In the not too distant future, energy will be scarce and in order to power your laser security systems, moving platforms and collapsible floors your will need to find it, manage it so that you have it when you need it, and recycle it when you can. This is how the new world works in Vesta, however, and with the help of her trusty droid sidekick named Droid, there is no obstacle that can stop the two of them.
You take on the role of Vesta, a spunky tech kid that is tasked with evading the traps and discovering the answer to what is really going on. Set in a mysterious factory, there are enemies around every corner but that can’t stop you from interacting with the environment and making your way through the challenges. Vesta, developed by Finalboss Games, will test your puzzle-solving skills, and admittedly your patience, so get ready for a buddy adventure like no other.
Vesta opens with a motion-comic intro that is very cool that sets the theme for the entire game. The artwork is awesome and it gives the game a really silly aesthetic as Vesta’s robot assistant gets her up out of bed and on her big journey. This comic book technique is used throughout the game and does a great job of conveying the story elements to the player as well as making it approachable to a very wide target audience. While these sections are brightly colored and fun, the actual visuals during gameplay are dark and foreboding. It’s a very stark contrast and as I thought about it more, it kind of confused me how Finalboss would justify this feature.
Gameplay sees you solving environmental puzzles and opening the door at the exit while dodging acid pits, enemy robots and laser beams. This is a puzzle game at its core and for some reason, the other elements of the game seemed to hold the game back somewhat. For starters, Vesta is supposed to be an active kid yet she moves around the levels with the speed of a sloth. The same goes for Droid and I found myself getting annoyed and how slow they both were. This slowness could easily be explained if they made Vesta an 82-year-old grandmother and Droid an outdated rusty, shoddily repaired 1024-year-old housekeeping robot.
There is a cool feature in the game where Droid can pick Vesta up and carry her around the levels so that she stays safe and Droid can take punishment. In addition, Droid can toss her to hard to get places in order to get around the levels. The puzzles that you are tasked with solving, however, aren’t interesting enough to make me care about this feature though. The game Enslaved: Odyssey to the West from developer Ninja Theory did this feature better even though it wasn’t a very popular title. What this game breaks down to is evade the enemies, find the energy to power the nodes that operate the doors, then exit the level to the next. Rinse and repeat.
There are more than 30 levels in Vesta that get more and more difficult as you progress through the levels. This all takes place in a fairly good-looking environment in levels full of objects to interact with such as moving platforms and conveyor belts, secret hatches and tunnels and hidden secrets and items. Where this game falls flat is in the execution that just felt tired and something that other games have done much better. The technological universe that Vesta takes place in is a very interesting choice, but the energy management and usage system, a main feature in the game, isn’t used to its fullest possible potential and basically ends up being just a way to open doors. Vesta could have just been given a key for that task.
This review is based on a retail copy of the game provided by the publisher.