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Home / Tips and Tricks / ‘Journey to the Savage Planet’ is a short havoc through a beautiful world – Review Geek

‘Journey to the Savage Planet’ is a short havoc through a beautiful world – Review Geek



Review:
8/10
?

  • 1 – Absolutely hot waste
  • 2 – Sorta lukewarm waste
  • 3 – Severely flawed design
  • 4 – Some advantages, many disadvantages
  • 5 – Acceptably imperfect
  • 6 – Good enough to buy on sale
  • 7 – Great, but not best in class
  • 8 – Fantastic, with some footnotes
  • 9 – Shut up and take my money
  • 10 – Absolute design Nirvana

Price: $ 30

Travel to the Savage Planet opening title crawl

Here’s what we like

  • Great visuals
  • Engaging exploration
  • Good humor
  • Nice movement

And what we don’t

  • An uninspired world design
  • Short

Released early this year, Travel to the Savage Planet didn’t make too much of an impression at launch. I was aware of it and it caught my interest thanks to the great presentation, but now that I can finally play it, it’s not what I expected. I was expecting a pretty standard first-person shooter, but it turned out to be a lot more than that. Let’s talk about it.

What is the game like?

In the core, Travel to the Savage Planet is a first-person “Metroidvania” – a game genre characterized by a focus on exploration and item-based progression. You may have heard of some of the recent 2D hits in this genre, such as Hollow Knight or Ori and the will of the wisps, but by being one of the few 3D entries in the genre, Travel to the Savage Planet is quite different from both. Instead, Travel to the Savage Planet takes some clear inspiration from the Metroid Prime trilogy of games released for Nintendo Gamecube and Wii.

A frozen glacier in Journey to the Savage Planet
Into the frozen start area Travel to the Savage Planet.

But what does a Metroidvania actually mean for gameplay? Basically, as you explore the titular “Savage Planet” (dubbed ARY-26 in-game), you’ll encounter several roadblocks that require special items or upgrades to continue. And while that’s an element of most modern adventure titles, games like Travel to the Savage Planet take that idea to the limit.

This adventure will not be without its dangers. You will constantly encounter different types of wildlife in your travels that, for the most part, really want to kill you. That’s where the game’s combat comes into play and it’s … fine. It’s your standard run-and-gun gameplay where you have to keep an eye on your ammo and grab health pickups when they are available. There are only a few notable combat-related upgrades that you unlock, but they don’t do much to vary the combat encounters. That’s disappointing, especially when there isn’t much variation in the enemy’s design either. Boss fights are also rare – there are only three of them.

Great boss creature in a lava-filled arena
One of the few bosses you meet Travel to the Savage Planet.

Still, you have a lot of freedom in combat (it’s also pretty easy to avoid if you want) and general moves. Once you have all the upgrades, you can thanks Travel to the Savage Planet’s most unique mechanic: Seeds. Seeds are picked from special pods and used for a variety of mechanics, from creating a grappling point for your grappling hook to setting off explosions. They’re cleverly used for both combat and exploration, and you can use them at any time, even letting you grab certain collectibles sooner than you should if you’re thinking out of the box.

The world itself

Alien Forest with Pink Trees from Journey to the Savage Planet
Just one example of the lush environments this game offers.

While the enemies don’t offer much variety, the world certainly does. Travel to the Savage Planet is not lacking in style, and the way each plant, rock wall and creature is designed to match the style creates a compelling world. There are plenty of interesting sights and biomes that you will discover while exploring with the detailed animations of your player character, making it clear that a lot of work has gone into the visual aspect of this game.

And that effort is well spent, the images of Travel to the Savage Planet gives it a unique feel, even if the gameplay is nothing special. Some of my favorite parts of it Travel to the Savage Planet every time you got a good vantage point of the planet. You see, ARY-26 is no ordinary asteroid, rather it is a collection of large floating islands with different ecosystems on it. Your main goal is to enter the huge tower around which all the islands revolve, making your way to the top of the world. Every time you get the chance to peek off one of the islands, you realize how crazy the sense of scale is in this game.

While not all areas of the world are on one map – you have to teleport between them whenever you want – the developers obviously put in a lot of work to make sure the world still felt cohesive. Whether you look up to where you are going or down where you have already been, the views are spectacular.

Looking up at the central tower in Journey to the Savage Planet
The imposing central tower of ARY-26

All of this will make you believe this world is real, even if the layout is a bit iffy. As I mentioned, you need to teleport between areas that are already forming cracks in the set dressing. But as soon as you step into the different areas and look past the beautiful surroundings, things start to get repetitive. You start at some center point and then have multiple paths available until they reach their respective dead ends, getting different power-ups, collectibles or story progression along the way.

This makes things feel rather monotonous and fall apart as you explore. Understandably, the areas are separated into different levels due to the need for loading, but since there is not much overlap within those areas, the environments feel more artificial than natural. Fortunately, the last area in the game does a lot to improve on this with more overlapping paths, but an issue three quarters of the way fixed in the game does little to alleviate the bigger problem.

Crystal Caves from Journey to the Savage Planet

But then again, you’ll probably be doing multiple runs through each of those separated paths, and that’s where the design gets a little better. There are many collectibles on this fierce planet, including the orange goos that you grab for health and stamina upgrades, lore tablets, and materials used to craft upgrades. These collectibles often require you to take advantage of an upgrade obtained later in the game, and it is satisfying to return with the necessary gear to finally grab what was previously just out of your reach.

The core gameplay and visuals make this a fun world to explore, but hardcore fans may leave it somewhat disappointed as they don’t reach the same cohesive heights as the best games in the genre.

Time for a story

Travel to the Savage Planet sees you play as an unnamed explorer hired by an evil mega company to explore ARY-26. But on crash When you land on the surface, you discover that this is no ordinary planet, and you have to explore the map to see what the major energy source in the tower is.

That’s a cookie-cutter concept for a game like this, but the writers made sure it didn’t feel that way. Every video of your boss or dialogue from your AI companion is packed with humor, and it’s all pretty good. There are some great jokes, and the game makes sure it never takes itself too seriously. There are even some bonus videos you can watch on your crashed ship that are just there to entertain. It’s refreshing to see so much effort and passion put into this aspect of the game, with many games of this caliber ignoring the story and writing. It adds a lot of charm to this title and ensures that you will not soon forget it.

Leaving the planet

A large cave with lava pools from Journey to the Savage Planet

Travel to the Savage Planet is an interesting game for the genre. As one of the few 3D submissions, it gets a lot of praise for just being around. Which is great because it doesn’t do much to improve the genre’s core tenants. But it is still a game that I was immensely engrossed in thanks to its charming world and excellent writing.

That said, you won’t enjoy it for long. The story content of Travel to the Savage Planet takes about 7-8 hours to complete. There are plenty of collectibles you can chase after completing the main quest line – which will likely increase your playtime anywhere from 10-15 hours – but the collectibles usually only provide minor stat boosts for a game you’ve already completed and a nice bonus videos. Not the worst incentive to 100% completion I’ve seen in a game like this, but it can still feel short for a $ 30 game.

If you are a fan of the genre I think this game is worth a pick up. Although the gameplay is fairly mundane and the level design has its issues, I still had a great time with Travel to the Savage Planet. It drew me into his fantastic world and everything from the unique images to the charming writing made me come back. Even if you’ve never played a Metroidvania before, if what I’ve said here sounds good to you and the trailer gets you in, you’ll probably have a good time.

Travel to the Savage is available on PS4, Xbox, Switch and PC.

Here’s what we like

  • Great visuals
  • Engaging exploration
  • Good humor
  • Nice movement

And what we don’t

  • An uninspired world design
  • Short




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