Videogame Reviews Beneath Steel

Published on July 31st, 2014 | by Michaela Buckley

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Beneath a Steel Sky

From the makers of Broken Sword is Beneath a Steel Sky, a point n’ click adventure released in 1994 on the PC. With similar design and gameplay to Broken Sword, it’s a classic example of a point n’ click, large pre-rendered backgrounds and puzzle-solving.

Set in the future, a young man is kidnapped by city police and taken away from The Gap, a wild plain outside of the city where he grew up after being found in a helicopter wreckage as a baby. He manages to escape the police who take him and the adventure starts, as you try to find a way to escape.

The opening scene features iconic art by Dave Gibbons (Watchmen) and background designs were also designed by him, the opening is much higher quality than in-game graphics, however they are well detailed and look pleasant.

The tone of the game wavers from serious to amusing, the story features graphic content and themes, while the characters are strange and jokey, creating an interesting and not unwanted dissonance which sets it apart from other adventure games. The voice acting features some fantastic accents ranging from Welsh and Yorkshire to American and Australian, the language and humour is also distinctly British, forming like-able characters.

Unfortunately at about 3 hours the game is unusually short, there isn’t too much backtracking, but lots of cryptic puzzles mean that the most difficult parts often feel rather arbitrary than genuinely challenging.

For a freeware game, it’s lots of fun and features nice Sci-Fi aesthetic, if it were longer it would probably be my favourite Point n’ Click, hopefully the ‘sequel’ will be able to address the length issue.

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