(Note: I am aiming to make SkinnyReviews a different take on the traditional review formula. This will evolve over time, based on feedback from the community, my peers, and my perfectionist mindset. I hope you all enjoy.)
What is a SkinnyReview? Well, it is where I will pick two aspects of a game, then a brief bonus aspect, and base my review around those areas. It could be game mechanics, story, multiplayer, second screen use, gameplay, or something else.
Shattered Planet is a rogue-lite, turned-based-RPG, played from an isometric view. Straightaway you notice the simplistic design choices, both in art and gameplay — Click on this tile, watch Clone001 (you can rename him/her/it) move, slay an enemy, collect loot. Traverse the planet, collect loot. Die, lose loot.
Worth the Price of a Cinema Ticket?
This may be simple, but it is in no way less rewarding. Each layer of the planet is randomly generated, even if it is only a bridge location that is different at the worst of times. At the best of times you get to see frozen tundras, lush tropical landscapes and golden desert locales whilst avoiding the Blight.
The Blight is purple creeping goo that grows per tile and then expands outwards, limiting your movement options the longer you stay on each level. I very rarely found myself backed into a corner due to the Blight, I’d like to think was because I was too skilled… However, it is more likely that the Blight isn’t intended to be game ending. Kitfox leave that to the turrets, tribesmen, and nest-mothers!
Most games end when you die, not Shattered Planet. Death is only the beginning, because when you die you can spend the resources you have collected. Scrap Metal is used to increase your stats; Strength, Wits and Health. Strength, as you would imagine, increases your damage. Wits provides more chance to dodge enemy attacks. Where as Health provides you with more than just increased life. The more life you have, the more levels you can skip by jumping off of the edges of each level. It costs 75 Health to take the short-cut, you are also rewarded with an achievement and some Crystals.
Crystals can be spent on items. Fancy wearing a bucket helmet, some bone claws, and having some cartons of OJ on your person? You achieve that via spending Crystals, mostly at random, but mostly awesome too.
All of these references fit nicely and never feel out of place.
You can buy items via R.O.S.A (Random Object Synthesis Apparatus), the Crystalobot, and Pet Cloning Vat. The Crystalobot and PCT are unlocked at set research levels.
Discovering events, enemies, locations and more is the bulk of what Shattered Planet is all about. Find a new helmet, equip it, unlock it in the research tab. The same goes for weapons and consumables, events and locations. Adding new data to the research log grants you both Crystals and a step towards a new research level, which in-turn will grant you an unlock. This can be the ability to purchase from Crystalobot, summon a Pet, or a loot cache.
There are also five classes to play as, these are unlocked as you progress through research levels. Each class has a unique passive bonus, usually an immunity or combat bonus. The level of customisation is disappointing, several heads per class. This limitation is masked by the equipping of head gear.
Shattered Planet is full of references to pop culture, both past and present. These references are sometimes obvious. Take the Mjolnir Mark-V helmet for example, a straight lift from Halo. Bone Claws, pre-Origins Wolverine perhaps? And then some aren’t so obvious. The Crablet for example, could it be an homage to the Headcrab Half Life? I’d like to think so.
All of these references fit nicely and never feel out of place. This is afterall a planet from the future… Who knows what time capsules were buried within the long-lost Earth? Gabe Newell has the power!
Worth the Price of a Cinema Ticket?
Shattered Planet has a lot more to it than it shows off in the first few hours, though you have to invest both the time and energy to find the soul hidden beneath the crust.
At the price of £9.99/$14.99, around the same price as a cinema ticket, there is the chance you will get as many hours of fun out of Shattered Planet as you can the Transformers saga.
It may look too simple on the surface, or not have enough RPG depth, and heck it may be a challenge for most, but it is a solid PC entry for those completionists who aren’t afraid to die for their efforts.
7 Stars, would explore again. For science.
A SkinnyReview of Shattered Planet
A SkinnyReview of Shattered Planet. Who doesn't like punching Aliens for science?What Our Ratings Mean