We here at FragMix were lucky enough to get our hands on a key for the demo of Aporia: Beyond the Valley. The full game will be released on the 19th of July 2017 so there’s still some time to go before everyone will be able to play it. Since it is a demo, the only part of the game I’ve seen is the opening section. I was not disappointed and it did leave me wanting more.
From the very beginning, Aporia: Beyond the Valley caught my interest with its mystic atmosphere. The character you play wakes up in a place with you not knowing how they got there or why they are there. What I really enjoy about this game is that there is no text explaining anything. Everything you need to know you either have to figure out yourself or are shown how to do with very basic icons (they pop up next to a new item you haven’t interacted with before). The latter only goes for the most basic of elements in the game (like walking, jumping, how to use interactable objects, etc).
When you start the game the only thing you have is a mystic, cylindrical phial filled with a golden, glowing liquid. At the beginning, you don’t know what it is, but you soon find out that it works as a sort of key to almost everything in the game. The concept of this is really good because you have to make sure your phial is filled with the mystic liquid. Sadly it is currently way too easy to find refills, which (in my eyes) takes away a welcomed challenge. If the phial was harder to keep full it could have to make the game a bit more interesting and force you to be more careful with how you spend your resources. With that said, this is a demo and in later stages of the game, it could be much harder to find refill-phials. This I obviously don’t know yet.
Even though there is no text explaining the game and its backstory you do get to see it. It is shown to the player through a cinema-like display of ancient Egyptian-esque drawings. I love the concept, but more importantly, the execution is amazing. If you, like me, like to figure things out yourself these moving projections give a lot of food for thought. The drawing in the moving projections might be simple, but the look and graphics of the rest of the game are not. Aporia: Beyond the Valley has a very intricate and beautiful world, with that comes both pros and cons. The pros are that it’s a lovely gaming experience with a lot of details to discover which creates a very immersive experience. The only con is that the game is very graphically intensive and takes a good GPU to peddle (yes, I’m speaking from experience due to the substandard GPU I’m currently). If your GPU is not up to the task you will have framerate issues which, as always, will impact your gaming experience.
As mentioned above the world that the developers of Aporia: Beyond the Valley have created is beautiful, but it’s also very extensive which I absolutely love. This leaves a lot of room for exploring for those of you who enjoy that. Since the game doesn’t feel extremely linear you do get the feeling of missing out because you didn’t take a detour to look around. I would highly recommend taking the time to soak in your surroundings while playing and can guarantee you won’t be disappointed.
All in all, Aporia: Beyond the Valley was a lot of fun and I can’t wait to play the full game! Everything about this game peaked my interest. The vast world that makes you want to explore, the historical projections, interesting puzzles and attention to detail are all things that make this game well worth buying when it is finally released.