I just finished playing Miasmata, and I have to say, I was blown away. I never really like first person survival games. I was more the puzzle RPG sort.
However, Miasmata is worth it. I was first impressed with stunning artwork. The island is just beautifully designed and completely realistic (including a different atmosphere for different lighting, weather and time of day).
Some of the struggles I had were firstly, the controls. Although I was ok within an hour or so of starting the game, I had to completely customize them.
I also got pretty confused with the saving method. The lack of a main menu (apart from customizing controls, music and sound FX, and other technical specs), you can only restore an old game. It took me a bit longer to realise that the game can only be saved in a certain way/location (infuriating at first but once you get into the game it actually makes perfect sense-although a short introduction would have been SO helpful!).
Finally, this game is best played with headphones on or in a VERY quiet room. I got extremely frustrated at the start because, even with the sound effects at 100%, I still couldn’t get auditory cues to danger. Earphones took care of the problem though and I finished the game in about 10 days or so.
On the plus side:
On other forums, players have complained that the game is ‘choppy’ and they have reported a number of bugs. I’m pleased to say I faced no such problems and my laptop is about 6 months old or so (you still need a pretty awesome graphics card and tons of memory to do the game justice!). On occasion, when I had programmes running in the background the game got a bit ‘choppy’ but that was by no means a big problem. Game was still perfectly playable, just marginally slower.
The atmosphere of the game is incredible. Apart from the weather and the character’s breathing, you only get to hear music very occasionally and when you do it is a lovely, somber, moving melody.
The game is so immersive that you will find yourself panting and your heart just about to beat out of your chest alongside your character. Even though I struggled with the mapping/navigation/triangulation system, I have to admit that with about 3 hours worth of practice it actually got to be a really good fun challenge, especially later on in the game.
However, I found the best part of this game to be the many unfolding narratives. So you know your mission, you know to stay away from the lurking monster but how on earth did you get there in the first place and why? You will only know as you uncover different paths of the game, as you discover little clues about what happened before and how you are left the only survivor of a mysterious plague and a bout of mass hysteria…
But I can’t say any more without giving the game away.
I would highly recommend Miasmata. It is a game to be both played AND experienced and I have to say it has been, for me, an amazing introduction into a whole new genre. Do not give in to frustration at the beginning. Stick with it and you will be glad you did.
Thanks to the Johnsons for a brilliant gaming experience!
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Time Played: Over 20 hours