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Indie Game Review: Primordia

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0
Primordia

Weary of mindless in-game violence? Hungry for a bit of soul-searching? Primordia may be what the doctor ordered for you.

Primordia, developed by Wadjet Eye Games, is simply one of the most unique adventure games I've ever had the pleasure of completing within less than a day. As someone who can be easily turned off by absurd puzzles forced upon me by such games, which would explain why I never bothered completing a somewhat similar indie game called Machinarium (emphasis on somewhat), I assure you, that Primordia may be unlike anything you'd ever experienced. 

You are thrust immediately into a dystopic human-less world as an android named Horatio NullBuilt, dwelling among the remains of what used to be a flying vessel named the UNNIIC alongside Horatio's sharp-tongued companion that he built from scraps, Crispin HoratioBuilt. With their precious power core stolen from their abode, the machines set out on a quest in search of it, the course of which would take them to places where things are not what they seem, while being completely unaware of the roles fate had in store for them in a scheme far grander than a mere act of larceny.

Note that the robot populace in Primordia adopted somewhat our usage of surnames into their system of self-identification. A few unique examples include NullBuilt, which suggests that the android concerned recognizes no creator preceding its existence (well, something along those lines), while ManBuilt would imply that it was built by the hands of human beings. 

Among the number of things I absolutely adore about Primordia is the fact that the game emphasises on logical thinking, i.e. using and combining objects as dictated by logic, most of the time anyway, that I would usually feel rather stupid for overlooking the most obvious solutions.  Put it simply, you would probably not find any trial and error necessary in getting through most of Primordia, assuming you have a firmer grasp over your logical faculties than me, of course. 

The voicework in Primordia is exceptional, what with the likes of Logan Cunningham, better known as the narrator of Bastion, lending the voice of Primordia's protagonist, Horatio NullBuilt, whose no-nonsense attitude eerily reinforces his impression of Kevin Conroy's Batman on me. On the other hand, in-game hints are supplied by Horatio's floating companion, Crispin HoratioBuilt, whose quick-witted nature reminds me all so vividly of Mort from Planescape: Torment, the Nameless One's floating skull of a companion. Whether this is coincidental or otherwise is anyone's guess.

Speaking of gaming references, there is one alluding to a certain post-apocalyptic gaming franchise that can be found almost immediately at one point in the game, which can be seen as a not so subtle nod to the franchise. The world of Primordia, where robots have thrived in the absence of humanity, mirrors our present world in a disturbing manner, something of a vicious cycle as one might say. What makes it an all the more profound gaming experience is that there are multiple endings to the game, a quality most famously inherent in the Fallout franchise. There are also a few non-linear instances throughout the game, where you can choose among a number of ways to solve a problem at hand, which is also a quality evident in the games of the Fallout franchise. At this point, you probably have an inkling of which post-apocalyptic gaming franchise I was referring to before. 

What hooked me on to Primordia was its miniscule ratio of annoying mini-games to problem solving throughout the whole game and a fantastic story to boot, one which left me pondering a lot on the nature of our existence, at least for a while, and I should hope it would appeal to other adventure game enthusiasts as well. Primordia is now for sale on GOG for $9.99

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