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'UNSIGHTED': Top-Down 2D Excellence


Image Credit: Studio Pixel Punk/Humble Games

In the world of Arcadia, all humans have gone extinct. The only beings left able to prove their existence are the androids, automatons with sentience. Anima is the lifeblood of the androids. Not only does it keep them alive, but it also provides them with the capacity to think and feel. Without Anima, the androids would eventually become savage killing machines known as the Unsighted. The meteor that crashed at the center of Arcadia emits more than enough Anima energy for this to be a nonissue. However, when an unknown alien race invades and drops the Crater Tower, a research facility closely resembling those of extinct humans, on top of the meteor, it’s only a matter of time until the androids go feral.


Waking up in a cold, dark laboratory, players take control of Alma, an amnesiac android. Fortunately, Alma doesn’t need her memories to remember how to fight. After escaping the lab, Alma realizes that the meteor is compromised. Jet black ooze covers the once pristine landscape, and monsters known as the Corrupted swarm from it. The player’s task is to obtain the five scattered shards of the meteorite to craft a weapon that can destroy the mysterious abominations. Without access to Anima, you only have a finite amount of time before you and all of the androids you meet lose their sentience, becoming Unsighted. This is no simple feat, though. One of your former friends guards each shard and has already become Unsighted, and each fight makes it clear why they are entrusted with keeping these pieces safe. Upon victory, Alma will not only claim the meteor shard but also regain some of her lost memories, further developing her motivation.


Unsighted takes inspiration from many games, but any comparison would undermine the creativity of these game developers in innovating in the top-down action adventure formula. Exploration, combat, and puzzle solving are primary, and there’s much to do with your limited time. Once players are set loose in the game’s central hub, they are free to head to whichever meteorite shard location they want—as long as they have the skill to back up their choice.


Alma has two close-quarters options: a simple-to-use, speedy, and low-stamina-cost sword or the slow, stamina-chugging powerhouse axe. She can also equip several firearms to take down enemies from a distance, which she can switch to quickly in the heat of combat.


One of the core weapon mechanics of Unsighted is its crafting system. All of the materials Alma will find throughout Arcadia can be used in a number of different combinations, similar to crafting in Minecraft. Being able to craft special weapons without having to find them first adds to the replay value of the game.


The melee is complex and requires quick thinking on the player’s part to handle each situation in the most efficient and effective way possible. Most enemies pack a massive punch and will use every opportunity to overwhelm you. Players will have to use dodges to avoid damage or an incredibly risky parry to give themselves an advantage in combat. The timing and amount of parries Alma must perform consecutively varies from enemy to enemy. However, if Alma gets a perfectly timed parry, she can put attackers in a vulnerable state, opening them up to critical damage. The health-restoring syringe Alma comes equipped with offers a rechargeable bandaid to repair any damage you may take. Combat is fierce, fluid, and incredibly rewarding as Alma busts through hordes of Unsighted.


The world of Arcadia is as beautiful as it is bleak, whether you’re exploring one of the overworld’s cyberpunk cities, a vibrant cherry blossom-filled forest, or frozen aquariums. Unsighted entices players to explore its imaginative landscapes and rewards the curious and attentive with enhancement items, key progression items, and the highly coveted meteorite ore, which gives one android another day to live. Each background character you speak with will display the amount of time they have left before going feral; you can give each character a piece of the ore, but you may also need to preserve ore to extend your own time. Meteorite ore has another use: if Alma gathers three, she can trade them to a specific android in exchange for an additional health syringe. However, just like any other android, Alma will go Unsighted if the amount of time she has left runs out. Players will have to make some tough decisions in the game, such as how to ration the meteorite ores they find on their journey.


With the engaging story, complex combat, fleshed-out crafting system, and the ever-looming countdown, Pixel Punk has crafted a truly unforgettable gaming experience.


Rating: INDY

 

Marcus Trawick IV is a freshman in the College and is currently undeclared.




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