Get prepared to set forth and fulfil your destiny in Stela, the most recent title from Skybox Labs, out now on the Xbox 1.
Stela is a excellent journey portrayed as a two.5D platformer that has players traversing via an unforgiving but beautifully cinematic globe and witnessing the finish of an ancient civilisation. Upon awakening in a mysterious cavern, players take handle of an unnamed protagonist and make their way via different locations that are equally attractive as they are deadly. Moving via devastated vistas, cinematic action sequences and solving puzzles, players will try to attain their journeys finish. In juxtaposition to the beautiful scenery there is an ever present tension in Stela, with extremely small secure refuge for players to cease and take in the sights. Hazards come from not only the decaying civilisation about you but also from savage beasts and mysterious creatures that inhabit the globe.
From the initially moments of the game, Stela is attractive and at instances becomes downright beautiful. There are lots of extremely clear cinematic moments for players to revel in but even in the downtime among these, every single shot has been cautiously positioned for maximum impact. The camera will normally pan in or out as necessary to actually highlight the action or to give a greater sense of grandeur. There is lots of depth to the colour palette with each and every region feeling new and distinctive but nevertheless eerily devoid of life. Adding to the ambience and general style of Stela is the magnificent soundtrack, complete of a diverse variety of themes that consists of subtle melodies to heart pumping tracks. Complete of soft strings, ethereal tones, heavy horns and industrial sounds that actually aids to magnify the tension, relief or sense of accomplishment the player feels from moment to moment.
While most of the time the player is on a single plane, there are normally instances when the character will want to climb onto background ledges to resolve puzzles or stay clear of danger. Controls really feel great and are simple to fully grasp with the player only needing to know basic grab controls for points like moving objects, sliding boxes or pulling switches. Mechanics are introduced steadily and begin to overlap with each and every other to develop into extra complicated but normally lead to some sudden deaths that remind us of the original Prince of Persia.
While Stela might not bring something new to the genre, it is an absolute pleasure to knowledge. In a year complete of attractive games, it is 1 journey that need to completely not be missed and 1 we appear forward to having a great achievement score in.
Mat Panek, Chief Games Reviewer
Retromancer – Collector, repairer & fan of retro games & tech. Atari to Amiga, Nintendo to Sega! LD, Zip, Beta and a proud dad! 1 half of the TiredParents on Twitch.
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Disclosure: Stela [Xbox One code] was kindly offered by Stride PR for this overview.