Corpse of Discovery is a first-person surreal exploration game published and developed by Phosphor Games Studio, Phosphor games have previously worked on the following titles Horn, The Dark Meadow,The path to Luma, WWE Immortals, Man of Steel and World War Z as well as developing console release Heroes Reborn.
“You wake up on a base in a new, unexplored planet. Your landing craft is torn to pieces and your gear is scattered. Why are you here? What is your mission? How will you ever get back home to your family?
Corpse of Discovery is a thought-provoking first-person planetary exploration game located on 6 unexplored planets. As the player, all you know is that to return home, you must complete the mission at-hand for the Corps of Discovery. However, with each mission completed, you’re left with unresolved questions and zero answers.”
Corpse Of Discovery: Microsoft Windows
Developer: Phosphor Games
Publisher: Phosphor Games
Release Date: 25 August 2015
Price: £10.99 [Disclosure: Game copy supplied by Developer/Publisher]
The game plays very much like a first person platformer of sorts, but as mentioned has heavy exploration elements. The developer has listed the game as a “walking simulator” whilst there is a lot more to the game, that definition is a harsh but fair one. As you journey through six planets you are required to use various tools such as the jet pack to avoid deadly obstacles and/or contend with a hazardous environment as well as avoiding the mysterious shadow wraith-like creatures that kill you on-sight.
On your first day once you wake up you’re surrounded by various items such as photos and drawings, many of the items can be interacted with and give you back story to your character or in some cases your character will also make a comment regarding the object in question. The first order of business is to see if there is a message from home, after that you can explore the various rooms before entering the “main computer” module (command centre) where you are told about your mission. From there you exit the base and are greeted by the friendly A.V.A unit who will accompany you on your mission.
A.V.A gives you a quick recap on the mission as well as any relevant additional information regarding the planet and its environment. As the various objectives are completed she will record the findings usually making some kind of observation while marking the next objective for you. However whilst on your journey additional markers start to appear, which upon investigation A.V.A doesn’t seem to be able to see what you can see. You initially shrug this off as despite her intelligence she is just an AI unit.
The game is deliberately light on length and mechanics. However as mentioned earlier plays a lot like a first person platformer, it should be noted that the jet pack takes a little getting used to. That being said after a while you’ll find yourself reaching various areas and platforms that you wouldn’t have thought that you could have done. In addition, the radiation shielding is used to make the player think their way around the various different obstacles in order to not get burnt to a crisp by the solar radiation is well implemented.
The game does suffer from some pretty bad “pop in” with regards to the graphical assets, there is also some clipping though objects, The only other issues I experienced were two crashes, the first while pausing the game whilst jumping and the second was right before the end sequence, however a quick reload got me right back to where I was. The game is also let down ever so slightly by not having the main character voice acted.
Graphically, the worlds are breath-taking and suitably “alien-looking”. The addition of a restricted view “as though you’re wearing an actual helmet” shows nice attention to detail. It should also be noted that most of the objectives that the player interacts with are unusual in the way in which they are presented, however by the end of the game it (kind of) becomes clear (deliberately vague to not spoil the game). The soundtrack is full of haunting piano melodies which caused a few goose-bumps. I would like to point out that the pre-menu loading screens (ie where developer/publisher is listed) is one of the funkiest soundtracks I have heard in a long while and made me smile every time I heard it.
Overall, Corpse Of Discovery is highly artistic while rather abstract in many areas, so the game itself as a whole can take a little to wrap your head around, and has a very Interstellar (the movie) feel to it. This game is a little bit special, I don’t do “titles” for my reviews but if I did it would be somewhere along the lines of “games like this are why I wanted to be a games reviewer”. I have no shame in admitting Corpse of Discovery took me through a rollercoaster of emotions from goose-bumps and shivers down my spine to full on laugh out loud moments and all way back to near tears. It should be noted that this game is designed towards a more mature audience, due to its themes. I could write forever about this game, but you really should experience it for yourself as the game truly is beautiful, but as the score indicates it may not be for everyone.