Alteric (PlayStation 4) Review

By Thom Compton 23.10.2017

Review for Alteric on PlayStation 4

Back when Edmund and McMillen and Tommy Refenes released Super Meat Boy, it's unlikely they could have foreseen the movement they were ushering in. A seemingly endless stream of ultra-challenging platformers have been steadily seeping into gaming catalogs of every major console and PC site. The problem is that most of them largely miss what made Super Meat Boy special. Sure it was hard, but it was rewarding, and many of these derivative titles fail to capture that. Sometimes You's newest published title, Alteric, manages to not only miss that, but introduces a lot of its own problems in the process.

Alteric is an all too common occurrence in indie platformers these days. A minimalist game starring a small white box, it sets itself apart - sort of - but integrating a dimension-switching mechanic. This is merely okay. One, it's not particularly original, and two it doesn't feel quite right. Switching between dimensions feels more like calling platforms in and out of existence, and a lot of Alteric seems to use the mechanic to trick players instead of teach them.

Most of the difficulty stems from leading you to your doom, hoping you'll remember next time. This doesn't work out to be very enjoyable as it causes the levels to be unfair. Early on the player is introduced to check points to soften the blow, but these barely appear afterwards. It's a shame too, because there are several levels where having the option to use them would be really nice.

Also, the cube (whose only personality is the soft grunt it produces when jumping) appears to be made of ice. It slides around upon landing, resulting in a lot of unintentional deaths. In general, the controls are extremely lacking. For whatever reason, on the D-Pad jump is mapped to up and the dimension switch is set to the down arrow.

Screenshot for Alteric on PlayStation 4

This results in unwanted dimension swaps, and, therefore, even more unintentional deaths. Thanks to some of the levels being quite lengthy, this can result in replaying large sections of the game. What's more perplexing is that jump is already assigned to X, and the dimension swap is set to square, so why even bother doing this?

Another annoying aspect is that the traps don't reset themselves when you die. This results in traps timing being off the next time you reach them, as some of them seem to be set to some sort of internal rhythm. The other thing is on bosses, where you can spawn under it, resulting in an immediate death. These are just a few more annoyances that make Alteric feel like a cumbersome mix of unfinished and unfeeling.

This does have a decent look, although it's mostly black rectangles. During the dimension swaps the background changes colours, but doesn't do anything more impressive than that. Alteric has a mediocre look superimposed over a sub-par game. Everything works, but it's the design of the machine that is flawed. This leaves in its wake an abysmal experience that manages to only every so often be enjoyable. If you're looking for another challenging platformer, do yourself a favor, and look elsewhere.

Screenshot for Alteric on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

4/10
Rated 4 out of 10

Subpar

Alteric fails to tick any of the boxes that make such a platformer fun. While a die-hard genre fan may be able to find some silver lining within its walls, this is a messy title that manages to ignore all of the stored wisdom of its peers, and become wholly annoying. Again, it does work, but what it leaves behind is an experience that refuses to use its best judgment, and just wants to be hard, without any substance to back it up.

Developer

goonswarm

Publisher

Sometimes You

Genre

2D Platformer

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  4/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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