Aug 19, 2017 Last Updated 12:39 PM, Aug 17, 2017

Subject A-119 Review

Published in Adventure
Read 725 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

  • The Long Dark Review

    The Long Dark is imperfect, but it could be one of the best experiences in the survival genre. For the impatient, single-player gamer, The Long Dark holds little promise. However, if you relish the challenge of isolation and the feeling that you’re fighting against an environment that isn’t trying to kill you, but rather just doesn’t care about you, then you must try The Long Dark.

  • Pyre Review

    Gamers will talk about Pyre for a good while. Vivid visuals pair well with energizing audio, and both complement the subtle, mechanical gameplay; Pyre, a stunning package,provides with aplomb a depth of strategy not found in some AAA titles, and couches the experience in an engrossing narrative. Supergiant Games’ strongest showing to date, Pyre is a must play, a delight that can’t be recommended highly enough.

  • Upside-Down Dimensions Enters Early Access

    KISS Ltd and Hydra Interactive Entertainment announced that as of today, PC gamers can play their paper platformer via Steam Early Access, highlighting that Upside-Down Dimensions is an enchanting and unique game that combines action, hack n slash, RPG, stealth, platform and co-op puzzles for a truly remarkable gameplay experience.

More in this category: Perception Review »

Latest Shows

The Search Inter…

Embark on a journey of discovery and inspiration in The Search - a story-driven puzzle-adventure set in a mysterious world where art comes to life! In an unknown world, you'll sear...

OPN DevLounge Mo…

Episode Six, Season One! OPN's DevLounge Monthly is a lively conversation between game developers on Twitch, on the hottest PC games to be released this upcoming month. Watch it on...

Out Soon

PC Gaming Incoming

The Inner World …

The flute nose dynasty has been watching over Asposia for centuries on end. In secret, they fill the...

Total War: WARHA…

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

Pyre Review

Gamers will talk about Pyre for a good while. Vivid visuals pair well with energizing audio, and both complement the subtle, mechanical gameplay; Pyre, a stunning package,provides ...

Halcyon 6: Light…

Right now, Halcyon 6: Lightspeed Edition is very much (if not only) a sum of its parts; luckily, Massive Damage made sure that each of those parts is well-executed. Hopefully, the ...

The Long Dark Re…

The Long Dark is imperfect, but it could be one of the best experiences in the survival genre. For the impatient, single-player gamer, The Long Dark holds little promise. However, ...

Total War: WARHA…

Yet another in an already long line of excellent pieces of DLC for what has shaped up to be a living classic in the realm of PC games. If you like the game, you'll almost definitel...