Welcome to AR-Y 26, an uncharted alien planet you are to survey and ensure is fit for habitation. All alone, save for your AI companion EKO, you will need to scavenge the planet for the resources to repair and refuel your ship for the return flight home. But you didn’t expect things to be that simple, did you?
Grob – It’s What’s for Dinner
Journey to the Savage Planet is an action-adventure game that gives off some serious Ratchet & Clank vibes from the very start. Armed with my 3D printed weapon in one hand and some cans of mystery goop in the left, I set out from my busted spaceship in search of fuel and resources so that I might print replacement parts.
Some of the wildlife I encountered during my visit to AR-Y 26 was docile; others did their best to keep me from getting the hell off the planet. It’s a good thing Kindred gave me a tool belt so I can carry all sorts of weird bits and bobs. For instance, those cans of Grob inside Javelin’s vending machine (and somehow conveniently dropped in other locations) can be used as bait, luring creatures to feast on their questionable contents.
Using my visor, I am able to scan my surroundings and gather useful information about the plants and wildlife on AR-Y 26. I’ve learned that the large orange flowers have healing properties, while the round purple bulbs spawn bombs I can use to destroy fractured walls or armed enemies. The varying alien creatures have unique weaknesses, as well. Some of them can easily be killed while others have weak spots I must exploit or armor I need to destroy first.
Tastes Like Orange
In order to progress on this journey, upgrades must be crafted. Most of the time EKO chimes in with new directions on where my required story element is located. Getting to each of these became increasingly more and more difficult. It was imperative that I planned my course carefully. But when I died – and boy did I die – EKO reprinted me back on the Javelin. Thank the alien ancestors for leaving a series of teleportation devices all over the place!
Crafting upgrades of any kind will take a variety of resources, including carbon, aluminum, and silicon. These were easily obtained by killing the creatures on AR-Y 26 or locating ore deposits. Completing science experiments assigned by Kindred Aerospace opened up more upgrade options for my 3D printer. While not necessary, these extras proved beneficial to my efforts.
Enhancing my weapons and gadgets was one thing, but extending my health and stamina reserves was another. Blobs of strange orange alien goo were hidden across all four sections of Journey to the Savage Planet. Consuming this questionable substance repeatedly certainly strengthened me physically. As I ate more of it, I found it took one or two more servings than previously to increase my health. (Hint: The unappetizing squish is how you know it’s working.)
The Baboushka’s Lullaby
In addition to some fantastic gameplay, Typhoon Studios has infused even more off the wall humor into its first game with absurd infomercials and dispatches from Kindred’s CEO, Martin Tweed. I like to watch these now and then when I skip back to the Javelin for a bit of a rest. New transmissions and emails are available to view from the Javelin’s computer as you explore more of AR-Y 26.
Unfortunately, there have been a couple of hiccups on my journey. Some of these were scheduled to be corrected with the pre-launch patch but hasn’t been the case for me. The first issue I ran into is an incorrect waymarker occasionally persisting on the screen. A quick return to the main menu and logging back in seemed to fix this for me. Not a deal-breaker, just annoying.
In another instance, I had a problem with my tactical grab and climb not working in a spot where I really needed it to work. Approaching the ledge as I had done many times before only made me bounce off of the platform and made things a bit frustrating in an already high adrenaline situation.
That said, Journey to the Savage Planet is such a ridiculously zany and wonderful game. No matter how many times I die, whether it be to a monster I just didn’t see or missing a grapple after grinding my way up the Spire, I look forward to returning to my corpse and giving it another go (and a proper burial). Whether you play the game solo or with an online coop partner, I hope you enjoy your time on AR-Y 26 as much as I have.
Journey to the Savage Planet review code provided by publisher. Version 1.02 reviewed on a standard PlayStation 4. For more information on scoring please see our Review Policy.