Publisher: Apogee Entertainment
Reviewed On: Switch
Release Date: 09/09/2021
Reviewed By: Keith Lavelle
Review Rush was kindly supplied with a review code.
Everyone loves a little survival title in their collection. Well, most people. Residual is a non-violent survival game. But is it worth the stress of almost dying every twenty minutes for hours on end?
The story of Residual is simple, you crash on an alien planet. Your ship has to be repaired. Your character is not alone. You have your Personal Disaster Bot, that will help along the way. The character must collect resources needed to repair the ship.
Even with a sparse story, each run will be different, as the words are procedurally generated and your experience will be change depending on your luck.
The gameplay loop is also a simple one. The character must mine resources such as Metal, Water, Tech, Deuterium, Coal and Graphite. To do so, the character will need to produce mining equipment that will automatically dig for resources, once placed in the right place.
Here also lies the first slight issue: the mining of resources is very hands off. In games like Aground you have to mine your own materials (to me one of the best parts, yes I am sad). Here it is place machine go away come back collect resources.
One thing I enjoyed is, the world is not fully explorable. Your character will need to solve a puzzle to open up the next section of the world. It mixes up the usual way to get to the next area. It felt good to explore differently.
As Residual is procedurally generated, a lot of the enjoyment will depend on the RNGods and what planet they throw you on. As there are a few elements that might hinder your survival. For instance, the temperature, if it is high it will deplete your stamina bar quicker, or less food will grow on darker worlds. Each of these will change how you manage your time.
This leads in to the next problem I have. This was a far bigger one for me. The crafting is very limited. To only the items you need to get the ship working. You could be in a world for fifty days plus. And every time you want to rest to increase stamina, the character will have to travel back to the ship (there is a transporter) to sleep. However, it would have been more interesting having to maintain a small house or something, add a different layer of survival. I just wanted more crafting options. It’s a little sparse on them.
Residual is a survival experience that’s different from any I have played. It has gone for a more simplistic approach to the usual formula. I feel that it suits are more pick up and have a quick shot and less of dropping hours in to one play through.
If you are a made survival experience gamer, then Residual will not be for you. It is a good starting point for people who want to try a survival game, as it is simple to play.