There is a lot that can be said for indie gaming that can’t be said for AAA games. They’re cheaper to buy, often offer the player new and interesting gameplay and a lot of the time, they can be quite short games. There is nothing wrong with a short game as long as the gameplay and price point are worth it. From developer Bleakmill and publisher Headup comes INDUSTRIA. A title that is certainly interesting and short… but is it worth the coin?
“On the evening of the fall of the Berlin wall, a young woman plunges headlong into a parallel dimension to find her missing work colleague who has disappeared under mysterious circumstances. While the checkpoints in East Berlin are still being overrun by crowds of people, Nora escapes from this world, into unknown layers of time and into an unknown fate.”
So then, this is set in 1989 on the evening before the Berlin Wall is brought down. You play as Nora working on a project called Atlas and searching for her missing colleague/partner, Walter. At the start of the game, Nora learns that Walter had opened up a temporal anomaly using Atlas and is in another dimension. So of course, Nora goes after him. At first, INDUSTRIA really does seem like a ‘seen it all before’ FPS game… at first. Think Half-Life 2 mixed with a bit of BioShock Infinite and perhaps just a pinch of… well any FPS game in the last decade or so.
While the gameplay of INDUSTRIA is alright and perhaps just a bit too ‘simple’ at times, its story, setting and surrealism is worth experiencing. The graphics are really well done and the world in which the game takes place is a joy to be a part of. The story can be a little confusing and by the time you get to the end credits, you will have more than a couple of questions left unanswered. Then, some of the more dream-like scenes really will have you scratching your head too… but in a good way. To be honest, the story and setting are the best things about this title.
There are some niggles such as having a terribly slow turning circle. Even when messing with the control options, I couldn’t find a setting that felt right. Some puzzles will have you picking up boxes to be placed elsewhere (standard stuff). But when you pick up a box, it takes up 90% of the screen and you can’t see where you are going. I played this on the Xbox and there are loads of notes lying around to read and fill in the backstory. To pick up those notes, you have to press the B button… the B button also cancels when you pick up a note. So as soon as you press the button to pick a note up, it quits out and you can’t read it and so, have to go into the menu screen to read the note that you just picked up. Look, this is going to be a short review for a reason I am now going to cover…
£17 is what INDUSTRIA is being sold for and, getting to the point, I just don’t think it is worth it. I mean, I got to the end credits in a little over 2 hours… and that was with me getting stuck at one point for about 20 minutes or so. I did play on the normal setting and there is a hardcore one that will probably extend that time a bit, I guess. See, I don’t do review scores, I weigh up the cost of the game against the gameplay value instead and £17 for a 2-hour (or less) title is not great value in my eyes. This is why this is not a terribly in-depth or longer review, because there is very little here to actually review. Outside of the (in my opinion) high price point, INDUSTRIA is a fairly enjoyable title (niggles aside), but it really needed to be a 6-8 hour experience and not a 2-hour one for the price. I don’t recommend that you go out and grab a copy now… maybe a bit later when the price drops or if you can pick it up in a sale.