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Review: Primordia


Leah

Developer: Wormwood Studios

Publisher: Wadjet Eye Games

Platform: PC (Steam, Web)

Release Date: December 5, 2012

ESRB: N/A (Everyone 10 and Older recommended)

 

A download code was supplied by the publisher for this review

 

 

In a post-apocalyptic world, humans have been wiped out and machine now reigns supreme. Who knows how the former happened; all that the machines care about is their own survival. Well, most machines, anyway. Some cling to the hope that machines“ creator, Man, will return someday. One such robot is our protagonist, Horatio Nullbuilt. Horatio“s adventure in Primordia starts out simple: to retrieve his stolen power core. But this small matter quickly evolves into something much more than that – who Horatio really is and the truth behind humans.

 

Primordia is a classic point-and-click adventure game that definitely caters to longtime fans of the genre with its retro-styled pixel graphics (much like the rest of Wadjet Eye“s games, such as Resonance). Gameplay is the usual and simple point-and-click adventure affair. There“s an obstacle, and thus you must find a specific item in order to progress. Lather, rinse, repeat. It“s a formula that has worked for years, but I almost wish Primordia offered more in the realm of puzzles considering how it exudes a large and impressive presence.

 

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It almost gets boring with the constant “go to point A, find item B, present item B to person C at point A†(a disappointment after playing through Resonance, which offers a wide variety of puzzles). Primordia does offer some worthwhile information about its world and characters if you take it upon yourself to complete some optional puzzles, however. These ones seemingly require a bit more brainpower, as well as multiple playthroughs if you“re unwilling to use a walkthrough.

 

The story seems like it would be something quite grandiose with power-hungry machines, an apocalyptic setting, the mystery behind the fall of man, and what have you. Unfortunately, it ends up being quite short and paced much too quickly. Even the end of the game is a bit anti-climactic and feels unpolished. Still, there are multiple endings to achieve that make things a little more satisfying for those that are hungry for that.

 

Since gameplay and story aren“t the game“s strong suits, we“ll move on to what it does shine in: graphics, characters, and sound. As mentioned previously, Primordia features an old-school pixel art style that brings its world to life. It isn“t done lazily, either, as seen in some games of this day and age that also use pixel artwork. No, in fact, it“s quite the opposite. There is so much attention to detail everywhere—the backgrounds, the characters, the buildings—that it“s simply mind-blowing. There“s no doubt that this art style was the perfect way to represent Primordia and that it“s done beautifully.

 

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Primordia doesn“t present much in the character department. Still, our two main characters, Horatio and Crispin, are guaranteed to make you fall in love with them. Horatio is calm and collected no matter what the situation is; maturity like that can“t help but be admired. Although he can be quite blunt at times as well, it can also be amusing. On the other end of the spectrum, we have the ever-lovable sidekick, Crispin. He“s the obvious comic-relief character in Primordia, but he isn“t groan-worthy at all (well… sometimes). His jokes and constant banter about his lack of arms is just great.

 

And last, but not least, is Primordia“s soundtrack and voicework. The music does an exemplary job of setting the mood and feel of an apocalyptic world. I could leave any track playing for hours. On top of that, we have the phenomenal voice-acting done that makes the experience even better. Such talent includes Logan Cunningham of Bastion fame, who is also returning from Resonance. It“s a delight hearing so many different and well-done robotic voices (my favorite was a random little robot that exclaims “STRANGE ROBOT. GO AWAY.†I would click on him over and over again just to hear him say that).

 

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Primordia isn“t the epic experience I was hoping for it to be, but it“s still a worthwhile and fine little adventure game. The gameplay and story could use a little more work, but it“s the graphics, characters, soundtrack, and voicework that make Primordia recommendable. It“s a bit disappointing to see the ideas behind this game not put to their full potential, but I hope to see a sequel or prequel someday that could be ten times better. And I would very much love to see Horatio and Crispin again.

 


 

Pros:

 

+ Retro pixel art style that is masterfully done and represents the world of Primordia perfectly

+ Horatio and Crispin are well-developed and loveable

+ Soundtrack and voicework are top notch

 

Cons:

 

- Different puzzles (other than “find this item and give it to this person/use it on this thingâ€) could have been used

- Story feels rushed and not really fleshed out

 


 

Overall Score: 7 (out of 10)

Good

 

While Primordia isn“t as grand as it appears to be, it“s worth at least one playthrough for its graphics, characters, voicework, and soundtrack.

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