Soul Axiom is developed and published by Wales Interactive. Previously known for titles such as: Gravity Badgers, Master Reboot, Infinity Runner as well as a number of mobile games and apps.
Being in the early access stage there isn’t exactly a story per se, however there is an element of one and I feel that was the developers intention. The game begins with you aboard an airship, adrift in the air, you’re tasked with attempting to restart the engines in order to reach whatever your destination was. As you do so you are attacked by some kind of demonic winged creature, causing your ship to crash.
You wake up in a desert seemingly dead, the only thing you can see is some kind of gas station entitled ‘last chance’ (saloon?) from there it’s up to you as the player to figure out what it is you’re exactly supposed to do, which normally would be extremely bad, however as I mentioned I got the real feeling that this was entirely the point.
The game itself is a first person, sci-fi adventure puzzle game. The game consists of various different environments which contain several puzzles, you’re given various different “tools” at certain times in order to complete these puzzles. It’s up to you to figure out if and how the tools you currently have can be used in order to solve said puzzles.
The puzzles generally are not overly difficult but that really depends on your puzzle solving, there are some instances whereby you can try another environment/puzzle and come back to the one you have difficulty with later on. Generally speaking, a little bit of exploration will sometimes allow you to see how the puzzle works, or you may be lucky enough to find a devilishly hidden (if cryptic) hint.
Mechanically the game is extremely solid and whilst normally I would really slate a game for not having an objective marker, I genuinely feel as if something that obvious would actually detract from the game immersion, as well as one of the core elements of the game where it’s all part of the adventure. I would like to see however some kind of hint system to help those of us (like myself) who may get lost along the way. Which normally I would hate, but in this case really actually enjoyed.
The graphics, are quite frankly phenomenal, Wales Interactive have stuck their trademark, quite unique art style which really feels expansive and immersive, each of the environments have a very Tron like aesthetic to a more or less degree. The soundtrack, whilst generally rather mellow and relaxing, changes to suit the environments and reacts well to the dramatic moments.
Overall the game doesn’t have much in the way of a story as such which is fine as it suits the style of the game, there is plenty of room for that to be added in. At this stage it’s too early to say what Wales Interactive will do with the “story” it certainly doesn’t need much, only a little bit of background information. I found little to nothing wrong with this game aside from the aforementioned hint/objective reminder system for those like myself who either forget or just get completely lost in the world (semi on purpose) easily. The addition of a toggle/hold run option is highly recommended, in the hopes that the developer reads this. I’m really looking forward to the eventual completion of the game.