Event Horizon – Review
Follow Genre: Exploration, Action
Developer: Pavel Zinchenko
Publisher: Pavel Zinchenko
Platforms: PC, Android, Mac, Linux, Switch
Tested on: Switch

Event Horizon – Review

Site Score
4.8
Good: Nice setup to customize your ships and grow
Bad: Repetitive combat with terrible controls
User Score
4.0
(7 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 4.0/10 (7 votes cast)

Normally, in space terms, an event horizon refers to a notional boundary around a black hole beyond which no light or other radiation can escape. You can’t see beyond the event horizon, and possibly nobody can enter it either. It can also be used as a point of no return. Both are fitting descriptions for a game about space exploration, right? So let’s see what’s going on in the space game industry today. 

Story

This game lacks a story. All you can derive from the start is that you have a base from which you will fly further and further towards the edges of the unknown. One of the first real problems of Event Horizon is that the game is quite complicated with possibilities. As an example, researching certain new tech seems to be possible for future gameplay, but as soon as you click it you can’t really research it after all. The communication in terms of design is terrible for this game, there’s no way around it. The only tutorial in place lets you fight a battle without explanation, and that’s something you will do all game long anyway.

Graphics

The graphics in Event Horizon are rather simple, which doesn’t have to be a downfall for a game, but somehow it also manages to feel barren, especially combined with the gameplay. Most planets you come across are even literally either ”barren” or ”gas” with nothing special to do. If you think of space exploration you can think of one of two directions. Either it’s a long drift of nothingness or a more fantasy-filled place of possible life and events. Event Horizon tends to lean towards the first path, making even fighting arenas the same bland and predictable rooms, with a single asteroid floating between two floating ships. It’s a pale predicament for the rest of the game.

Sound

The sound is just as poorly done as the graphics, with not much of an investment going on. There are sounds being looped, and whatever effects are being used are really not that interesting either. Overall, it just adds up to the experience of Event Horizon as a whole, which simply isn’t all that good. The gameplay, however, proves this most of all.

Gameplay

Event Horizon could be seen as a strategic exploration and action game. The action part is very straight-forward. There’s an arcade-like field made up by a square, and each time you have to fight an opponent you will spawn on opposite sides of the map. The goal is simple: eradicate the enemy ships to ensure your own survival. To do this, you use any ships you unlocked, and possibly customized, to fight theirs, and each ship you both have can be seen as a single life. You fight one versus one and if a ship gets destroyed you pick your next one. If you lose all your ships, you lose all your lives, you lose the fight (and can try again).

If you are not in a fight, you are in exploration mode, meaning you will hop from one galaxy to another to explore planets. Exploring in Event Horizon means that you can try to find resources on each planet, such as fuel, needed to travel, or scrap, needed to customize. The first time you explore a planet you get a 50% chance to find something useful, the second time only a 33% chance and so on. Starting out at a ”base” planet, the further you get away from it in a radius, the harder the challenges are you will have to overcome. The good news is that you can grow stronger the more you play.

There are skill points to spend, the more you grind a lot of planets and fights. It’s not possible to repeat most fights, but there are a lot of planets available to visit. Depending on your focus of skill points, you could get stronger ships that can handle or deal more damage, increase your hangar to carry more ships, and more. There’s also the possibility to customize ships and actually put different weapons, armor and support parts on them. At the start of the game, this will not be very useful for you yet, since most parts to build are not really making the balance of ships any better, and some will be way too big to sacrifice other parts. As you grow though, you get larger and better things, and it’s pretty cool to enhance your ships with drones, strong shields, or whatever you like.

The problem with the game is that it’s actually quite a grind to grow; and not even in a fun way. Pretty much every planet you reach will trigger a fight that takes a bit of time, and it’s always the same. There is no random factor in the game apart from a one in three chance of different things happening when going towards a distress call. And the fights themselves are terrible to control. The mechanics used are not fun and don’t make you feel like you are in control of your ship at all. Using the analog stick on the Switch is the worse, and the D-pad doesn’t make it much better. You are just propelling yourself forward and floating around each other in circles, trying to shoot at the right time so the other ship’s propelled trajectory will meet your weapons. Compared to the old-school arcade games such as Asteroids, which it does resemble in certain ways, it’s a terrible, repetitive design and programming. A shame, cause all the other aspects did show some promise.

Conclusion

Event Horizon had some potential, but in the end, really feels like nothing more than a set-up for a game. The simple graphics can be overlooked, and the lack of story or a much-needed tutorial maybe as well. But the endless repetitive simple-minded arena where you fight with ships one versus one for an eternity really brings down the beautiful essentials of building your own customized ships and looting strange worlds and enemies. With more work, such as randomized events, or an easier, earlier design to craft and build your own creations, this game could have easily been good. But for now, it feels like it stopped somewhere because the developers got bored with it.

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Rating: 4.0/10 (7 votes cast)
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Rating: -1 (from 1 vote)
Event Horizon - Review, 4.0 out of 10 based on 7 ratings
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Find me on youtube to see some playthroughs! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuBrlulGywcb0EiYWBnA1ng

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