Okay so this is really cool so far, in a lot of ways. I just died for the first time because I vaulted a fence (accidentally – more on this in a moment) and got electrocuted by a light I’d just bust up. Like this:
The presentation is as typically slick as you’d expect from Puppygames and the game’s brimming with personality from the amusing items and unnerving sound effects to the dynamic camerawork and atmospheric lighting.
It’s got design smarts too, like your torch drawing the camera out so you’ve got more visibility in addition to better lighting. The torch beam also reveals loot on corpses and in containers but makes you more conspicuous to enemies. I don’t think your torch runs out of juice either, or at least this one lasts longer than the pathetic torches from the future.
I like that you don’t have to press a button to pick stuff up or open doors or interact with things, it just does it when you walk up to them. I like that when you hit tab to see info on the item you just picked up you can press tab again and it’ll go to the next item you perhaps didn’t look at earlier because you were too busy sneaking around or running away. It’s a great way of ensuring you don’t miss things.
When you’re cycling through your items the game pauses too so it gives you some breathing room to choose the right gear for the moment and formulate a plan. I found with Teleglitch that cycling your long list of weapons and items when under pressure was often a death sentence.
Crafting is also very unobtrusive because the craft icon only pops up if you’ve got enough materials to actually craft something.
The tutorial/intro to the game is perfect and is surprisingly tense and atmospheric. Right now I’m doing a lot of sneaking but I feel like I’ve also got the tools to get out of sticky situations. And I keep getting more tools. I could perhaps be more ballsy but I’m still feeling out the sensitivity of the enemies.
My only real issues with the game at present are minor: I wish the encyclopedia was a button I could press on any item in my inventory rather than its own separate list to consult, and I wish vaulting wasn’t quite as easy to do! I find I’m constantly throwing myself over obstacles accidentally when I only mean to walk past or up to them. My first death was a result of this which was quite annoying (but it does give me a chance to check out the proc. gen.) I think perhaps a brief progress bar before the vault would be a sufficient buffer to prevent accidents without making it a clunky discrete interaction.
Anyway, if you like the sound of Teleglitch meets The World’s End by Puppygames, then Basingstoke is totally worth checking out. I also laugh every time at ‘Basingstoke’. I did with Revenge of the Titans because I think the invasion starts there!
More feedback to come I’m sure!