December 6, 2012

Miasmata: Into The Jungle

A Russian proverb once said, “I am not a coward; but I am afraid”. Takarin once said “I am not afraid; but OH SWEET JESUS GET IT OFF OF ME”. Although the Russian proverb was fighting a bear, I still think that Miasmata’s monster (I don’t know what to call him; maybe Jorge) takes the cake.

Before I get too far ahead I feel I should that this game acts as if the player is a real person. You are simply an average Joe trying to find a cure from the disease you are dying from. And just like an average Joe you are subject to gravity and momentum. This forces you rethink how you can handle the environment, making you choose alternative routes and paths when running or fleeing. This is a wonderful welcome to the survival franchise and something that’s much needed as these things help immerse you into the environment.

The game picks up as you (Robert Hughes) wake up shipwrecked on an unknown island home to a research conclave. Having been betrayed and exiled due to a mysterious plague you must find the cure and survive. Luckily for you, the plague cure has already been found and formulated; all that’s left for you to do is make it. Easy right? (NOPE) In order to make the cure you must find first find the plants needed to synthesis the three agents needed for the cure. Not too difficult except that the game never tells you which plants are needed forcing you to trek across the island to the various outposts for the formulas to make the agents.

If this is still sounding too easy for your taste you should know a few things make it much more difficult.  To start off this list, the player is vulnerable in almost every since of the word. A number of things can attack you physically, including fever dehydration and your apprehensive lack of rolling abilities, though a quick dose of medicine and some water can cure all of that. The biggest concern and threat to you however is the monster; which stalks you throughout the game and makes its presence known only by the ominous heartbeat you’ll hear (There is a rare potion you can make that gives you a hud locating the monster). If you do encounter the monster, either use what you have in your hand and fend it off or pickup a stick, but don’t run as that makes it taunt you more (and then kills you). I’m not sure if it is built into the game, but during my gameplay I found that the monster comes out more to hunt at night or after you pick certain plants for the various agents.

Overall I must commend this game and its developers for making something so immersing. It feels easy to get lost in the game, whether it is the graphics and aesthetics of everything from the twigs to the water, or the subtle sounds made by them when stepped on or treaded through. It’s a new addition to the category and a great example of how immersion should work in games. If you haven’t played it I recommend you do so, I know this game is set to be my new favorite.

Image Credit: IonFx

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