Developer: Revolution Software
Publisher: Microïds
Platforms: PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, PC
Reviewed On: Switch
Release Date: 07/12/2021
Price£34.99
Reviewed By: Keith Lavelle
Review Rush was kindly supplied with a review code.

Would you or could you wait 26 years for a game sequel? That’s exactly what fans of beloved Charles Cecil and his Steel Sky series have just done. With his new game Beyond a Steel Sky. Was it worth that wait?

Beyond a Steel Sky is set 10 years after its predecessor Beneath a Steel Sky. And follows the returning Robert Foster. Foster has settled down in a place called the Gap in the middle of a desert. When his close friend’s son was kidnapped, Foster has agreed to bring him back safely. The kidnappers lead him back to Union City.

The story of Beyond a Steel Sky needs no prior knowledge of Beneath a Steel Sky to follow. 

Beyond-a-Steel-Sky-game

Union City

Foster has been to Union City before, when he overthrew an evil AI and its oppressive dictatorship. Leaving Joey an automaton in charge. Under the leadership of Joey, the city has become a futuristic haven. With the controlling AI’s prime directive is to make the inhabitance happy.

If sci-fi films and novels have taught us anything, it is if you scratch the surface of something so perfect you will find something corrupt below the surface. Union City is no different. The caring Joey is no longer in charge of the city,. it is now run by The Council. With every resident having their own Qdos device that is meant to help them reach their full potential, they are in fact controlled by it. The Qdos score keeps people in their rightful place.

With Union City split in two, the lower section and the upper. The lower section is for the more desirable residents, the sociable ones, happiest and so on. The lower sections are clean, tidy, and pristine. Whereas the upper sections are for everyone else and they are basically the opposite. Foster quickly notices one dictatorship has been replaced with this one.

No Longer A Point And Click.

As with the first game, that was a point and click adventure game. Beyond a Steel Sky is now a 3D free moving game. This is fantastic for controls players. 

As Foster roams around the few areas accessible to him during the game, he will meet plenty of interesting characters. Each NPC has something to say and is actually funny to talk to. That is where they missed a great opportunity to have more depth to puzzle solving, where NPCs could have hints or have information that misleads Foster in puzzle solving.

Blunt Tool

For puzzles, there is no combing of items and following a set of seemingly unrelated tasks to solve it. There are now multiple ways to solve some puzzles and if you are stuck, Foster has one tool for every job his Crowbar. My favorite tool is the hacker. This allows Foster to change how systems thought out the city works. Changing who a door opens for and more puzzles that will need multiple hacks and timing to complete.

As with all puzzle games, there is not much replayability to be had, as the puzzles are the main hook for these games. And as soon as you know what to do, the fun is taken out of the game. 

Overall, Beyond a Steel Sky is a fun puzzle adventure that does not relay playing its previous installment. But for you out there who have there are plenty of nods to Beneath a Steel Sky. Some puzzles will have you scratching your head a little, but nothing to taxing.

Beyond a Steel Sky is a puzzle game through and through. This is something to consider if you are interested. I enjoyed most of it, but at times there was too much talking.

7-10
GOOD

For more reviews, check out ENCODYA and EASTWARD

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