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Destination Primus Vita – Episode 1: Austin

Posted by GG Goblin On September - 4 - 2018

Go get that water!

What do you do if you run out of water? Probably nip down the shop, or turn the tap on. But what would happen if aliens came to Earth and stole pretty much all of our water? Well, in that case you would have to go and get it back. This premise could simply be the set up for the next big sci-fi first-person shooter, facing off against those mean aliens and making them pay. But for Epsilon Games’ Destination Primus Vita, a first-person narrative sci-fi puzzler, it’s all about the journey and the preparation.

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So yeah, alien creatures known as The Shatters came to Earth and stole all of the water. Some centuries later, Humanity has managed to work out where they came from and have been able to put together a team to go to Primus Vita and hopefully retrieve the water. Destination Primus Vita is an episodic adventure, with each episode focusing on one of the six different crew members as they prepare for their eventual arrival on Primus Vita.

Episode 1: Austin revolves around Austin Blair, a quantum physicist who comes across as quite arrogant and serious about her work. As she falls into cryo sleep for the long journey, the ship’s AI, Nim, drops her into virtual situations while she sleeps in order to keep her mind active in preparation for what is to come. Much to Austin’s annoyance, this will involve looking at her relationships with the rest of the crew as well as the much more important scientific job of working out how to face The Shatters.

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The other members of the crew (Hayao, Artemis, Geny, BrX and Austin’s brother Coby) will presumably each have their own episode to come, but players will be able to meet them through the eyes of Austin in this first episode, while also exploring the relationships between Austin and the others. Nim is not only interested in getting Austin ready to solve the important problems while under threat of The Shatters, but also in repairing the relationships between Austin and the crew to ensure that they are all able to work together under pressure. It’s a nice idea that allows the player to get to know Austin on a more intimate level, although she doesn’t come across as the deepest of characters. That being said, there is a nice range of different characters, and this is only the first episode, so I am sure that more will be revealed about Austin and the rest of the crew.

The virtual setting for Destination Primus Vita looks really good, with lots of blues and purples floating in the blackness. It has a real sci-fi feel, but can also feel quite cold at times. As the player moves around the various areas, they will come across memories of Austin’s which they have to investigate, which takes them to more interesting environments that are still floating within the virtual space. As the player finds clues in these memories, more detail will often fade into being, which is a nice touch.

A large part of the game will be spent wandering around the available areas, looking for things to interact with. These could be clues for the upcoming puzzles, various pieces of lore that give some depth to the events that lead to this mission, or whatever items they need to progress in the game. Other members of the crew will appear and disappear, allowing the player to talk to them to get clues. Objects that the player can interact with are marked with a little white circle when the player gets close, which can be a bit frustrating as often times the circle will blend in with the background.

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The puzzles themselves are quite varied. Players may be connecting nodes or highlighting lines in a pattern, something which may prove quite difficult if the player has not found all of the clues. Other times there will be more process of elimination puzzles that can be worked out with a little luck. Then there are things like quick time events and more physical challenges such as negotiating a maze, which will involve some hefty memorising of directions. It can be frustrating to wander a relatively small area for ages, looking for a clue needed to solve a puzzle that unlocks a door, for example, but this is quite normal for these types of game. It comes down to whether the pay off is worth the potential frustration.

Which it is. Destination Primus Vita may feel a little cold, both in setting and the personality of the main character, but it really is an interesting story. Even after one episode, I feel invested in the characters, looking forward to finding out more about each of them in subsequent episodes. I am also invested in their mission, and finding out more about these massive creatures known as The Shatters. It’s a great set up for a great sci-fi story.

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Destination Primus Vita – Episode 1: Austin is the beginning of what could become a very good sci-fi tale. There are no real problems with the gameplay, although it does play a very distant second fiddle to the story, often feeling like a distraction rather than essential to the ongoing narrative. We will have to see what the remaining episodes bring, but so far it is worth checking out Destination Primus Vita – Episode 1: Austin if narrative adventures are your thing.




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