Published on August 31st, 2020 | by Chris O'Connor
Relicta PC Review
Summary: In space no one can hear you think!
In a field that seems swamped with Battle Arenas and First Person Shooters, it’s nice to have a more intellectual challenge to dig into and Relicta certainly runs with that idea.
Playing a lot like a cross between The Talos Principle and Portal (and looking not at all dissimilar to the former), if you’ve played either or both of those titles then you have a very good idea what you are in for. Taking place on Chandra Base, a lunar establishment with the current goal of examining an artifact known as Relicta. Chandra base itself seems set up like biosphere 2 on steroids. Essentially it has taken parts of the moon and terraformed them to look like Earth, it is in these environments that you are to test a new device that allows you to manipulate gravity and magnetism (there’s your physics element). This all sounds great but as we learn as the game starts… things don’t go too smoothly and via story jumps forward and backward through time we learn what has gone on and the role we play in it all (I’m purposely being vague as the storyline is a decent bit of science fiction in it’s own right and I don’t want to ruin any of it).
But the crux of the game is the physics based puzzles. Basically you have a suit the enables you to use your hands to manipulate the magnetism and gravity of boxes around the landscape. Via your suit you can change the colour of boxes and have them either repel or attract each other, or you can activate an anti-gravity effect that adds another level to the manipulations. That all sounds great but it’s how you use those abilities that create the challenge and where it really feels like The Talos Principle (also in the way you have disembodied hands that I can’t help but feel should be in VR).
For those of you who have played games like The Talos Principle or Portal before, you are likely familiar with the experience of being confronted with a puzzle that seems impossible only to try multiple approaches before the solution finally comes to you and then you can see how it all makes sense. That’s arguably the strength of these games (when done right)… the solutions make sense… but they aren’t always “obvious” from first viewing.
If you like a bit of brain strain and some lovely visuals with a decent science fiction story to top it all off then you will most likely love Relicta