Back in the early 2000’s, when it was easier to go to your nearest store and buy a gaming magazine, instead of referring to the internet, it was rather difficult to stay on top of all the upcoming releases. Understandably, gaming magazines would cover all the most prominent titles, but with limited space and timespan of a single issue, made it impossible to cover smaller games of the 2000’s. And considering how many PlayStation 2 games would appear seemingly out of nowhere, the grey area of the video-gaming knowledge was an ever expanding issue. At times, it was possible to enter a store, and spend an hour or even two, just on looking at the games you’ve never heard off. And you couldn’t just reach to your pocket, and pull out your smartphone to find out what the game was really about, you had to believe in what was written on the back of the box. And as we all know, 90% of the text written by the developer, or a copywriter employed by the publisher, is absolute nonsense.

However, the dark ages of the digital world have now come to an end, and it takes literal seconds to find out everything about any title, even the smallest, freeware indie game. So when I’ve been told that I am going to be reviewing Soul Axiom, I’ve instantly turned to the internet for help, because I’ve never heard of it. And the all mighty internet, which is always right and would never lie to anybody, has informed me that Soul Axiom, is a first-person puzzle game with rich environments and immersive, haunting narrative. When I’ve read a series of statements, which all agreed on the substance which fills the heart and soul of Soul Axiom, I couldn’t wait to fire myself into it. Simply because it sounded just like the phenomenal The Talos Principle, and rather average The Witness. However, mere minutes into my playthrough of the title in question, I’ve found out that it is not a puzzle game, but a Walken’ Simulator.

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You know, how sometimes, you’re promised things, things that never quite materialise. And this, this is, exactly what Soul Axiom, is just like. An object, with tremendous premise, a bright, shimmering future, which is bound to scatter away the scum of monotony, but ultimately, it, it you know, fails to achieve its goals. And not because it’s necessarily bad, no – categorically not, it’s because it tries to build a game-player relationship on lies, and, deception. It promises you, you the player, you know, the consumer, a grandeur of intriguing adventure, filled, filled to the brim, with puzzles which are there to set your mind, alight. But these promises, are empty, there is no grandeur, no splendour, in-fact, there’s nothing there at all. You, just press onwards, like that proverbial lamb, yes – a lamb, a lamb to the slaughter.

You claw, and you claw, at the digital confines of the Soul Axiom‘s prison, hoping, that maybe, just maybe, you’ll receive that one puzzle, which will fulfil the promises of the men, and women, behind the title, but NO! There’s nothing. Not a single puzzle. You just walk, and walk, and walk, and feel, like you’ve accomplished nothing. You could say, that, Soul Axiom, is just as disappointing, as the son, you know the one, the one which betrays you. You buy him a car, it’s not good enough. You give him the money; he still frowns upon you. You give him, the tools, to carve out his own destiny, he stabs you, yes – you, the voice of reason, the saviour, right in the back! Because just like Soul Axiom, he’s a lying, cheating, ba… You know, exactly what he is.

But all jokes aside, Soul Axiom, has some redeemable features. It might not be the puzzler the developer has promised, but it is still a title worth your time, maybe not for £14.99 as it is currently being sold for on the PlayStation Network, but it is definitely worth picking up for £5, once it is on sale, as the in-game environments are genuinely interesting, and tell the true story behind the title’s facade.

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The digital environments, on their own add a lot to the intrigue of the product, however, Soul Axiom repeatedly insists on placing the player in a ‘real life’ setting, which in comparison to the digital sections, is simply below average to put it lightly. Some levels are of questionable quality, and seem like they’ve been put together from pre-existing assets, which developers have found in the darkest depths of their hard drives. To add insult to injury, everything feels out of place, as scaling of the objects is commonly incorrect. The environments consist of large, barren, open spaces, which dwarf the player character on each and every step, and majority of furniture, is so large, it looks like it was designed for a house of horrors, rather than a building occupied by human beings. And for every five minutes of genuinely interesting story, the player is served with at least fifteen minutes of wonder, and confusion related to size of some objects.

Ultimately, Soul Axiom, is a title of an eerily odd nature. It seems destined for greatness, but instead of pursuing it through excellence of execution, and simplicity, it strives for elaborate complexity it doesn’t quite comprehend. The emphasis which is conclusively placed on the two-bit, three dimensional environments, takes away from the story as its flaws are so jarring, and mind boggling, they become the focal point of the product. And due to the lack of any puzzles, which do not boil down to holding R2 or pressing L2, players will spend majority of their time questioning title’s negatives, instead of cherishing its positives, which are unfortunately few and far between.



Author

Kamil

My name is Kamil, and I'm the 'Feature Man'. I write news, and reviews just like everybody else, however, feature articles are my true forte. And this is not because I'm another self-centered, pseudo-intellectual games journalist, but because there are many discussion worthy matters which go unnoticed in the flurry of other video-game related articles. If you want to read more of my #HotTakes and #Opinions, or if you simply want to fight me over the internet, you can follow me on Twitter @Kama_Kamilia.