Let’s start this review out by taking a trip back in time. Close your eyes and imagine you are back in your high school years. You can’t wait to graduate, move out on your own, and finally get out from your parent’s rules. The day finally comes, but to your dismay, your parents have been looking forward to this day as well. Now, they don’t leave you empty-handed. They present you with the keys to your very own 1986 Winnebago and just enough fuel to get you far enough away to start your own life. Open those eyes! This is exactly how signing up with Kindred Aerospace for their planet exploratory services in Journey to the Savage Planet ends up. It’s just you, the spaceship they provided you, equipped with a few of the bare essentials, now out of fuel, on a desolate planet. It doesn’t take long to quickly come to the realization that Kindred Aerospace has made a huge mistake in their assessment of the planet you have been sent to.
|Available On||PC, PS4, Xbox One|
|Reviewed On||PlayStation 4 Pro|
|Release Date||January 28, 2019|
|Time Spent Playing||20 Hours|
The game starts out with you awakening in your bunk to a video introducing you to Kindred Aerospace’s CEO, Martin Tweed. If the name alone doesn’t sound shady, wait until you get a look at this guy. If his appearance doesn’t do it, his mannerisms as well just give off an untrustworthy vibe. During the video, he gives you a brief breakdown of your mission and a glimpse that maybe you didn’t know exactly what you were signing up for. You aren’t completely left alone, as you have been sent with an AI companion that goes by the name EKO. EKO has a lot of similarities to a ghost that guardians have in Destiny. As a huge fan of that series, I really liked this little touch to the game. As you continue through the progress of this game, I found a ton of little things that reminded me of games I have enjoyed throughout the years, including Super Mario 64 and Marvel’s Spider-Man, just to name a few.
I absolutely enjoyed my time playing through Journey to the Savage Planet. The aesthetics of the planet were great to see. The vibrant colors of the plant life and creatures blended so well. If there are strange planets out there, I feel that Typhoon Studios really knocked the feel and look out of the park. Another aspect I really enjoyed about this game was the random videos and infomercials that would play anytime you would return to your Javelin after progressing through the story. While you are battling with non-human creatures outside the Javelin, sometimes it felt like Martin Tweed and Kindred Aerospace were the true enemies here.
Overall, the game took me a tad under 20 hours to beat but I believe the campaign side of it can be completed in much less time. I mean, there is a trophy/achievement to complete the game in under 4 hours. Now, in those 20 hours, I only completed 85 percent of the game. There are so many secret nooks and items to find, I found myself on multiple occasions spending a lot of time just wandering around the planet leaving no rock unturned. I believe this is where you find the value in the game, as I feel the campaign can be completed in 10 hours. That did disappoint me a little bit, but only because of how much fun I was having with this game. I did find out that Typhoon Studios does plan on releasing future content for Journey to the Savage Planet and I will be very excited to see what they can add.
As someone who likes to complete as much of the game as possible, always striving for the 100 percent completion, I felt there was a ton offered for the 29.99 USD price point. More of the story-driven players may not find that price point to be worth it, as I said before, I believe this game can be beaten in about 10 hours. There is also a co-op side of this game, but unfortunately, I couldn’t try it out as I had early access to the game and knew no one else with a copy to play with. The only way to play co-op is to invite someone from your friend’s list to your game, as there is no matchmaking option. That makes sense, given the nature of how this game is played.
Once you finally get to venture outside your spaceship, which is called a Javelin in the game, you are equipped with a measly gun in your right hand. Now your left hand, which is used for slapping, will become more important as you discover new items to use. The third and final way to attack is kicking. Let me tell you, that is probably the most fun way to attack an enemy. Punting it across the land just felt so good and always brought a smile to my face. There is the main mission you are focused on but you can also track side missions. These side missions, once completed, help upgrade the spacesuit, that little measly gun, and a few other things you discover on your adventure.
Like I said before, I highly recommend exploring outside the main mission. It will make life a bit easier for you later down the road when much tougher enemies arise and there are certain areas where a special upgrade may let you explore. Speaking of tougher enemies, I use the word tougher as being more resilient than the actual difficulty of the enemy. That is one of the few knocks I had on this game, as I felt the game could have been more difficult. I never found the boss enemies to be hard or difficult, it would just take me a few minutes to figure out exactly what I needed to do to inflict damage. Once I had that figured out, it never felt difficult, just more time consuming if anything else. While again, I think it’s just a small knock on what is such a great game, I felt it needed to be mentioned to the ones looking for a challenging campaign.
I will warn you, when you boot the game up and listen to the menu music, it will get a certain song stuck in your head right away, Now, I don’t want to say the song and maybe ruin it, but just know, you will get up from playing the game singing that song. My wife would ask me why I was singing that certain song, so I had her listen to the menu music and she totally heard it. It just had such a similar beat, it’s hard not to get it stuck in your head. As for the other sounds and music in the game, Typhoon Studios really got it right. There isn’t much of a soundtrack except for the few boss fights you encounter, what is playing during the menu, and the random infomercials you get back in your Javelin as you progress through the story. The sounds of the various creatures you come across were on point. The grunts they made as they moved or the splats as you attacked them fit in perfectly to the vibe that creature was putting out.
One thing that seems to be rare nowadays is for a game to release that isn’t buggy and/or glitchy. I encountered no such issues while playing through this game. With all the layers that are presented, I never got stuck in a wall or glitched under the map. It’s sad that today, with all the tech that it is out there, that glitchy game releases are an issue but Journey to the Savage Planet had none that I came across.
Overall, I loved playing this game. Exploring the wildlife and various areas of the planet were fun. For those looking for a challenging and lengthy campaign, you will have to look somewhere else. The ones looking for a game where you can explore and find all the secrets the planet has to offer then Journey to the Savage Planet is a homerun. Now go grab those keys to that Winnebago and face this challenge head-on. You never know what kind of trouble you can get in to.