Sep 25, 2017 Last Updated 10:18 PM, Sep 22, 2017

Subject A-119 Review

Published in Adventure
Read 855 times
Rate this item
(0 votes)
Tagged under

A PORTAL IN TIME

From the very familiar “tests,” to the GLaDOS-inspired A.I. antagonist, Subject A-119 borrows so heavily from Portal that it’s creator, Tom Heek, probably wouldn’t even mind the comparison.

Subject A-119 tells the story of a very gifted android who solves puzzles, using a variety of powers, in order to escape (what seems like) a mysterious android testing facility. Beyond that, there isn’t much introduced before you’re quickly thrown into your first puzzle, with nearly no tutorial or explanation of your powers.

While this method typically works for the genre, it ends up being pretty confusing here, considering you have six different powers that, at first, all seem the same. There’s the power to shoot energy balls, the power to shoot a different kind of energy ball, another power that doesn’t ever work correctly, the power to jump to an alternate timeline that doesn’t make any sense, the power to pick stuff up, and the power to reverse time; while having all these powers is ambitious, they end up distracting from the actual puzzles themselves.

A PUZZLING AFFAIR; OR, FACETS IN NEED OF POLISH

The puzzles in Subject A-119 are easy to figure out. Most include placing a box on a switch, jumping on a platform, or hitting a button in the nick of time. From the first seconds, you’re able to see the solution to the puzzle. The real puzzle ends up being how to use your powers to accomplish the task at hand. There are so many, with rules that constantly fluctuate, and sometimes they don’t cooperate. While I was able to play through over half the game in forty minutes, I would wager that fifteen of those were spent attempting to figure out how to use the powers — a couple of which I never had a reason to use.

Once you determine which power does exactly what, it becomes a matter of controlling them in order to solve the puzzle. Adding to that, the platforming sections become difficult in part due to physics that aren’t exactly perfect; frequently, boxes don’t stay on switches, objects can’t be put down, and the doors don’t operate as intended. More often than not, you accidentally push a crucial object off an edge and spend a lot of time re-obtaining it. I wouldn’t call these bugs, per say, just facets in need of polish .

IT PUTS THE LOTION ON THE SKIN

Subject A-119 is developed on the Unreal Engine, and looks fairly decent for being an indie project. The character model seems fluid and movement is smooth. However, some of the textures could use a little work, and the environments, for having an air of mystery, are lit pretty safely.

The music and sound effects are palatable and non-distracting: just fine for a puzzle game; the voice acting for our robotic “test-giver” is appropriately Portal-esque. The A.I. character is often humorous, like GLaDOS, and might be genuinely funny, if it didn’t sound like each line was borrowed directly from Portal. Other than the dialogue, it has no real influence on the puzzles and doesn’t directly keep you from trying to accomplish anything.

4

The Verdict

Subject A-119 makes a strong showing with a variety of abilities, but the puzzles, through mechanical and logical limitations, quickly fatigue the player. Puzzle addicts might be tempted to explore this title but, overall, Subject A-119 mechanics are more confusing than the actual puzzles, ultimately leaving players underwhelmed.

AJ Lodge

AJ Lodge has never played Ocarina of Time past the first temple because, as a young boy, he was terrified of the skeletons in Hyrule. Now, as an older boy, he’s terrified of such real-life things as: failure, movies starring Dave Franco, and the number of hours he’s logged in Rocket League. When AJ is not playing video games, he’s making music, directing shorts, running a film festival, and trying to make a career out of writing screenplays at www.ajlodgewrites.com

Related items

  • Life is Strange: Before the Storm Review

    Life is Strange: Before the Storm plays like a cutscene with a point-and-click element that is a joy; no button combinations or consulting a grainy minimap: Daedalus himself designed the levels. The title deals with weighty issues wrapped in stunning visuals and peppered with a comprehensive soundtrack by real artists. This addition to the franchise is a must-play.

  • Another Lost Phone: Laura's Story Review

    Another Lost Phone is truly a masterpiece in its kind, setting a bar in both creativity and meaning that will be hard for future installments in the genre to match. In addition to being one of the most innovative vehicles for a puzzle-based story to be released in a long time, the story is immensely engaging from the moment you unlock the phone. Accidental Queens have now issued a challenge to game designers everywhere: use your art to tell stories that need to be told.

  • We Need To Go Deeper Early Access Interview

    The OPN interview with Deli Interactive. We Need to Go Deeper is a 2-4-player cooperative submarine roguelike set in a Verne-inspired undersea universe. In the game, you and your crew must embark on many voyages into a mysterious undersea trench known as The Living Infinite.

More in this category: Perception Review »

Latest Shows

Children of the …

The OPN interview with Jason Kim, Cardboard Utopia. Children of Zodiarcs is a story-driven, tactical RPG set in the fantasy realm of Lumus; a world divided by affluence and poverty...

Utomik Interview

The OPN interview with Frank Meijer. Utomik is the no-nonsense unlimited play gaming subscription that offers a growing library of games from over 20 leading publishers. Gamers can...

Out Soon

PC Gaming Incoming

FIFA 18

Score incredible goals in FIFA 18 as new movement and finishing animations unlock more fluid strikin...

Total War: WARHA…

Sequel to the award-winning Total War: WARHAMMER, Total War: WARHAMMER II introduces a breathtaking ...

XCOM 2: War of t…

War of the Chosen adds so favorably to the original XCOM 2 experience that fans should consider it near-perfect as well as essential. Although some features in XCOM 2: War of the C...

Project CARS 2 R…

Project CARS 2 sets the benchmark for what a true racing sim release should be. With exquisite graphics, exceptional realism, and palpable thrill, the gauntlets have been thrown do...

Divinity: Origin…

With Divinity: Original Sin 2, Larian Studios creates a title that brings together the best aspects of table-top and classic roleplaying games. The graphics, along with the score a...

Tangledeep Early…

Tangledeep is like the platonic ideal of RPGs: it has everything you want in a dungeon crawling roguelike without all the mess of outdated graphics or frustrating UI. This gem evok...