Beneath a Steel Sky (PC) Review

By André Eriksson 15.05.2016

Review for Beneath a Steel Sky on PC

In a dysphoric steampunk future, a hero, Robert, gets abducted from his home in the untouched wilderness by a military-advanced city and must now try to find his way out of this new town. On his way out he stumbles upon darker secrets about the city that he could only ever have imagined. The setup is done in a simple way, just like many of Revolution Software's earlier releases, but with an interesting hook that keeps the player attached for the whole ride. How does Beneath a Steel Sky hold up today, though?

It is difficult to not get instantly hooked by Beneath a Steel Sky. The start of it does exactly everything that an opening act should do. It presents the back-story, the conflict, and interesting villains, all in a beautiful and action packed way. However, the true beauty starts the very minute the game kicks off.

The first puzzle is a real teaser and sets the tone for what players can expect in this point and click adventure. Robert, the aforementioned hero, is trapped on the upper floor in a room. Below there is a guard, and to his left is a door he can't open. To find the solution to this problem, the player must start to drag the mouse all over the screen until they eventually find that there is an iron bar stuck somewhere on the wall. Now the adventure is really on!

Many of the puzzles in Beneath a Steel Sky are about this sense of exploration. Often, at first glance, things seem impossible to solve, but once all options are exhausted and explored, a solution can more often than not be found in a smart way that capitalises upon everything the genre is known for.

Screenshot for Beneath a Steel Sky on PC

Accommodating this gameplay, there is a wonderful story filled with twists, intrigue, and fun, as well as memorable characters that give the otherwise grey steampunk dystopian setting much needed colours that keep it light where it should be in order to better highlight the heavier parts and create mood enhancing contrast.

While fundamentally a good game at its core, time has had an impact. One big problem is the graphics that are sometimes not clear in terms of what is clickable or not, meaning that there is a requirement to scour the entire screen to sometimes find a clue. The voice acting also suffers from the old technology, which means it doesn't hold up to today's loftier standards.

Besides solely technical issues, though, there are also some aged design choices that reveal its age. There is a lot of back-tracking involved, for instance, and it is really easy to miss vital elements. While this was commonplace in the genre back in the '80s and early '90s, it is something that is sure to stand out in a negative way nowadays. However, while Beneath a Steel Sky certainly looks wrinkly around the edges now, it does so in positive ways, too. It is a game of its time, and one of the better point-and-click examples. It is certainly an adventure that fans of the genre will definitely want to give a try, and is well worth a place in the library of any gamer, especially those who enjoyed the games of that era.

Screenshot for Beneath a Steel Sky on PC

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

While there are some flaws that show Beneath a Steel Sky's age today, any negativity is undermined by the extreme quality of this classic point-and-click adventure. Revolution Software's magnum opus is certainly one of the better point-and-click adventures from way back when, and is a extremely enjoyable for historical and entertainment purpose alike. Overall, this makes Beneath a Steel Sky a title that is easy to recommend to not only genre fans, but gaming enthusiasts in general, despite the grey hairs it now shows.

Developer

Revolution Software

Publisher

Virgin

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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