GamEir’s Horror Queen has returned! But… this time without the horror. Today, we’re gonna talk about all things Element Space. Element Space is brought to us by Sixth Vowel and Inca Games, with publishers Blowfish Studios, and is a turn-based strategy game. I normally wouldn’t be a fan of turn-based as I like to hack and slash, but I was curious about this one. I’ve been playing on Xbox One, but the first thing that needs to be said is this game is not for consoles. The controls just do not suit anything other than keyboard and mouse.
So, what is Element Space?
Aside from the turn-based side of things, Element Space is also of the RPG sci-fi genre. The whole point of the game is to lead your crew into battle to save humanity from extinction. Sound familiar?
By now, you guys probably know I’m insanely picky when it comes to horror games. Fun fact though! I’m not picky with any other genre. If something looks interesting, I’ll give it a try. That’s how we ended up here, but what caught my eye was the publisher. Blowfish Studios are the publishers of one of my favourite games, Infliction Extended Cut. When I saw their name attached to this, I immediately got excited.
How does it feel?
On the graphics side of things, Element Space looks nice enough. A tad simple, but nice enough. Honestly, with the zoomed-out look, it’s hard to see if anything is overly detailed. However, it is definitely in line with the general (stereotypical) indie style. No real complaints there.
I respect a port across platforms, I really do. Personally, the whole point and click system just doesn’t work in this game. Not on console at least. I did actually enjoy the combat up until I reached a boss fight. The turns are nicely laid out, and there’s a really cool zoom in on attacks. That all worked for me. My issue when it came to bosses though, it just felt way too repetitive. In the first boss battle, all the boss did for the majority was run from one side of the map to the other. It felt like a glorified cat and mouse chase. The need to constantly click for characters to move was head-wrecking for me on console. I can see how this would work on PC no problem. In this sense, it reminded me of The Sims franchise. On PC, they work great. On console, not so much.
A reminder of a classic?
Enough about that for now, let’s talk about the story. This is what really hit me hard. You’re setting out to save humanity, pick up companions along the way, and explore some factions along the way. Anyone else’s mind jumping to another space exploration game with nearly the same plot?
When I first saw the trailer for Element Space, I was immediately reminded of one of my all-time favourite games, Mass Effect. This had me thinking the game had promise. I was wrong. I really hate to say this, but I honestly felt like I was playing a discount Mass Effect with much less likeable characters. When I realised this, my heart sank. I was so excited for a new space experience, Mass Effect is my go-to for story, No Man’s Sky is my go-to for chill vibes. I was hoping to find an all-new experience.
When the market does have such prominent games out there, it’s hard to pull off something new. There really is only so much one can do with space/sci-fi. It’s the same with any genre, across any medium. But we can still hold out hope. Not for this adventure though, not for me. This game, to someone else, could be pure perfection. For me, it just felt like I was playing a discount Mass Effect. Maybe this can be used as a learning process to improve upon future entries, but for me, it just was not there.
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