Soul Axiom is a sci-fi puzzler that starts off with promise, but then falls flat really quick. The lack of visuals and redundant puzzle solving take away from what could have been a great game from Wales Interactive. Sure the game came out in 2014 for PC, but it is new to the console world in 2016. The gameplay definitely feels like a PC game and to be frank, I am not sure why it was released on consoles.
Speaking of the truth lets get into the story. The truth is that this story kind of reminds me of Assassin’s Creed in the sense that the Animus is used to access memories. In Soul Axiom solving each puzzle unlocks a memory that is incomplete, but there are these creepy clapper monkeys that are hidden throughout the levels that help explain the story further than just completing a level.
The gameplay is very straightforward and simple. There is a lot of pointing and clicking, which gets to be very redundant after playing for an hour or two. There are abilities that are acquired throughout the game to help you find new ways to solve puzzles. Again, this game definitely plays and feels like a PC game. Each level has a different theme, which is probably tied to the memory flashes seen at the beginning of the game. Solving each puzzle unlocks a memory that leads you one step closer to uncovering the truth.
Visually the game is easy on the eyes, but there are some parts of the levels that are way too dark. Sometimes you could be walking down a hallway and it would look like the hallway is ending, but it turns out to be a doorway that leads to another dark hallway. There is one level in particular that looks like a scene out of a Tron movie that was very cool to look at though.
There are elements that seem to be borrowed from other games in Soul Axiom. I could be wrong, but there’s a bit of Bioshock Infinite sprinkled in it. The beginning of the game features a figure that makes a screeching sound that is very similar to Songbird from Bioshock Infinite. Once the figure comes to life, it very much looks like Songbird in human form. Also, the way that abilities are used is very reminiscent of how the vigors are used in Infinite.
Soul Axiom has the potential to be greater than the game lead on to be. If the visuals were a little bit easier on the eyes and the story was paced better, Wales Interactive could have had a real hit on their hands. Making the move from console to PC may have been unnecessary, but there are elements of the game that work and there some that do not.
Soul Axiom tries to focus the afterlife in the digital world, but the way the story unfolds does not explain it very well. When the game works, it works. When there is a timer on solving puzzles, it can get old real quick if you mess up and have to start all over again. If you like puzzle games mixed in with a sci-fi element, then this game is for you.
The game is currently available on the Xbox One and PS4. Take note that the Xbox One version of the game comes with additional content.
“Making you a better geek, one post at a time!”
Review Statement: The author of this review received a code from the publisher for the Xbox One version of the game for the purposes of this review.