Elea – Episode 1 is a first-person science fiction adventure game. The game was released through early access on 24th April 2018 on Steam and will be available to play on Xbox One on the 6th September 2018. Elea was published by SOEDESCO and developed by Kyodai Ltd. SOEDESCO is an independent Dutch video game publisher that was originally focused on creating accessories and video game bundles. Their main focus now is to publish indie video game titles.
To Be Reborn, First You Must Forget
The story of Elea follows a scientist aboard a spaceship on an observation expedition. Some 13 years before the game is set, Elea’s husband went missing on a similar expedition. The spaceship is fully interactive and also houses an artificial intelligence that runs the majority of the ship known as Kazumi. The path within Elea isn’t always clear.
The game offers complete immersion. The majority of the time, it is down to forcefully being investigative to find out what steps to take next. Elea seems like it is made for virtual reality. A lot of games for virtual reality are being released in chapters, episodes or stages, and when you play Elea, it feels like a virtual reality game, so it was quite strange to play this sort of game on a console.
Ends of the Earth
The goal of creating a completely immersive game has been more than achieved with Elea. The spaceship is completely interactive, and there is so much to explore. If it feels immersive when playing on a console, I can only imagine how amazing it would be to play the game in virtual reality. The graphics in the game are fairly decent, other than a couple of scenes where you see the face of Elea’s husband. If you have played Elea, you will know which moments I mean. The graphics in those moments are awful.
As I have mentioned, Elea offers a lot of investigative activity. There is so much exploration to be had within the spaceship and within the very first part of the game where you are in Elea’s home. When following the steps and objectives within the game, there is very little feeling of pressure. You will find that you have plenty of time to search around and explore.
The Weird World of Elea
Elea- Episode 1 is full of psychedelic hallucinations that leaving you wondering what has happened. The game is teeming with creativity and can only be described in one word as ‘weird’. The movement is extremely slow-paced, and the story can feel like it is being drawn out. There are points in the game when you find yourself standing around and getting exasperated. Loading screens are also very slow; I found that I was getting impatient when waiting for a screen to load or when waiting for elevator doors to open. These issues with the loading being slow was one of the bigger flaws within Elea.
When the game first starts, you are thrown into quite a messy screen that presents the controls. There is no real tutorial for the movement or controls, so you rely on this first screen a little bit. The controls are very easy to grasp, so it isn’t too bad, but it still would have been nice to have a short tutorial when playing through the first part of the game.
Elea- Episode 1 has an extremely simple premise and, as mentioned, the controls are quite easy to grasp; however, the game still feels overly complicated. Throughout most of the game, I felt extremely confused, and the controls don’t seem to fit a console’s controller. It feels like the game was made for PC or for virtual reality and has then been adapted to be released on console.
Elea – Episode 1 Overall
Elea – Episode 1 is an interesting game. It is weird and strange but beautiful and kind of mind blowing with all of the psychedelic, trippy stuff it throws at you. It is extremely slow-paced, and there is a lot of exploration as well. Elea is very immersive, and the story behind it is great, although the game as a whole feels quite messy. The slow parts of the game can leave you feeling deflated, but the game does push you to explore every part of the areas you find yourself in.
Overall, I think Elea needs quite a bit of improvement, but it does have its good points. The game did leave me wanting more, which is one of the great things about it being split into episodes. If you have a really interesting story, this leaves the player wanting to find out what happens in the next episode. This will push people to keep purchasing the episodes as they are released. I am looking forward to the next episode of Elea, and I hope that I get the opportunity to still play it on my Xbox One as I have done with the first episode.
Developer: Kyodai Ltd
Platform: PC, Xbox One
Release Date: 24th April 2018 (PC), 6th September 2018 (Xbox One)
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