Developer: Pulsetense Games
Publisher: KISS ltd
Release date: 2 Sep, 2016
Genre: Genre: Adventure, Indie
De-Void is a first person adventure / exploration game. You will find yourself impersonating Elizabeth, one of the many workers aboard a space station orbiting a planet apparently suitable for colonization that has been found. But from the first moments, you will realize something is not right. The entire station lies deserted, and communications are silent. Something happened, and you have somehow been spared from all of it. Helped by Wilco, the station’s artificial intelligence, you will have to find out what happened to everyone, first on the station and then on the planet itself, where something very strange has been discovered.
The gameplay of De-Void is the one typical of a graphical adventure game, despite the fact this one is fully tridimensional which is rather unusual for this genre, but stripped of many layers of depth and down to the bare minimum: in this game there are only five controls, the WASD keys to move of course, and then left click to interact with an object. With such minimal controls, every player would expect great levels of interaction, analysis, description and things to find out around the game environment, but De-Void is not the case…
There are basically just three types of interactable objects in the entire game, the first are doors, which will open automatically when a certain condition has been met, and not before (even if they are supposed to, the game gives no real story-wise explanation of why they should not be opening). The second type of interactions will be with computer screens, datapads and buttons, which will usually play an audio log or activate an elevator when pressed, and the last interaction will be with very few objects the player will be able to pick up, rotate, examine (without any description o sorts or other types of analysis) and then put down in the exact same position. Basically a 3D model view. The interaction count in this game is very small, very linear and very average at best. Interactiveness is the core element of games like this and in De-Void has been totally stripped bare.
The main goal of this title is to follow the instructions of Wilco, our computer assistant, which will tell us what to do and suggest how to progress. There is some exploration in certain areas, especially on the planet surface, to be done, but mostly the environment is empty and devoid (no pun intended) of any interaction whatsoever. You will walk and walk and walk through unresponsive and static environments just to find the next door to get in and so unlock the following part of the chapter.
The story upon which the game is based is a bit interesting for some aspects, but in large part is an overused cliché: “humans have dug out something ancient beyond their comprehension from somewhere in space, BIG mistake, now everything has gone to hell”. Mission control calling originality, please respond! That bit of mystery the story lingers around is not even remotely sufficient to hook any player to it for long.
De-Void uses the Unreal Engine 3 graphics engine, nothing wrong with that even if it’s a bit outdated now that its number 4 counterpart has come out.
Speaking of general graphics, De-Void is set on pretty low standards from the current gaming generation. Such lacking may be justified by great artistic direction, but there is none of that in this title: environments have ups and downs in both design and quality of textures, models and meshes, you will more than once notice different resolution textures in the same environment creating a very unpleasant contrast, models are jagged and nowhere near the average standards of the current industry, effects are minimal as well apart from a very persistent distance fog which is totally unjustified for what this game delivers.
Speaking of Performance, the game runs pretty well, also thanks to its quite dated engine and the lack of details and polygon counts in most areas (in some areas it looked like we were back to Quake 2, but that was just a dream), but luckily there were no major issues in this aspect.
Speaking of bugs and problems, a game of this kind should hardly have any, but still the level design is sometimes faulty, so the player can manage to get stuck inside some rubble with no exit, and will have to restart the entire chapter from the beginning since… there is no game save except for the BEGINNING of each chapter! You heard it right. Apart from this totally MINOR fault, there are no other issues in this aspect.
Speaking of sound design, we are on an acceptable level, sufficient at most but not too bad. Sounds are coherent with the environment we found ourselves in and are not glitched or low quality.
In conclusion on the technical part, we stand in front of a game coming from many years ago but made in the current generation, and not even that well.
Conclusion And Rating
De-Void is an exploration adventure game which has been brutally mutilated of the core gameplay elements which make this genre great, down to the minimum to function. It is not sufficient in Technical and Gameplay parts by far, and I do not recommend this game at its current pricing at all.
(click on the image to see the rating explanation)