Albedo Eyes From Outer Space: PC Game - Games Weekly

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Albedo Eyes From Outer Space: PC Game

There’s no denying the ambition of Fabrizio Zagaglia. The 29 year old Italian has spent three years working on a labour of love that boasts an interesting Fifties-styled setting and draws heavy inspiration from the likes of Half-Life and The Secret Of Monkey Island. While the early access beta we’ve played suggests that Zagaglia is unlikely to match either groundbreaking game, there’s no denying that Albedo certainly does its best to subvert the well-known genres that it draws most of its inspiration from.

This in part is mainly down to the introduction of the Temporal Dilation Tool. It’s a neat, weird-looking device that effectively allows you to see into the future, giving you an idea of what may happen. Point it on a broken dumbwaiter for example and you’ll be able to see that it houses an item beneath it that you’ll need to gain access to in order to progress. While it can be argued that most point-and-click adventures only show the items that you’ll need to interact with, it’s still nice to see an engaging way of implementing such a well-used mechanic.

Each section of the research centre John finds himself on is effectively a puzzle itself, meaning it’s impossible to progress before you’ve solved it, saving the annoying back tracking found in other examples of the genre. Less impressive, however, are the pure puzzles. They can range from unlocking doors to pulling batteries from slime-filled radios, but it’s not always clear what you’re supposed to be doing.

Point-and-click adventures typically come with slick interfaces and Albedo looks to be no different. A simple swipe of the mouse wheel selects any item in your inventory, while a quick downward stroke of the mouse selects it. Once selected, you can combine, use or look at it with a quick direction movement. It’s a little clumsy at times, but still works surprisingly well. Less effective however is the combat, which descends into mindless mouse stabbing as you hit the Fifties-inspired aliens with wrenches, screwdrivers and anything else you have to hand. It feels unwieldy and unnatural and it’s hard to say how much damage you’re doing and what inflictions are being dealt upon yourself. You’ll stick with it, though, because while the Unity 3D engine is rather rough around the edges, Albedo is packed with interesting ideas and the odd touch of humour points far too many triple-A games seem to forget nowadays.

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