Immortal Planet, an isometric action RPG by teedoubleuGAMES, has landed on Xbox One. The game is very much a Souls-like experience, but does this title check all of the boxes Souls fans have come to expect? Or does it fall short of other games within the genre?
Perhaps the first thing that anyone thinks of when they hear the term “Souls-like” is the difficulty. Specifically, Souls-like typically attempt to have combat that is fair but also extremely punishing to those who prefer to rush in with weapons swinging. Indeed, a true Souls-like is about patience, timing, and managing a constantly-draining stamina bar. All of this is mostly true for Immortal Planet as well. Many of the game’s enemies go down easily enough, but only with the right amount of carefully-placed attacks and well-timed dodges can players expect to get out of any encounter unscathed.
Even the earliest of enemies will be ready to punish the slightest miscalculation, which is something that even I, a veteran of the Souls-like titles, found myself humbled by multiple times, especially against some of the game’s bosses. But death should be expected in a title like this, where players will have to take the time to study their opponent’s move set before they can get comfortable with when they should and shouldn’t be attacking.
Outside of combat encounters, Immortal Planet is still the general Souls-like fare. Player deaths result in respawning at a checkpoint and the loss of all accumulated experience up until that point. The experience can then be recovered (assuming the player can once again make it back to the spot where they died) before succumbing to the game’s tough-but-fair difficulty.
All of this is well and good, but Immortal Planet’s gameplay is not without its faults. This is a somewhat slower-paced experience than I was expecting, and a lot of that has to do with the title’s more grindy nature. There’s a lot of downtime between bosses, where players will likely find themselves killing the same enemies again-and-again to gain a few more levels before the next big fight. Maybe this wouldn’t be such a bad thing if the levels seemed to make much of a difference. It took a long while before I felt my character had gained any power, and I found that the grind was fairly tiresome as a result. That’s not to say that a long grind can’t be good (or even fun) but that just isn’t the case here.
But perhaps the far more grindy segments of Immortal Planet are simply there to make-up for its fairly short campaign, which can be completed in just around four hours. Still, I’m not very inclined to rip the game apart for being too short as this is only a $15 game on the Xbox marketplace. So, while I would have liked a bit more, I still feel like you get what you pay for in terms of overall length.
On a more positive note, Immortal Planet has a pretty unique style of graphics — one which I found to be fairly appealing despite being a lot of gray and muted-blue. The environments manage to feel simultaneously ancient and futuristic, like the tomb of a once thriving alien world. It’s good stuff overall, the kind of which I’m sure will be appealing to many fans of science fiction.
The music is equally good, although a lot of it felt more like ambience at times. The best examples definitely come in during Immortal Planet’s boss fights. I might have liked a little more overall, but I’m still happy with what was provided.
Immortal Planet’s story is also much like a Souls game in that the majority of it will come from speaking to NPCs and reading item descriptions. I won’t get into it here as I know there are many out there who love discovering the story for themselves, but know that it’s there for any vigilant lore hunter.
Overall, the good definitely outweighs the bad in Immortal Planet. It’s short but sweet, and well worth the small investment.
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