‘Planet of the Eyes’ and a Robot’s Journey
The focus of solitude and survival is what Planet of the Eyes is steeped upon. Stranded, the explorer robot wanders through the wilderness of an unknown planet with nearly a total lack of living beings. With only a trail of audio tapes to provide any semblance of circumstance, the search for escape is fraught with peril in the forms of oversized insects, shocking sea creatures, and the always present threat that something might fall from above.
The breathtaking colors and vector style art create a beautiful influx of scenery while turning the solitude up to eleven. Peering, tentacled eyes follow from time to time with hardly a thought, and every once in awhile a giant beetle tries to impale its mandibles for a hassle free dinner. The artwork of Planet of the Eyes is its biggest and best feature. Bright oranges turn to deep reds which turn to deep purples which turn to nightly blues as the elevation and terrain changes. Stopping to enjoy the view from time to time is easy to get caught up in, and watching the robot throw some dirty dance moves offers a quick comedy burst in a dire situation. The music perfectly encapsulates the colors, tone, and varying intensity of the adventure. With quietly pulsing beats and head-bobbing appeal, each puzzle or obstacle encountered feels like it has its own theme music complete with a sense of accomplishment when the tune changes.
The aforementioned audio tapes were left by the robot’s creator, and as he worked to escape the planet he left a trail with circumstantial clues layered in exhaustion and regret. A scientist’s work–something new and groundbreaking–is turned for something much worse by ill-advised colleagues. A disparate school of thought led to a destructive force and an empty planet. The Creator was able to find a way out, and his tapes suggest his robot can too. It’s daunting near the end to find a piece of truth about what is contained inside the robot and the proof behind it. To be free of the isolated environment and find meaning beyond its original intentions is an elevating story for a machine that almost feels human. Escape is the goal, but not the total end. As the final audio states,
At the end of the day, we’ll all be searching. Trying to make it through somehow, and we’ll never know what comes next.
Planet of the Eyes is available on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.
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