Journey to the Savage Planet is a nice name for a pulpy sci-fi game but is a bit of a misconception if taken at first glance. A “wild planet” evokes thoughts of hostility and survival, taking advantage of life’s inherent dangers at the confines of space. Of course, some things will kill you in Journey to the Savage Planet, but they are just a minor inconvenience rather than the main focus. Instead, developer Typhoon Studios emphasizes exploration, combining it with genuine humor and a charming tone to present a lighthearted and particularly focused piece of sci-fi adventures. This is our Journey To The Savage Planet Review.
Journey To The Savage Planet Review: About
- Platform: PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Windows
- Developer: Typhoon Studios
- Publisher: 505 Games
- Genres: Metroidvania
- Release Date: January 28, 2020
Journey To The Savage Planet Review: Official Trailer Video
Journey To The Savage Planet Review: Gameplay
The entire game takes place on a single planet deep in an unknown space. You’re strapped in the space shoes of a Kindred Aerospace employee – a rinky-dink outfit so proud of its reputation as the fourth-best interstellar exploration company, it will make you shudder to think how bad the fifth should be. As soon as your feet touch the surface of the planet, begin cataloging the flora, fauna, and life that reside on the different biomes of planet AR-Y 26 to determine if it is suitable for human habitation, what with the whole climate change thing?
Journey to the Savage Planet excels when it comes to the range of tools and equipment you can gradually create and use to reach every nook and cranny of the planet’s surface. You are immediately free to explore; however, you want, but it doesn’t take long to discover many inaccessible areas. As such, much of the game is spent scanning flora and fauna to reveal whether they have any gameplay benefits or are just there to add to the planet’s vibrant and colorful aesthetic.
Some plants may contain seeds that restore your health or produce explosives from projectiles, while most of the planet’s mishmash is filled with resources you can collect if you are heartless enough to get a laser beam between their eyes to let go. By collecting these resources and locating items that can be reverse-engineered using your ship’s 3D printer, you can create equipment such as grappling hooks, double jump upgrades for your jetpack, and other tools that allow in-depth and deeper exploration to make.
The entire game capitalizes on this tangible sense of momentum as each new upgrade opens up more of the planet for you to explore. Your feet may be firmly on the ground in the opening stages, but by the end of the 10-hour adventure, slide natural cable cars hundreds of feet into the air, propel dangerous gorges with a triple jump, and use a powerful pound to dig up new passages. Journey to the Savage Planet uses and executes the classic Metroidvania formula beautifully, with an ever-growing arsenal of tools that are satisfying to use and enter into the game’s inherent focus on exploration.
The other side of this equation, of course, is the planet itself, which is worth turning inside out. AR-Y 26 is split into three different biomes. Each room is medium in size, making the planet’s scale feel manageable and allowing you to explore freely without fear of getting lost. When multiple paths are presented, it’s easy to choose one over the other as you know it’s relatively easy to get back to that first fork on the road.
This encourages you to put your nose in every crevice, travel to every distant cave, and look behind every waterfall. You’ll often be rewarded for this, with additional resources or essential upgrade items hidden around the world – not to mention the visual treats offered in every uneven biome. Whether navigating the steep icy caves and glaciers, your ship landed, walking among the large pink and turquoise mushrooms of Si’ned VII’s Fungi, or jumping between the floating islands of The Elevated Realm.
However, Journey to the Savage Planet is not a completely relaxed tour. Your first assignment is to develop a futuristic blaster pistol, but fighting is a means rather than a big part of the game, and it will be a grind. While most of the planet’s creatures are docile, some outliers become hostile the moment they see you. Defeating these aggressive predators includes a flush and repeat pattern where you use a handy sidestep or jump to avoid an attack before recording a sequel by shooting one or more weaknesses.
There are only minor deviations on this back and forth that require you to lob an explosive or poison cloud at the enemy before you can dig through its weak spot. The gun never feels entirely accurate enough for the job, especially since you’re usually asked to hit small targets, and each of the combat mistakes peaks during the game’s closing moments, getting you into combat one after another.
You can play the entire game with a friend, making combat a little more bearable, but co-op doesn’t significantly change the moment-to-moment gameplay. Conflicts are more comfortable with two people, but there’s nothing about the cooperative experience intrinsically built for more than one player. You can explore the planet together or choose to split up and cover different terrains, but that’s about it. Playing with a friend can bring moments of emerging humor, but Journey to the Savage Planet is also hilarious due to the abundance of FMVs on your ship.
Journey to the Savage Planet review borrows many familiar elements from other games. However, it does it in a carefree way that sets it apart from other sci-fi exploration games, settling for a relaxing play style informed by its single, vibrant planet and sleek, focused design. It only takes a few hours to reveal his everyday struggles, but this is the only major damper to what is an entertaining piece of light-hearted planetary exploration.
Journey to the Savage Planet is a nice name for a pulpy sci-fi game but is a bit of a misconception if taken at first glance.