Saturday, October 18, 2014

Early Access Preview - Albedo: The Eyes from Outer Space

 Albedo: The Eyes from Outer Space 

Now Available on Steam Early Access

Developed by z4g0 


It's just another boring night on the job for John T. Langley, nightwatch at the space station JUPITER, and the only solace from this monotonous position as a lowly guard amongst the important scientists working on god only knows what kind of experiment is yet another drinking binge. Who can blame him really? With the mundane day-in and day-out occupation of sitting and watching, wondering what exciting experiments your peers at the base could be conducting, left only to guess what the strange sounds behind doors late on the night shift really are.

The last scientist leaves for the night, wishing you a goodnight and marking the start of he most boring, lonely part of your job. You get up to stretch your legs shocked only to find the ground beneath you suddenly crack apart and swallow you into the depths of the unknown recesses of this diabolical research facility amongst its many secrets.


Developer Fabrizio Zagaglia sets out to create a new kind of first person experience, shedding the current trend of bland military shooters and free to play models in favor of a rich 60's sci-fi style and a unique approach to adventure game story telling. When asking Fabrizio what brought about his decision to go with this unique setting and its retro flavor he replied, "The main goal was to make something with this kind of mood, maybe a bit naive, simplistic and ingenuous... but full of mystery, astonishment... amazement that I can find only in old sci-fi operas, rather than make an explicit rip off of 60s sci-fi series. Nowadays it's all too serious, realistic, evil... cold..."

"I aimed to avoid the current mainstream typical features. Take for example the flatness of games like COD... or the F2P and socialgames drifts etc. Of course, still there are good things, and still exists interesting "new" or derivative genres ( sandbox, narrative and art games and so on)... but overall I feel a lack of "something" that I can find instead in 90s games... something similar to what I can find in 60s scifi series and can't find in the newest ones."

Albedo isn't just a first person action game as it may seem at first glance, it's clearly a thinking person's adventure that sets out to wrack your brain on tough and puzzling situations in order to make your daring escape from each obstacle-ridden area. The starting room alone had me guessing for awhile, combing through the locked and wasted sci-fi storage room for pieces of the trial-and-error puzzle I had to put together in order to trick and trap the oncoming and unseen terror from beyond the locked door before me. I was reminded of a much tenser, trippier and sci-fi oriented Myst, and that's a very good thing.

Albedo: The Eyes from Outer Space is a sci-fi geeks dream come true, a wonderful combination of adventure game situations and logic solving from the perspective of a first person shooter. All with just a touch of retro-inspired action and brawls with strange alien creatures that evoke the same kind of love I have for monster designs of classic series like Doom.

Each of the different rooms of the sprawling space complex acts as a tough situation of trial and error puzzle solving, forcing you to use the surroundings to your advantage scavenging pieces of useful material to combine with parts of the environment and further reveal the path ahead. These are extremely small details usually and will require every bit of your unbridled attention to even find. You'll be forced to keep your eyes peeled for the tiniest of details from grabbing a paperclip off of a seemingly unimportant stack of papers to recycle as a lock-pick to finding secret notes slipped under locked doors with mysterious passwords. It's beyond easy to gloss over the most obvious clues, but ultimately they feel very rewarding when discovered.

Although the logic and puzzle solving are tough as nails and may even leave you feeling as if at a dead end sometimes, there is always hope thanks to the strange and terrestrial Temporal Dilation Tool, which seems to show some sort of an alternate world where problems are fixed and solutions are highlighted.

The settings are detailed and vibrant in a grotesque organic sort of way, with each living membrane that plasters the wall gleaming with vivid texture and giving off strange phosphorescent lights of warm and strangely comforting natural hues. The lab itself and the tools around you, including the aforementioned Temporal Dilation Tool give a very retro/future feeling to your surroundings with the tinted green and static-y glow of the hologram and rustic qualities to metal surfaces.

One thing is certain when stepping through the deteriorating halls of JUPITER; a lot of care, love, and devotion to the genre went into creating this intense set-piece.

Even in its early access state of ongoing updates it's hard to find faults with Albedo: The Eyes from Outer Space, especially with the small amount of people involved with its development considered. With an exciting cliffhanger ending and more content on the horizon there's really no bad time to get involved with the game and watch the adventure of John T. Langley continue to spiral into something even more insane.

1 comment:

  1. The retro sci-fi setting and aesthetic is intriguing and original. I would like to see more, although I have my doubts that a linear, narrative-driven, puzzle based game the right sort of format for early access.