Game Review: Journey to the Savage Planet (PC / Xbox One / PS4), 7/10
Sometimes it can be all too easy for a game critic to fall into the peculiar trap of assuming that the developer's haven't hit some theoretical goal with their latest effort, failing to capitalise on the supposed potential of a game and ultimately falling short of the mark.
Often, many will lament the inevitable dashing of expectations as the latest Far Cry doesn't fully explore the modern degradation of the archetypical "hero" role, or how Breath of the Wild failed to raise enough questions about teenage depression.
What Typhoon Studios have done with Journey to the Savage Planet is give us a game that is a joy to behold at face value. It isn't trying to create high-brow science-fiction, it doesn't want to be dissected and cross-referenced for obscure references to Frank Herbert novels and it won't take weeks out of your life to reach a nebulous conclusion that will leave you crying foul at unrealised potential.
You find yourself at the mercy of an alien planet, an envoy of the fourth-best interstellar exploration company, tasked with the honour of collecting information on the planet's various biomes and ascertaining whether or not humanity can find a viable home amongst the weird and wonderful fauna and flora.
While the premise is not unfamiliar, the gameplay is a refreshing romp through a vibrant and diverse world that constantly threatens to become a full-on FPS, but never quite follows through. You will use a rich assortment of tools and equipment in order to traverse and reach every nook and cranny of the planet's surface, with previously inaccessible areas opening up as you unlock ungrades such as grappling hooks and double jumps.
Chief of such items is the plasma pistol - a vessel for dull upgrades that is about as accurate as a plumber's estimate but a gallant servant through the game's relatively fun if unremarkable combat.
Where Journey to the Savage Planet excels is in the harmonious arrangement of all its gameplay systems and the genuine feeling of curiosity imparted to the game through stellar map and environment development and the downright amazing shift pulled by the Typhoon Studio's art department.
Journey to the Savage Planet isn't a masterpiece, but its a fine game that makes no apologies for not having overly lofty ambitions. An exciting debut from a studio with big, but perfectly achievable things on the horizon.