Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Miasmata Gameplay Review

I'm playing Miasmata, an exploration and survival adventure game by IonFx.

Shipwrecked on a mysterious island, your goal is to find the cure to a disease by exploring the large, detailed island. The game is presented in a non-linear, relaxed fashion, giving you plenty of time to wander off on your own in any direction without restriction. Progress is automatically saved any time you light a candle, fire, or lantern, or sleep in a bed. Controls use the left-mouse button to pick up objects (items are dropped by crouching and looking down), and your character can hold up to three different plants in his left hand and one object (torch, stick, rock, knife) in his right (no option for a backpack to carry plants, which is weird). Miasmata utilizes a player movement momentum system that makes it far too easy to slide down hills, even gradual slopes. Plants are scattered around the island, which can be analyzed and manufactured into medicines that combat illness and enhance attributes (strength, endurance, perception). Miasmata also features a mapping system where you must sight two known landmarks (buildings, statues) to find your current location or locate new, unknown landmarks. While this system is innovative and somewhat realistic, it also means you can’t wander too far from previously spotted landmarks without getting lost. Exploring away from landmarks won’t reveal any new information (or even tell you where you currently are located), though pre-drawn maps can be discovered (usually at camps located along paths) to fill in some gaps. You also have to worry about a monster that gets progressively more dangerous as time marches on; you must either hide or run when it comes near. Miasmata is certainly something different, appropriate for those players looking for a relaxed exploration adventure with a couple of minor issues.