After a long period of early access that started in 2019, the quirky survival game Breathedge was recently released in its final version and has just arrived on consoles. The opportunity for us to analyze this somewhat special space odyssey in more detail.
In the shadow of Subnautica?
In Breathedge you play a character who is unfortunately the victim of an accident during a space flight on the occasion of the funeral of his grandfather in a kind of huge hearse and is then alone in the middle of space and its hostilities. He will have to try to do his best to withstand the various threats posed by the interstellar void and find a way to move forward in a story that is always about to get more incredible. Not only is Breathedge a survival mechanic, it’s also a narrative game that more often than not deserves to be compared to some kind of subnautica in space. The comparison is not entirely wrong, but not entirely right either. Breathedge actually shares some similarities with the hit Unknown World Entertainment. The game world is non-procedural and your progression, though fairly free in your approach to the objectives, is determined by scriptwriting considerations. Divided into 6 chapters that should keep you occupied for a good twenty hours, Breathedge chose humor to tell its story. A sense of humor that hits hard at times, but too often turns out to be out of date or even childish. It’s difficult to judge the quality of a humorous approach, of course, since the term is so personal, but by and large the valves on the front shoulders are too low with more amusing, cynical lines and some parodies sure to come back. Make yourself smile, as well as staging certain sequences that generally break the transition from one chapter to another. Despite everything, the incessant and generally very unsubtle humor is mainly to blame for breaking the atmosphere of the game, where it would have been more relevant to opt for more sobriety to do justice to the feeling of loneliness that emerges, or at least at least what could have emerged from the game. The whole thing is told to you by the artificial intelligence of your ubiquitous combination, which gives you more or less precise pointers on the procedure to follow to advance in the adventure.
A little survival guide that isn’t always well illustrated
The first steps in Breathedge are not the easiest and the game doesn’t really try to hold your hand. While they do have some sort of quest log that allows you to highlight the various points of interest (which you will have to forgo if you enable the highest difficulty mode), don’t wait until we give you the exact procedure that you want must obey Reach this or such enemy zone or unlock such compartment in order to achieve a goal. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing because as long as you have already learned your skills in a survival game, your automatisms will be found quickly. In keeping with the tradition of the genre, you’ll begin your adventure with only rudimentary equipment and extremely limited amounts of oxygen to explore the immediate area around your base, which serves as a craft workshop and resting place to restore your health. You need to be fairly tolerant of managing your thirst and hunger gauges and analyzing certain surrounding elements to get the recipes required for better equipment. Oxygen rise, booster, clamp, drill etc mass … so many tools necessary to make others and thus to free your character from his sad situation. Unfortunately, when it comes to survival, Breathedge struggles to fully convince due to the lack of a rather unattractive structure and certain prejudices that can discourage the less patient players. First, the hungry durability of your various devices and the imminent impossibility of finding ways to improve (or repair) them force you to constantly hunt for basic materials and regain your sometimes powerful fortress outside of your exploration area. just to be able to break a single piece of metal, for example, to extract its components. The back and forth will be plentiful and especially slow in the first part of the adventure. It probably wouldn’t have been a problem if the game retained some sense of discovery and exploration, but it’s not entirely the case. In Search of a Suitable Helmet Indeed, in each chapter you will develop yourself in rather limited areas which, if they sometimes offer great panoramas, do not systematically invite you to delve into them in depth. For example, when Subnautica offered a limited amount of oxygen for underwater exploration, it came up with a good idea to allow you to reclaim the surface so you could breathe regardless of your location on the map. Breathedge, and it makes sense given its universe, will force you to stay permanently next to the Chapter base or awkward oxygen station, at least in the early hours of the morning, in the hope of not dying. And continue to harvest resources that are as important as they are difficult to access. Thematically, of course, but ultimately very restrictive and often frustrating. Add to this a rather tedious inventory, the locations of which are particularly limited, and you will understand that the game breaks its teeth at certain points, even if it is still rudimentary for the survival game. As you progress through the first half of the game, all you have to do is find a resource and after setting up the equipment associated with that resource, wait for instructions to look for the next material. However, if you take the effort to insist and make progress through the chapters, at some point you will see some depth in the game and have the opportunity to experience some surprises that freshen up the gameplay, but that retain a certain tendency to themselves to move in circles. However, the morphology of the game changes the tone halfway and abandons survival, which surprisingly pushes construction into the background to return to more narrative tracks, but not uninteresting, all the more so as the scenario without being overwhelming without Displeasure follows. This point can allure some and displease others, and it must be admitted that it turns out to be quite astonishing that the final chapters appear less neat and dense than the first part of the adventure. Notes + positive points A universe and successful aesthetic choices An incredible scenario to pursue Good lifespan (around 20 hours to see the end) – Negative points Humor not very subtle and too present which breaks the atmosphere. Quite classic in its survival part. Repetitive and sometimes frustrating in the first part. A brutal change in approach in the medium term that can be disappointing. Breathedge ultimately remains rather classic in its survival mechanics and does not succeed in everything that it does in this component. It turns out to be quite repetitive and sadly quite shy in its call to exploration, a shame given the beauty and originality of its still attractive universe. Additionally, the game sins with some unfortunate choices related to inventory management, the resource collection loop, or the durability of devices that are too short-lived. With a tone shift in the middle that banishes survival to the closet, the Breathedge experience isn’t always balanced, for about twenty hours, despite some really good ideas and a story that follows without displeasure. Journaliste jeuxvideo.com April 08, 2021 at 7:19:46 PM What readers are saying (7) Read readers’ reviews Give your opinion on this game!