these upgrades are really utilised in challenging you to play the game differently, there is the odd spark of variety by throwing up hazards and obstacles that offer a slight challenge getting to your mission marker. However these are straight forward to get past and other than mastering the controls of your Eva suit there’s little else to cause you grief.
Where you may see some grief throughout your playthrough is the uncovering of some of your space comrades located amongst the wreckage finding them offers up the reveal of some character tokens that net you a sweet trophy and also more on the disturbing back story, your maybe not playing the hero here and I loved how that angle of story telling added to the feeling of being if anything Adr1ft.
As a point of humour something I still cant shake is the station you explores ability to function remarkably well considering how smashed up and in a million pieces it is. Lights work, computers link nicely and the premise of the story is you exploring it to repair its various functions but lets face it, its not gonna be having a welcoming party any time soon.
Overall Adr1ft is everything I wanted it to be, having watched this title grow through its many reveals it’s a great testament to the developers who have pulled off the ultimate in space exploration. No Mans Sky may be around the corner but for a more intimate and immersive experience Adr1ft nails it.
Adr1ft was reviewed on a purchase Digital copy.