Developer: Benjamin Rivers Inc.
Publisher: Benjamin Rivers Inc.
Platform: PC, PS4
Reviewed On: PC
Alone With You – Review
A ruined colony on a distant planet, a lone survivor, an overly emotional colony AI, and four dead colonists recreated using holograms. Explore the dilapidated remains of what was once a thriving world, discover the fate of your fellow colonists, try desperately to find a way to survive, and most surprisingly, fall in love. This is Alone With You.Story
Alone With You tells the hauntingly beautiful story of you, the last survivor of a failed colony on a distant planet, your AI friend, and your fight to survive despite all the odds. Stranded on a rapidly collapsing planet with a damaged escape ship and few resources, you must overcome all the odds and find a way to survive.
Due to a great cataclysmic phenomenon known as The Rift Event, a once thriving colony was decimated. As the lone survivor, you must adventure across the planet and sift through the ruins of the colony to discover what happened to your fellow colonists and find valuable supplies to repair the escape ship.You will accompanied continuously by the colony’s Artificial Intelligence who is determined to help with your quest. With this in mind, the AI creates 4 holograms modeled on the lives and experiences of four former colonists, each of whom have their own unique specialties. The AI plans to have the holograms use their unique talents and expertise in order to get the escape ship back into shape.
The story in Alone With You is very powerful and moving, though is definitely a slow burn. It takes quite a while for the story to really come together and come to fruition, but the payoff at the end definitely makes all of it worthwhile.Graphics
Despite the handicap of using old-school style pixel graphics, Alone With You is actually remarkably beautiful. Much of what you encounter is sad and bleak, yet the gorgeous backgrounds bring the game to life through all of it. Each area has its own feel and atmosphere, which really helps with immersion when you revisit different facilities in each area. Likewise the character design, although understated, is elegant and unusual.Sound
The music in Alone With You is excellent, and incredibly effective at creating atmosphere as you crawl your way through abandoned sections of colony. The sound effects, whilst being good, are ruined by the sheer amount that they are overused. Walking through a door and having a little cut scene to show the hiss as it opens is cool at first, but when you frequently walk through four or five doors in quick succession, it quickly becomes mind-numbingly tedious.
Alone With You is an adventure-style story game, where you must explore and interact with with the world, solve puzzles and gather information. The main portion of the game tends to follow a fairly repetitive pattern, where you explore one of four areas, usually to find four useful items, then return to base. That night you will awaken to speak to the hologram who was in charge of the particular area that you visited and talk about what you found. Then in the morning, you choose a different area and repeat.However, things are not quite as drab as they sound. Through your explorations, you slowly get to know the world around you and get an insight into the lives (and deaths) of the people that used to live there. Expect to see evidence of desperation, betrayal, and, perhaps most surprisingly; love. Then when night comes, you get the opportunity to use what you have learned to bond with a hologram, and inspire them to find new ways to repair the escape ship, your only shot at survival
Each of the areas that you explore have been specifically chosen for the resources that you require for the ship. The main areas are The Agro-dome (to source a food supply), The Mines (for fuel), The Comms tower (to fix the ships distress signal) and the remains of Colony B (for engine parts). There are other places to visit but much of the game is set in various parts of these four areas.As time progresses, you will also see your base degrading more and more as it is battered by storms and destructive weather from the planet’s failing ecosystem. Due to the bad weather, you are not always able to venture outside on missions anymore. So the AI, having noticed that talking to the holograms makes you happy, arranges some extra curricular visits for you to get to know your holographic companions on a deeper, possibly more romantic level.
You get to choose which hologram you would like to see for these visits, and can spend all your time wooing one, or play the field. But whilst the characters each have their own personalities, none of them stood out or even made you feel slightly drawn to them. In fact we didn’t really care about any of them until right towards the end. Perhaps these personal visits come too late, and too far between for you to develop a connection to one particular character. Or perhaps there is simply so much going on with trying to find a way to survive, that these things invariably begin to take a backseat.As you get deeper into the game, your companions conversations become less and less about themselves, instead re-focusing on you. This was surprising, as you were forced to really think about your character, their history and who you want them to be. Instead of your character just being a faceless window, with which you view the world, you have to inject some life into him and create a whole story of your own.
What is most impressive is the fact that the choices that you make, actually seem to matter. The characters remember what you told them and reflect on things as you share more information with them. This is incredibly refreshing in a genre where railroading seems to have become the norm, and normally nothing you do before the finale even slightly matters.Conclusion
Alone With You is a remarkably complex, emotional game, which you can interact with on so many levels. Whilst is isn’t without its faults, it is nevertheless a fantastic jump into the world of interactive storytelling. When you pair this with the difficult choices that you must face, and the phenomenal ending, the choice is clear. If you’re a fan of story games, you really ought to give this title a try.