STAFF REVIEW of Symmetry (Xbox One)

Thursday, April 12, 2018.
by Kirsten Naughton

Symmetry Box art Symmetry is a survival management game set in a retro-futuristic, post-apocalyptic world. I wasn't really too sure about this game and I'm still not yet sold after a my time playing it either. Made by Sleepless Clinic, this game gives the players a different interpretation of a survival game, one that strays from the usual world of shooting zombies in the head or trying to get through some apocalyptic event.

I will be honest here, as a gamer, I'm not a huge fan of survival games, but I figured I'd give this one a shot, based on the fact that this game doesn't have jump scares, scary music or an extremely dark room that I have to navigate around and not die. I'll admit that it is somewhat nice to see a survival game that is not based on creepy music and creatures jumping out of the dark, as playing in a first person mode as it allows gamers of who are fans of different genres to check out something different.

So, what is this game about? Well, a research spaceship reaches an abandoned planet. Nothing is what it seems here though and the situation quickly slips out of control. To be honest, there's not much of a story here. There's a short scene with a narrative that tries to set the basis of the game up for you, and then you go right into the gameplay. I am one of those gamers who loves the narrative in a game. I love to learn the backstory behind a game's events, where I'm about to spend a few hours or more in, but unfortunately that is not to be found here.

Your main goal is to manage the crash survivors and help them withstand the silent, extremely cold environment in-order to fix their spacecraft and escape. You are in control of your crew members' every move. From repairing the machinery in the spacecraft to basic life skills such as eating. If your crew members get cold or sick, they will die if you don't catch what may be affecting them quick enough.

To ensure your crew members stay alive, you need three key resources: lumber, food and power. Lumber and power can be found on the outside of the spacecraft while you can grow food inside the ship. You have a limited amount of time to complete your upgrades and act on the objectives you need to solve. This game doesn't take long to run its course. Once your crew members die, the game is over and you are back to the main menu.

You can spend time researching and upgrading your equipment, which I found was doable, but it will be at the expense of your crew. If you research and upgrade, you aren't focusing on gathering lumber and food. If you don't have heat, your crew will die of hypothermia. If you don't have food, your crew will die of starvation. Can you see the pattern here? Completing research, upgrading, collecting and ensuring the health of your crew can't all be done in this game simultaneously. You have to pick only a small handful of things and no matter what you chose, your crew will die. This fact makes this game one of those you play a few times and move onto something else (in my opinion).

Although this side scrolling game is short, the visual aspects are well done. It has an interesting art style and the colours working well with the environment you're in. It's not that bad to look at at all. On the other hand, I feel like the overall sound could have been executed a little better. It doesn't have much for background music or sound effects other than some beeping when you try to click something that you're not supposed to at the time. What little sound there is in the background made the game feel very monotone, slightly boring and hard to concentrate on.

After playing Symmetry, I felt that it was very continuous in such that there was little to no variance in the outcome no matter how I played, what I fixed, or which crew member I tried to save. In essence, I found that there was no winning and escaping. I usually don't like to talk negative about a game, but I feel I have no choice here. Symmetry isn't much fun after a few hours and I honestly feel this is a game that those who play will lose interest in due to the flaws of the gameplay, the lack of sound and lack of character development. But on a more positive note, there are worse games out there, that is for sure.

Overall: 6.0 / 10
Gameplay: 5.0 / 10
Visuals: 8.0 / 10
Sound: 4.0 / 10


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