06/08/2018

๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿป‍๐Ÿš€ Preview: P.A.M.E.L.A - PC - "I’m off to pop into stasis until the release date" ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿป‍๐Ÿš€ #GameDev #IndieGame #EarlyAccess

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System: PC
Developer: NVYVE Studios
Some of my favourite moments in video games have come from wandering off the beaten track with a few scraps in my inventory, looking through bins for a few bullets or food to eat. 
There’s something about those scrappy early stages of games such as Fallout that gets lost in the later game when you are wielding laser Gatling guns with companions made of golden sunlight, one-hit killing everything in your path with thousands in the bank. 
Those moments when you don’t know if you’ll survive the next attack or even if you’ll stave of starvation long enough to die in the fight in the first place!

P.A.M.E.L.A is a first-person survival horror game set in a new futuristic Eden that has collapsed whilst you have been in stasis, known as a ‘sleeper’ you wake up with no clue as to what has transpired and make your way around the not-so-empty station.
I had a real vibe of Alien Isolation (but not the ‘hiding in a cupboard’ simulator bits, thank God) in the visuals. A crisp, futuristic sheen covers everything and the audio is quite minimalist, adding to the lost in space ambience. 
The interface is overwhelming at first but soon becomes easy enough to navigate as you look through bins (yay!) and pick up scraps to make weapons, armour and various gadgets. The whole idea so far is great, scavenging to survive in a strange, dystopian city with mutated humans around, so far, so good. 
The issues though come from the current state of the game as a whole. AI in general feels a bit broken or at the very least, incredibly basic, enemies just blindly attack or wander around (as well as seemingly just appearing from nowhere) and the service droids that are dotted around don’t feel very natural as they aimlessly move around with no real purpose. I had issues with some menus and saving and quitting (as well as loading) took a looooong time. All of this feels down to optimisation issues which the team are currently working on.
P.A.M.E.L.A could really be a great game, the danger with tackling a project as big as this with a  small development team is always trying to push away the nagging feeling that they’ve bitten off more than can be handles and I hope that it isn’t the case with P.A.M.E.L.A. There are audio logs in the game that add to the story but no real main story in place thus far which definitely needs to be in place to have some kind of narrative arc.
The developer has also made another game whilst P.A.M.E.L.A has been in development, which has resulted in more time being taken up that could have been spent on this game, delaying it somewhat and I can see that this has rattled some members of the community. 
Summary
Personally, I’m happy to wait perhaps another six months to see what fruit P.A.M.E.L.A bears, as it has the opportunity to turn into a moody sci-fi RPG that I’d happily spent a great deal of time with. 
Presently, however, with its high requirements, lack of a narrative and general unfinished feel, it’s a mere teaser of the future possibilities.
Right, I’m off to pop into stasis until the release date.