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First impression

A mystery-puzzler where player needs to roam anchient ruins and trying to decipher a hieroglyphic language seemed to be a challenge I haven’t tried yet. Me being very good at languages and text in generally I was sure I can unsolve whatever Heaven’s Vault is gonna throw at me. I was thankful to be provided a review copy of this upcoming game with not just special mechanics to it, but also very peculiar artistic style.

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Story

Aliya Elasra is an archaeologist who goes with her helper robot Six, after a missing roboticist. They search a place called Nebula where they find ancient artifacts and language they need to unsolve and figure out what happened to her friend. Along the way she gets new friends and meets old friends, too. Every little help is needed as one correct translation can lead to the next one, and so on. The plot didn’t seem to be linear as I could choose where to go and what moon/planet to visit, but I always got my story onwards no matter where I seemed end up to.

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Gameplay & Controls

Figuring out the hieroglyphs and translations to them is pretty much trying, when kowing at least one word of a sentence the rest have to be guessed. That’s it, until you are certain of some words by getting the correct answers along the gameplay. There’s very clear logic behind all the hieroglyphs and it became fascinating to unsolve them and finding out the blurred history of the Nebula. Heaven’s Vault doesn’t have any inventario or collecting items or having health. It’s mainly translating and traveling from place to place with the airship, which I found to be the most boring, badly designed and kinda unecessary part of the game. I literally had to fly the airship along the ‘spacerivers’ and mostly I didn’t have any idea where I was even going.

Controlling the player is easy, even though I would’ve liked there to be an option to run or walk faster. When talking with someone I could always choose one of three options to answer back. I could talk to the robot by simply just throwing questions in the air or answering him as he talked to me with simply ‘question’ or ‘remark’ buttons.

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Graphics

Heaven’s Vault looks like a children book illustrations; big and bold. What makes everything even more special is how the graphics work. All the characters moves in shifts, kinda much like in some 2D game, but mixed within 3D world. I liked the artistic take on this as it seemed to be something I haven’t seen yet on any video game. All the areas are nice and various even though it felt like I was there just few short moments until I needed to go on. All the talking is done by text that appeared next to the speaking character and I noticed it looked little bit messy sometimes to look the screen. Overall Heaven’s Vault had very unique take on everything artistically.

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Sound

Only the thoughts of the main character was voice acted and everything else just Sixappeared as subtitles. This kind of storydriven game would’ve needed a complete voice acting, in my opinion. It would’ve brought all the characters more life and gave them more personality.

Difficulty

The game didn’t give me any kind on introduction how to play the game and I needed to figure out everything on my own. It would’ve been nice to know how the game works and is there more than one option to get the correct answer to the translations. In the end I didn’t find Heaven’s Vault to be difficult, but more of lots of things to find to get the most of the translations correct.

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Last impression

Heaven’s Vault is interesting game and concept, even. I was sure translating some old hieroglyphs would be extra hard, but it wasn’t. The plot in the game was something I enjoyed amongst translating and finding out all the secrets. I’m not sure what stage version was provided to me and is there going to be some big changes in the final release. For a puzzle game felt like it hit the mark, but there were many little things that seemed unnecessary. Is Heaven’s Vault perfect, no, but it ain’t bad either. Let say it’s very unique game with unique take.

Review copy provided by the developer inkle

 

heavesnvaultreview

RELEASE DATE: Apr 16, 2019
GENRE: Adventure/Puzzle
PUBLISHER: inkle
DEVELOPER: inkle
PLATFORMS: PlayStation 4
Microsoft Windows

 

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