Every once in a while, a studio will come out of the woodwork and show great potential and not fully achieve it. A great example of this is the indie developer Wales Interactive, who showed puzzle promise in the Angry Birds inspired Gravity Badgers and then reinforced their notion, yet in a more psychologically horrific setting with Master Reboot. Yet, as the studio acquired more big leads and built towards their big break, it was just a question of when. So is the fantastically cerebral world of Soul Axiom an example of this? Here’s our thoughts.
In Soul Axiom, you’re tasked with reawaking human beings through digital landscapes, reminiscent of such movies as Self/less and Transcendence. If you’ve followed both of those movies upon their release, you were probably aware that they didn’t gain much positive traction. I’m expecting the same to happen to Soul Axiom, with all of it’s gameplay flaws.
An example of this is how there’s more puzzles than exploration. This wouldn’t be a bad thing, but Soul Axiom is a game that demands to be lore-heavy. And with puzzles that don’t really satisfy the meat and potatoes of the game’s overall meal by not being fun, the overall product is hurt severely by this.
Story & Design:
Collectibles in games can be a great thing, but even Soul Axiom squanders this. None of the story threads feel like they can properly intertwine, which is majorly disappointing, as the exact opposite happened in Master Reboot. On top of this, the story lacks a sense of purpose and context, seemingly meandering until settling on an unfitting conclusion. It’s even more distressing when you consider the other unfavorable aspects in play too.
Presentation/ Visuals & Audio:
Soul Axiom tries to tell a serious story, but considering the way it’s designed visually, it was hard to believe that. There’s frequent pop-in, awkward architectural design, and common differences that are noticeable in all attributions of the art direction. Voice acting is also stiffed and forced, adding to an otherwise unpleasant playthrough.
If you were eyeing Soul Axiom, I’d say buy Master Reboot or stay clearly away. Wales Interactive has done much greater things in the past, which makes this all the more jarring. Now, I just hope their critical and commercial pinnacle isn’t faded away due to a failure like this.
Soul Axiom gets a 3/10 (Painful)
We’d like to thank Wales Interactive for giving us a code!
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