At E3 2019, I got a hands-on look at Typhoon Studios and 505 Games‘ upcoming title, Journey to the Savage Planet.  While at first glance, this game appears to be your typical crafting and planet exploration game, it is anything but.

Gameplay

In Journey to the Savage Planet, you are an employee of Kindred Airspace, “4th Best Interstellar Exploration Company”. Your mission: find the next habitable home for human life. The irony here lies in the company’s name and encouragement to continue the “Kindred Spirit” as you embark on your journey. Prepare to explore this strange new world by scanning new life forms, eating strange substances, and even engaging with the local wildlife. And by engaging, I mean shoot and kick relentlessly. You’ll truly be bringing the “savage’ to this planet as you wreck these lifeforms until they are nothing more than goo.

This game takes all of the sandbox and creative puzzle-solving of a space exploration game and puts a hilarious twist on it. As you continue to explore, you’ll unlock new abilities and tools. Yet as you advance, so does the world around you. This planet is filled with unique landscapes, puzzles, and a number of threatening creatures. Believe it or not, sometimes rushing in to punch something isn’t going to be the best choice.  Your smarts and stealth will also be key as you navigate your way towards the looming mysterious tower. 

 

In a time where the market is flooded with serious narrative games, this was a refreshing palette cleanser! I had a blast finding my way into every nook and cranny on the planet. Additionally, there’s no better feeling than combining the items I had collected into my own experiments of discovery. One of my favorite moments is when I found this unique looking fruit. I had the option of consuming this item which I did. Even though my health improved and I “acclimated” to the planet, the game no doubt reminded me that “eating strange food on planets is probably not a good idea”.

Speaking of comedic remarks,  the comedy truly shines with the AI systems that constantly chime in during your adventure. Their assistance ranges from spouting helpful information about the local flora and fauna, to basically insulting you for making a dumb choice. These interactions reminded me a lot of one of my other favorite games, Portal 2. Crafting games like these can often make one feel lonely due to a lack of dialogue. However, the AI in this title balances your solo journey in space with charismatic moments.  Altogether, the snarky AI and hilarious premise create an intergalactic comedy game like no other.  

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Overall

Despite the fact that I only got a taste of the game, I wanted more. There was so much to explore and do in this title. Likewise, I cannot wait to see what more they add to the game when it debuts in 2020.  If you are a fan of crafting games with beautiful scenery, space, and sarcasm, then Journey to the Savage Planet is the game for you! 

Journey to the Savage Planet will be available in 2020 for the PC, PS4, and Xbox One.

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Emily Rose Jacobson
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