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PS4 Game Review
Exile's End, for the PS4, is the PC port of a game which harkens back to the old commodore 64 games of yore.
The game places you as an astronaut sent to find out what has happened at a mining colony. Your journey does not have the most auspicious beginning as your ship crashes, killing all the crew, leaving you as a lonely billy no mates.
Still, that deters you little and off you set towards the colony. Unfortunately for you the alien landscape bares a striking resemblance to an eighties platform game not just in the environment, but also in graphical look.
There seems to be a plethora of similar games being released, as if the world is full of middle aged men trying to recapture the wonder of their youth, when games came on a cassette and took twenty minutes to load. I can see where these may have a place on a phone, DS3 or Vita; I’m just not convinced that having forked out an arm and a leg for a modern console you would want to fill it with games that already look thirty years out of date.
On the assumption that this is something you may wish to do, does Exile's End actually recapture those golden moments?
On the plus side the game is relatively unforgiving. It certainly looks the part and the animated cut scenes add to the feeling of authenticity. Through your progress you have to jump and double jump your way across fairly well constructed platform puzzles in order to collect articles which will allow you to progress through to the mining colony and beyond.
It seem our hero packed little that will help him survive this environment or fight off enemies, so you have to explore to forage for what you need to survive an increasingly hostile planet, which, amongst other things, tries to kill you with radiation. Most of the things which you can forage are not optional, supposing that you want to progress. The double jump and other environmental changes allow you to access some of the more difficult part of the map, which contain yet more required objects.
The game does include a combat element, but it’s not as satisfying as the puzzle aspect. That said it does mirror the limit mechanics of eighties games, meaning your mostly jumping around trying to avoid projectiles while at the same time trying to shoot the boss.
Where this mostly falls down is the lack of variety. The techno music suits the game well and the survival mode adds a little more to do, but the game is competing in an increasingly crowded market and its quest for authenticity means that the game has many of the limitations of the original 16 bit machines.
So, it’s not a bad game overall, but lacking enough to pull ahead of the competition.
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