Hands-on with Journey to the Savage Planet, and what became of Ubisoft’s cancelled Pioneer

June 20, 2019
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Amidst the chaos of the E3 show floor, dipping into the quiet, colourful world of Journey to the Savage Planet feels like a breath of fresh alien air. Savage Planet has the colour palette and creatures of a particularly designed No Man’s Sky planet, the exploration of a classic 3D adventure game, and the campy humour of a Russell T Davies-era Doctor Who episode. And that’s all very much my space jam.

Over 45 minutes of playtime, I slowly get to grips with the game’s systems. Emerging from my crashed spaceship, I explore, I observe strange bird-like aliens which look like something from Monsters Inc., and then I fall off a cliff and die. I respawn back at the ship, the game’s chatty AI narrator telling me a bit of disorientation is natural after being transferred to a freshly-printed new body. I explore some more.

There’s some light puzzling here and there. For example, at certain points you need to punt some of those bird aliens into larger, carnivorous alien blobs that block your path. After chowing down, these blobs recoil into a passive state, allowing you to pass. There are resources to mine with your laser tool, and a couple of objectives which require you hunt down enough of these deposits to craft new exploration tools – such as a grapple – so you can explore further.

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