The tried and tested of Forever Skies, an apocalyptic survival with a strong narrative imprint, created by a team of veterans.
THE survival like them a lot, there is little to discuss or criticize. While many see their ultra-repetitive mechanics as repulsive, many players love them. Probably it is precisely the underlying repetitiveness that attracts them, due to the implicit security it transmits. The fact is that by now the successful survival are countless and the trend shows no sign of slowing down. The various Rust, Ark: Survival Evolved, Conan Exiles and others have managed to sell millions of copies to people who are enthusiastic about spending hours collecting resources to build structures and objects with which to go on an adventure. Tried Forever Skieswe cannot say that it differs too much from the basic formula of the genre, despite having several characteristics that make it interesting.
The Earth is not doing well. The lush planet full of plant and animal life we knew practically no longer exists. In its place is a kind of gigantic corpse full of ruins of a civilization, the human one, which has failed and has been almost completely destroyed by an ecological disaster. Finding out what happened and if there are any chances of escape for our species are the main objectives of the protagonist, a human returned to Earth in search of answers.
Unfortunately for him the road ahead is all uphill, as he will have to operate in a hostile environment. At the beginning of the demo that we got to test, ours crashes with its escape pod on top of an old skyscraper. Having escaped the danger, we discover with great horror that we have practically nothing. Unfortunately, we do not have any useful equipment, apart from a portable terminal with which to access the information collected, and we have no raw materials. At least one water bottle he could carry, but why give up the pleasure of drinking dirty and potentially lethal water?
The landscape around us is impressive: the air seems to be really toxic, as can also be understood from the color palette chosen by the developers. We are in a completely desolate area, where strange shapeless clusters (we will later discover that they are very precious resources) fly undisturbed through a yellowish sky and where there does not seem to be any form of intelligent life. We look around and realize a danger that we had not calculated: looking at the sun can harm us.
Never mind, we will not get a tan. Going around the first areas, we find several useful objects and discover some interesting elements. Meanwhile, there are gods raw material, i.e. plastic and metal, which can be used to build other objects. In addition there are sources of food and water, which allow us to sustain ourselves for a few minutes of play. Looking around we also spot some corpses. Why not examine them using the scanner we just found, left lying around by who knows who? By doing this, you get details about their stories, which show why they ended up there.
Interesting, but now we have to find a way to survive. We use it scanner to get information on all the objects we encounter and discover that we are surrounded by many resources (old scaffolding, crumbling walls and the aforementioned flying objects). You just need a way to get them out. We reach an aircraft, unfortunately without engines. In the same area we also find a tool to start building: a kind of futuristic workbench with which to start our business, which must be attached to the ship for the power supply. Our first real goal is to get it started again. Easier said that done.
The first steps
With the few resources available, we build an extractor, basically a kind of cannon which, aimed at objects, can disintegrate them and make them raw materials. We give ourselves crazy joy and clean up the area from all the superfluous, even making a building collapse (it happens). Once filled up, we can build the other objects available in the builder, mostly dedicated to survival. So we make a kind of fishing rod, complete with bait, useful for catching giant insects, which can be eaten raw or boiled (they are not very appetizing, but they are the future), we build a water purification system, a condenser to collect cool and a bed. Now we can satisfy our basic needs effectively (also because the protagonist gets tired, starved and dehydrated at an impressive speed, even a bit annoying, to be honest) and dedicate ourselves to repairing the ship, which we will need to go and explore the rest of the planet, where we will find other dangers waiting for us and where we will have access to other projects to be built.
However, the basics seem to always remain the same and, even if the demo is not enough to get a definitive idea of Forever Skies, let’s say that it is enough to have a rough one. The experience itself turned out to be interesting. Not revolutionary, but it made us want to continue the adventure, because it seems to mix very well survival and narrative elements. We will see if it will hold up to the end or if, going forward, it will get lost along the way. From a technical point of view we have not had any problems with fluidity, a sign that the game was made by capable people (after all, they are all developers from very large Polish software houses, such as Techland), but we will be able to tell you about this later. In the meantime, we are waiting for a more complete version, which will make us discover why our beautiful planet has been reduced in that way.
Forever Skies seems to want to have its say in the survival genre, without revolutionizing them. More than from the parts of a Conan Exiles or an Ark: Survival Evolved, we are from those of Subnautica, with the experience that is lived by the player both in the typical mechanics of the genre, that is the collection of resources, and in the narrative elements, which they are essential for maintaining interest in what you are doing. The result seems very good to us, but we will be able to complain with the final version, or at least after some updates of the version in Early Access, arriving in 2022.
- The survival mechanics seem well established
- The atmosphere is engaging
- A few more distinctive elements?