After a long period of early access that began in 2019, the whimsical survival game Breathedge has finally been released in final version recently and has just arrived on consoles. The opportunity for us to dissect in more detail this somewhat special space odyssey.
In the shadow of Subnautica?
In Breathedge, you play a character who, during a space trip traveled on the occasion of his grandfather’s funeral in a sort of huge space hearse, unfortunately finds himself the victim of an accident and is then alone, in the midst of space and its hostilities. He will have to try to do the best he can to resist the various threats of the interstellar void and also find a way to progress in a story that wants to be more and more incredible. Because, beyond its survival mechanics, Breathedge is also a narrative game, which has more often than not been compared to a kind of Subnautica in space.. While the comparison is not entirely wrong, it is not completely correct either.
Breathedge does indeed share some common points with the hit from Unknown World Entertainment. The game world is not procedural and your progress, although quite free in your approach to the objectives, is however dictated by scriptwriting considerations. Divided into 6 chapters, which should occupy you for a good twenty hours, Breathedge has opted for humor to tell its story. A humor that can sometimes be hard-hitting, but which too often turns out to be dated, even childish. Difficult, of course, to assess the quality of a humorous approach as this notion is so personal, but on the whole, valves a little too low on the forehead rub shoulders with more amusing lines., more cynical and some parody choices will not fail to make you smile, as well as the staging of certain sequences which generally punctuate the passage from one chapter to another. Despite everything, the incessant and generally very unsubtle humor has above all the fault of breaking the atmosphere of the game, where it would have been more relevant to opt for more sobriety in order to do justice to the feeling of loneliness that emerges, or at least, which could have emerged from the game. The whole will be told to you through the artificial intelligence of your combination, omnipresent, which will give you more or less precise indications on the procedure to follow to progress in the adventure.
A little survival manual not always well illustrated
The first steps in Breathedge are not the easiest and the game is not really trying to hold your hand. While you will have some sort of quest log that allows you to highlight the various points of interest (which you will have to do without if you activate the highest difficulty mode), do not wait until we give you with precision the procedure to follow to reach such or such hostile zone, or unlock such compartment to advance an objective. This is not necessarily a bad thing, because, as long as you have already learned your skills on any survival game, your automatisms will quickly be found. In keeping with the tradition of the genre, you will only start your adventure with rudimentary equipment and have extremely limited amounts of oxygen to explore the immediate surroundings of your base, which will serve as your crafting workshop and resting place to recover your health. You will have to manage your thirst and hunger gauges, in a fairly permissive way and you will have to analyze certain surrounding elements to obtain the recipes necessary to make better equipment.
Oxygen increase, booster, pliers, drill, mass … so many tools that will be necessary to make others and thus succeed in extricating your character from his sad situation. Unfortunately, in its survival aspect, Breathedge struggles to fully convince, for lack of a rather unattractive structure and certain biases capable of discouraging the less patient players. First, the starving durability of your various equipment, and the immediate impossibility of finding ways to improve (or repair) them will force you to constantly go in search of basic materials, and regain your stronghold, sometimes strong. away from your exploration area, only to be able, for example, to break a single piece of metal to extract its components. The back and forth trips will be legion and particularly slow in the first part of the adventureIt probably wouldn’t have been a problem if the game managed to nurture a certain sense of discovery and exploration, but that’s not quite the case.
In search of a suitable helmet
Indeed, each chapter will make you evolve in rather restricted areas which, if they sometimes offer splendid panoramas, do not systematically invite you to explore in depth. For example, where certainly Subnautica offered a limited amount of oxygen to devote to underwater exploration, it had the good idea to allow you to regain the surface to be able to breathe, regardless of your position on the map. Breathedge, and it makes sense given its universe, will force you to stay permanently, at least in the early hours, next to the base linked to the chapter, or a cumbersome oxygen station to hope not to die. and continue to harvest resources that are as essential as they are difficult to access. Thematic, of course, but ultimately very restrictive and often frustrating. Add to that an inventory that is rather laborious to handle and whose locations are particularly limited and you will understand that the game breaks its teeth on some points yet rudimentary of the game of survival. Progress in the first half of the game is simply a matter of finding a resource and, once the equipment associated with that resource is built, waiting for instructions to go in search of the next material.
However, if you take the trouble to insist and progress through the chapters, you may eventually glimpse some depth into the game and have the opportunity to witness some refreshing surprises in the gameplay which, however, retains a certain trend. to go around in circles. However, the morphology of the game changes tone halfway through and abandons survival, surprisingly relegates construction to the background, to return to more narrative rails, but not uninteresting, all the more so that the scenario, without being overwhelming, is follows without displeasure. This point may seduce some and displease others and it must be admitted that it turns out to be quite astonishing, the last chapters seeming whatever happens less neat and dense than the first portion of the adventure.
- A universe and successful aesthetic choices
- An incredible scenario that can be followed
- Good lifespan (allow about 20 hours to see the end)
- Humor little subtle and too present, which breaks the atmosphere
- Quite classic in its survival part
- Repetitive and sometimes frustrating in its first part
- A sudden change of approach mid-term which can be disappointing.
Breathedge ultimately remains fairly classic in its survival mechanics and does not succeed in everything it undertakes in this area. It turns out to be rather repetitive and unfortunately quite timid in its call for exploration, a shame, given the beauty and originality of its yet attractive universe. In addition, the game also sins with some unfortunate choices regarding inventory management, the resource collection loop or the durability of equipment, too ephemeral. With a shift in tone at the midpoint, which relegates survival to the closet, the Breathedge experience is not always balanced, despite some real good ideas and a story that follows without displeasure, for a little one. about twenty hours.
April 08 2021 at 19:19:46
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