Day 1: I crashed upon the shores of the Eden this morning, rejected by the sea. Plague is coursing through my veins and I will die soon if I cannot discover a cure.
Day 5: I am being hunted by a mysterious creature. It stalks me day and night. I cannot let my guard down, for he is a cunning and intelligent adversary.
Day 9: Plague is ravaging my body now. It hunts me down just as the creature does. But, there is hope yet. I have been making progress in my search for a cure. I will need to do more scientific research and experimentation, but I am convinced this island holds the miracle I seek.
Miasmata is a game of survival, exploration and discovery. During your adventure, you’ll encounter a mysterious and deadly creature. This creature can stalk you for miles, lurking behind grasses and vegetative cover. By treading carefully and quietly, you may be able to elude the creature. If you’re careless, however, you will be forced to confront the creature head-on. Exploration is a key component to Miasmata, so you will need to make full use of an interesting cartography system. You can use landmarks, such as ruins and statues, to triangulate your location and construct a map of Eden's boundaries and contours.
Minimum system requirements: Windows XP / Windows Vista / Windows 7, Processor 2.5 GHz (Single Core) or 2 GHz (Dual Core), 2GB RAM (4 GB recommended), OpenGL 2.0-compatible graphics card with 512 MB RAM, 5GB HDD, Mouse, Keyboard. Compatibility notice: Some visual artifacts may be encountered on ATI cards. Patched to version 2.0
Posted on 2012-11-30 00:06:32 bynazosan:
I really want to love this game, but I guess I'm just going to have to go against the flow here. It has all the right ideas. It's the execution I'm having a few problems with. I realize that this is an indie game in the purest meaning of the term and didn't expect it to be the most polished thing in the world, but there are some things that feel less like an issue of lack ofread more polish and more like they were just trying so hard to make things realistic that they actually lost sight of reality and instead slam that fourth wall in your face all the harder than ever before completely ruining any existing suspension of disbelief. It's really quite too bad because some of the things they did for the sake of realism could have made the game truly shine and they've definitely made this island an interesting and beautiful place to explore -- they just tried too hard and made it turn far more unpleasant to actually do so than it should be.
First of all, one of the things driving me the most crazy is the way the game handles slopes. It's trying for realism, but you start sliding with ridiculous ease. Also, once in "slide mode" you have to reduce speed below a certain amount or the slide mode won't end -- I've actually slid UP a hill before! It feels like I'm sledding in a snow-covered area, except obviously this area must be very warm or the main character would be dead since he brought nothing (not even decent shoes apparently.) In fact, based on the story I'm guessing he's an escaped convict because he couldn't even bring so much as a backpack or, well, pants (no pockets! You must hold everything -- even small flowers -- in hand and if you fall it all gets dropped all over the place.) It's really hard to climb any slopes -- even the one foot tall slight incline leading into the side you'll most approach of the first "laboratory" building you'll be dealing with. IRL I'd just probably just step right over it (not even a real jump really) straight to the building, but in this game I'm sliding down, trying to jump straight forward, bouncing (seriously, if you just barely hit something in a jump you bounce backwards as if you were made of rubber.) It doesn't help that when you jump while on a slope it's very hard to jump in any way other than exactly perpendicular to the slope. If you gather enough inertia you can jump at a better angle, but for some reason apparently the character can't bend his knees at all, so it's perpendicular whether you like it or not if you don't have the right inertia.
Also, it's kind of annoying that you can carry three samples at once, yet you can only carry one of each -- you can't pick up three of the same flower. This is a real pain when you need a particular thing to make medicine yet have to trek through a pretty good bit just to get to it since there is a finite amount of resources in the game and you can only get so much close by. I mean, worst case scenario, given the situation, he should be able to make a makeshift sack using the burlap-like material on a few buildings and some of the rope holding it up. (Sacrifice a small piece of ONE of the many structures and you'd have a bag that could carry an enormous amounts of the materials you need to, well, live. It seems such a small price to pay for an enormous benefit...)
Which brings me to another thing. You get feverish not over time (or if you do get fever over time it's not enough time that it has happened to me from time alone yet) but based on frequency and extremity of when you fall or otherwise get hurt. I'm running out of plants to make medicine not because I've been on the island for months (BTW, on the ironic side, while the game is realistic enough to require you to drink water, deal with fevers, and etc, you don't deal with food at all! The closest thing is there is some rotten fruit in a few of the shelters that you can pick up and throw apparently as a weapon) so I'm having to run back and forth just trying to collect it (and you can only "store" six samples at once, and only hold one pill of each type at once -- though you can make an extra strength medicine that supposedly lasts longer so you can carry two if you make it and a normal one.) How you get feverish just from falling is beyond me. Last I checked this is not a normal symptom of falls. Sprains, broken bones, etc I can understand, but fevers? Given that a "fall" occurs just from sliding past a certain speed and you slide with ridiculous ease (I've actually "fallen" on perfectly flat solid surfaces!) I'm popping pills like a junkie! (If nothing else, shouldn't there be a such thing as overdosing?) If they wanted to go for realism, they should just do the "hidden hitpoint system" like many games do where your health improves over time, but you don't really know exactly what it is and then just add consequences like not being able to walk very well. Or even have no healing and if you sprain your ankle you walk with a sprain from then on (well, that would be a bit rough, but it would be interesting and less annoying that constantly having to make medicine and pop pills just because you tried to walk up a slight incline that couldn't even be called a hill...) I feel almost like I spend more time sliding around than walking or running. If you could just regain control fairly easily and quickly it wouldn't be so bad, but no matter how you hold the back button or even turn, often enough the only way you can get your ice sliding under control is to slam into a tree (which further reminds you of the way the realism ISN'T realistic by the fact that this actually doesn't hurt...)
And the map system. OMG... Now, I want to state for the record, I'm actually pretty ok with the idea of triangulating to find your current location. IRL you don't just pick up a paper map and then suddenly know your current location at all times. Alright, there are GPS systems and such, but since he's an escaped convict with prison shoes and no pockets I'm not surprised he didn't bring a GPS system with him. HOWEVER, their system goes far beyond simply requiring triangulation. First, you can only use man-made landmarks and you can not make your own (so no tying a dyed piece of fabric in tree limbs or something for the sake of mapping the area better.) Even if you see a giant boulder that stands out or a cliff edge that you could recognize anywhere, it means nothing, however, a pile of sticks someone threw together on the other side of the "river" you see at the beginning to the left (I can't figure out if it was supposed to be an animal trap or what exactly but apparently it counts as a man-made landmark even though it's just a few sticks standing on top of a couple of other sticks and so small you usually can't so much see it as much as the mark indicating where it is) counts just as much as if it were a giant stone statue... Second, it requires exact line of site. A few leaves in the way and that's it. I usually end up spending about four minutes in the middle of a pixel hunt worthy of the worst adventure games (at least there are fewer pixels to search in in a 320x200 resolution game!) to get a point in many areas with trees because just knowing that it's exactly a straight line past that tree is not good enough, you MUST see it with your eyes. The worst thing is, since you can only use known landmarks, you must mark new landmarks which is an absolute incredible pain. It's a two step process that requires that you first triangulate using two known ones and then you must move to a new spot and triangulate again (and as far as I can tell it seems to require that you use another two known landmarks because I haven't been able to get it to learn any new ones by triangulating just two separate positions alone using the same landmarks even though supposedly the point is just to triangulate the new landmark.) This makes exploration an incredible pain in the rear, yet exploration is one of the most important parts of the game... I'm probably ultimately just going to have to give up on the map system entirely and just learn the entire island by memory (I have a good memory, but the game does a pretty good job of confusing you at times. Especially when you start sliding around all over the place and "fall.") Also, despite the situation, it doesn't do anything like marking on the map where particular samples have been found. You need medicine derived from these plants to live and to eventually cure your disease, but apparently it's not important enough to worry about remembering where you actually found anything... Basically the map system is built around absolute cartographer-level precision worthy of computer accurate map creation rather than just someone trying to get around an island without being lost and deal with the local flora/fauna.
It's also worth noting that the graphics do have issues. First, the system requirements seem to be higher than they are stating. My system is a fair bit outdated, but still manages to run all the latest games pretty well. I'll admit this game DOES throw a lot at the system, but even when I'm lowering a lot of settings by quite a bit it still manages to slow down a fair bit at times. Also, in places the water is just beautiful, but in many places (such as the first area you first look at when you start the game) it looks less beautiful and more like you're just looking at static. The voxel clouds they are so proud of are HORRIBLE. Absolutely horrible. First, I assume the point is so the clouds can be random shapes and actually change shape as they go, but they look like some kind of weird plasma lamp with the way they just sort of wobble and flow around and rather than really looking like a bunch of clouds it seems like there is only "hurricane approaching" and "clear skies" modes by what I've seen so far. To make things worse, they look more like just a shockingly low resolution texture skymap with a really blurry resize filter other than the plasma lamp effect. It would have been much better just to simply have a variety of high resolution sky textures to choose from if they wanted variety as it looks anything but realistic like this right now. The irony is, that for all that it's supposed to make them look more realistic, they actually look so flat and boring that even though I normally don't even pay much attention to the skies in these games it draws the eye constantly and bugs me. Also, as realistic and varied as the land may look, the textures can look pretty low texture at times when you're too close (or, ironically when too far as they start to look pretty repetitive on some walls and such.) Oh, and for the record, my videocard is a GTX 460, so no ATI-related graphical anomalies (though I can't help but to think that if they just followed basic standards it shouldn't cause graphical glitches on ATI cards, even if it does use OpenGL.) I have seen some anomalies however, despite using a nVidia card. I can only guess that the point is it seems to also block the sunlight when there are more clouds (which mostly is just annoying since when the hurricane clouds fly in every few minutes it turns fairly dark.)
Also, maybe it's just me -- I'm no expert -- but the structures seem just downright silly. I realize that the people wouldn't have had a lot to work with, but the "shelters" don't actually QUALIFY to be called shelters to my mind. There's no way they would stop wind, rain, animals, or anything else. The "laboratories" couldn't be less sterile or controlled. They are so exposed that it's impossible that dust, rain, leaves, animal fur/feathers, and etc wouldn't all randomly get into your samples and completely interfere with the process. There's very little difference between those wide open structures with walls that are more hole than actual wall and basically the various things just sitting right out on the ground. Now, I don't expect super-realistic structures in an indie game, but it just seems plain silly that these structures can't even act as the most basic of shelters. I don't expect to see glass windows or anything like that, nor even high end expensive portable research facilities, but some sort of tents or walls that consist of more than just a few sticks lashed together wouldn't have been too much to ask? Even in third world countries in the most impoverished conditions they at least have walls that keep SOME of the wind out even if they have to use mud or clay to actually do it. I know this is just a silly nit-pick, but again it completely breaks one's attempts to really suspend disbelieve and feel like it's real, so again the attempts at realism actually push one further away from feeling like it is real.
My real hope is that all of this stuff will be touched up on in the future with updates, but it's impossible to tell if we will ever see any or not. I'm also hoping that maybe they or someone else will make use of this basic game structure to make a game that's less "horror survival" and more just survival. Add need for food and other realisms such as maybe having to make a splint if you fall and sprain or break something as well as traps for animals, remove the monster, remove the feavers (you don't necessarily have to be trying to cure yourself,) make the map system less painful to deal with, and keep the sample collection and research, and you'd have a very interesting survival and exploration game I think. Actually, to some extent, if they'd just had different difficulty modes (easy, normal, and hard would have been perfect -- easy having feaver only occur over a long bit of time or extremely severe falls and no monster, normal at least being a bit easier, and hard being the game as it currently is) it would have been pretty close anyway. Still, my fingers are crossed that at least some of this stuff will be fixed by an update in a not so far off future.
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Posted on 2012-11-29 15:17:01 byDalus:
If you're curious about this game, the trailer will give you a pretty good idea of what to expect. Exploration and survival are the two primary factors here. Mapping out the island is a puzzle in itself, as you have to use known landmarks to triangulate your position through line of sight. You'll soon realize just how much thought went into designing the topology of the islandread more for this task alone.
The game also makes some of the best use of HDR lighting that I've ever seen. At different times of the day, it becomes necessary to a focus on your immediate environment, as letting your eyes adjust to the bright sky will soon render things much darker around the area you're in. You'll want to make good use of the daylight, because the nights are dark, and venturing out, even with a torch in hand, is not advisable.
One thing I think some people might complain about with the game is the movement system. The player's movement is momentum based. Climbing a steep hill is slow, and contrariwise, running downhill can cause you to lose control, and even incur injury. You have to throttle your walk in order to account for the terrain, as well as your physical condition. If you're too weak or sick, you can easily get hurt, or even start to drown while swimming. Always pay attention to your character's condition and mind these environmental hazards.
Although I'm still fairly early into the game, I'm enjoying it a lot thus far. It's a slow paced game that rewards patience and thought, and punishes haste. If all this sounds good to you, then definitely check it out.
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Posted on 2012-11-28 14:26:59 byeven0110:
I had built up a lot of excitement for this game over the last 3 months or so and I must say, it has exceeded all of my expectations.
Love, love, love the map system. Screw traditional HUDs, this is the way to explore.
And the graphics? Better than advertised. And it runs smooth as butter on my i5 560 ti system.
I'm not even close to beating the game yet, but this has alreadyread more become a favorite of mine.
If you enjoy beautiful, immersive exploration in your gaming you'll enjoy this.
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