What a busy couple of weeks for games, there’s not been any real let down in quality either. Perhaps finishing up on the review side of things for this week at least, here’s an Interpoint Early Access review.
There hasn’t been an Early Access title that has made me shake my head in disgust at the presentation (so far), but equally, there haven’t been that many that surprised me. The textures and lighting in this game are brilliant!
So we’re starting this Interpoint Early Access review on looks then, eh? Well, it’s the first thing you see, but it was the music and voiceovers that caught my attention first.
Interpoint Early Access Review
Appearing in a test subject area, I was in awe of the graphics from the outset, but was typing up notes on the last game. There was a constant tune playing on repeat through my headphones that it went on mute. The audible experience was a funny one throughout.
You’re greeted by a scientist named Eugene, only you don’t see him, just over comms. The voice acting was a bit bizarre as he certainly played the part well, but it was clear they were reading it and sounded a bit off. This distracted me from the otherwise eerie, yet comical scenarios.
In fact, there are quite a few comedic moments that had me chuckling, but I had an inkling the mood would shift in Interpoint, and indeed it did. The bottom line is you’re working in inter-dimensional travel, so there’s bound to be nasty things on the other side at some point.
You play Harry, and you have quite a high position in the organisation, but you wouldn’t have thought so initially, coming across as a dog’s body. Before you know it, you’ve lept through your first portal, then the fun begins.
For a game that looks so good, I’d like it if the files you find were presented a little better and wasn’t centred or had a condensed line-height. Sure, I’m a typography whore, but it drew my attention to these objects more, noticing the various spelling mistakes.
As a first-person puzzler, you move about with the typical keys and pick up items that hover in front of you, though it isn’t telekinesis. Harry moves pretty fast, and the movement is slick too, considering it was running at high specs off a Pentium II at Epic settings. The only thing that doesn’t add up is his footsteps. He moves like a gazelle, but the timing of his feet sounds like an intermittent tap.
Within the first ten minutes or so, I was stumped. With only a terminal that displayed a couple of emails and a file, the belief was Harry needed to reroute the power to the room, only, how do you do that? In short, tutorials are almost non-existent, and your objectives only flash up briefly.
What’s On The Menu? Nothing
There are no menus or inventories to scroll through. You’d think that makes it simple, but instead, it’s difficult as if you look away, you’ll miss what you have to do. Other times, you don’t know what to do.
I was expecting a bit more action, so I got frustrated with the number of puzzles, especially as there are no overlays on the screen to confirm what you can interact with. One time you can pick up a barrel, the other time (the same asset) can’t be picked up.
It was all getting quite infuriating until I located the Portable Energy Manipulator. It can suck up energy, then deal it out to solve puzzles. This was very satisfying, and while I’m sure other titles have this feature, this was perhaps my first and enjoyed it.
Breaking The Fourth Wall
While typing this and then looking back at my thoughts on Interpoint thus far, it comes across as unfavourable, but that’s because I’m getting it off my chest. On one part it’s nuances missed in the UI or game design, then another, my low intellect.
In terms of concept, I love it. Delving deeper into the three chapters available, the puzzles get more complicated but make more sense. That sounds like a contradiction, but the point is, the early sections are counterintuitive. It’s not that you get the hang of it, but Interpoint gets better.
By the time you shift through portals and meet ‘him’, I was really into it. Seeing planet-like eyeballs looking at my every move or meta, the fourth wall breaking narratives and game design was excellent, and these parts were a highlight.
The key aspects I picked up from Interpoint were: quirky, inconsistent, and a high concept. The quirky elements are the characters and situations that soften the tone, inconsistency with the items you interact with and high concept in terms of the story and locations.
Warp Zone Results
Interpoint will test your patience, but if you stick with it, the rewards are very good. And yes, I know that graphics do not maketh the game, but they were fantastic that all that time spent pacing back and forth in corridors working out what I’m supposed to do, let alone the answer, was also pleasing on the eye.
As for the story, it reminds me of Half-Life (not played the sequel, or Portal, so have that opinion of me). It’s more sci-fi than horror, which is my preference. I don’t bode well with horror games.
I’d like to see where Three Dots take us with the final chapters, though it would be nice to see a mini-map for the early stages while you get your bearings, or perhaps a few more tool-tips/menus you can access if you need a kick up the arse.
Interpoint Early Access is a stunning looking game with a brilliant atmosphere and intriguing story. Puzzles are mostly satisfying when you understand the why, but the earlier stages of the game were a little hard work. Still, perseverance pays off!