April 21, 2024
Review: Industry [PS5]

Review: Industry [PS5]

For most people in the city, the events that take place on the ninth of November 1989 are historic. I’m in Berlin on the day the wall fell. But instead of celebrating or exploring the neighborhood to the west in joy, I discover that something is terribly wrong.

My colleague at the research institute where I work has disappeared without a trace, all his work is gone and all documentation destroyed. I therefore need to go back to work to try to find him, which will be the start of the Adventure Industria; a story-driven first-person shooter.

As usual when it comes to games where the story gives the experience itself, it is best not to reveal too much. But on the other hand, there is not much to talk about when it comes to the events of the game. My character is drawn into a parallel universe where it is obvious that my colleague’s research on artificial intelligence has made great strides. It has gone so far that the streets are now populated by robots and other androids who obviously do not like people.

Running, scary robots. Check. K-pist. Check.

I do not meet any human individuals at all. It seems that humanity has been hunted down and wiped out. Around the city that I explore, weapons and ammunition are scattered, which is a novelty for me in the genre of story-driven games.

After a while, I am contacted by someone who seems to know my colleague, and via radio conversation, the story unfolds piece by piece. In these sequences, I experience that the voice actors either play over a little too much or read uninspired from a script. But maybe it’s meant to be?

Behind the title are only two people who form the studio Bleakmill, and it will soon be noticed that this is a title made with a limited budget. There is really nothing wrong with the set-up and the mystique, but when it comes to executing the title’s potential, Industria stumbles several times for me.

The levels and environments are very atmospheric, even if the indoor sequences are crazy too dark. But when it’s time for battle, I am met by an unpolished mechanic where the antagonists behave extremely odd and unreal. It is clearly noticeable when the enemies have gone too far away from their controllable area because they often disappear before my eyes and reappear in their original place.

I find combat mechanics uninspiring, partly because I only have four different weapons to use and partly because these do not feel interesting to use. I often do not even have to use them because in the open levels I can run through the map and leave the enemies behind me.

Inspiration from Half Life. Check. Shotgun. Check.

However, the biggest disappointment occurs towards the end of the game when the developers have to increase the difficulty level to raise the adrenaline level of the player. Instead of using scare tactics such as lighting, sound mats or a classic final boss, I have to face the same enemies as usual, but where the number of antagonists is instead increased significantly.

In every walking simulator or story-driven game I have played, I have always put it away with a lasting feeling; sometimes sadness, sometimes joy and sometimes just a feeling that I have been a part of something different. When the lyrics roll in Industria, however, I just feel empty. I received no resolution or explanation for what happened. In fact, I do not even remember the end, which suggests that the experience was bland. Maybe that’s why many people like this in a David Lynch experience where the majority just shake their heads afterwards while a few see the genius. In this case, I’m for once the one who’s shaking my head.

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