[Nintendo Switch] Beyond A Steel Sky Review
3D Point and click adventure sequel Beyond a Steel Sky from Microids and Revolution Software is ready for you on Nintendo Switch. Check our Beyond a Steel Sky review!
3D Point and click adventure sequel Beyond a Steel Sky from Microids and Revolution Software is ready for you on Nintendo Switch. It’s been almost 40 years since the release of Beneath a Steel Sky from Revolution Software, a cyberpunk experience set in a dystopian future from game director Charles Cecil, who you might also know as the creator of the long-running Broken Sword series, and legendary comic book artist Dave Gibbons, who you must know from his work in 2000 AD, Doctor Who, and Watchmen.
Charles Cecil and Dave Gibbons are now back for Beyond a Steel Sky. Since it’s been a while since we got the point and click adventure game prequel, this sequel now gives us a 3D presentation with a graphic novel cel-shaded look to it that at times reminded me of how The Walking Dead: The Final Season looks. The game takes place ten years after the events from Beneath a Steel Sky, and it has you once again taking on the role of Robert Foster, who arrives at Union City to take on the case of a missing child.
Union City is a special location, in that – spoiler alert – during the events of Beneath a Steel Sky, the city was entrusted to an AI – his robotic friend Joey – to oversee and do everything needed to give its population the best life possible. Upon returning to Union Sky, Robert Foster finds a very interesting location to explore, where it seems that all needs of every citizen are aptly taken care of by the ruling AI. But perhaps there’s more going on? After all, there is one child missing, and that would not happen in a utopia, right?
Thanks to the game’s 3D presentation, the point and click formula is of the move “walk and interact” variety, offering you direct control of Robert as you explore each location. You’ll walk with the left analog stick, interacting with points of interest, objects, or other characters with the A button. The right analog stick will be used to look around Foster as needed. If you want to speed things up, you can run by pressing and holding down the ZR button. After interacting with something or someone, you can examine, use an item from your inventory, or try to strike up a conversation with other characters.
Once you gain access to a special tool early in the game – and have it improved by a resourceful character – the R button can be used to hack into devices. This will make it possible to control some of them to change how they work. You’ll move around dark blocks to change how devices perform. This can be tested on the vending machine that gives you a free soda can. Hack it, and you can change its functions so that it can dispense an unlimited amount of soda cans instead of the one can maximum it was programmed for!
The game pays homage to its classic point and click roots, offering puzzles that will test your abilities as you try to find the right way to solve each scenario. What type of puzzles will you have to solve? Since I don’t want to spoil this experience for you, allow me to discuss the first two puzzles in the game. While following the tracks of the machine that took Milo – that would be the kid who was kidnapped at the start of the game, you end up finding a corpse. While taking a closer look is a must, a pack of Gang-Gang birds is preparing to feast on the body. If you can distract them with someone else, you’d be able to check out the body without issues. Perhaps if you used the piece of pie in your inventory and threw it nearby, they will leave the body alone?
A bit later, you will need to ask one of the kids in Union City about Milo. He wants to ride on the roundabout before talking, but the ride is stopped thanks to a chain. If you examine the chain and go into your inventory, you’ll be able to select the crowbar, which will allow you to get rid of the chain, give the roundabout a push, and then talk to the kid once he’s done having some fun. After talking with him, he’ll mention that his brother recently saw a huge monster and that he’s hiding in the park. This huge monster could be the four-legged machine that kidnapped Milo, so off you go to find this kid to gain some valuable information. Every time you learn a new piece of intel, that topic will be added to the potential conversation branches with the characters you meet, and this is how you move the story forward.
If you’re a point and click fan, then you’re going to greatly enjoy your time with Beyond a Steel Sky. It’s a 3D adventure that pays homage to its roots while offering some 21st-century bells and whistles that will make it an easier-to-digest experience for those new to the genre. You’re looking at around 10-12 hours before you can complete this one based on how many conversation branches you pursue and how long you take to solve the puzzles this journey presents, which is a solid length for an adventure game. Beyond a Steel Sky is out on Nintendo Switch with a $39.99 asking price. And once you complete the game, you can give it another go and activate the developer’s commentary track to get some extra insight into how Beyond a Steel Sky was made. Oh, and if you want to take the prequel for a spin, it’s currently available as a free download on Steam.
This Beyond a Steel Sky review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Microids.