Primordia Got Right
+ Great story that draws you in
+ Exciting post-apocalyptic world to explore
+ The narrator from Bastion voices the main character!
Primordia Got Wrong
– Adventure ends just as you become engrossed
– Clunky inventory system can be annoying
– Objects can be hard to find at times
Wadjeteye Games had a huge 2012; their long-in-development title Resonance finally saw a release after four years of creation, raising the bar of what adventure punters could expect from this indie powerhouse, and towards the end of the year Primordia stretches its legs in the suddenly crowded adventure genre. Can it live up to the expectations created by Wadjeteye’s previous attempts?
Primordia invites players into the shoes of Horatio; a robot who is living out his days in the war-ravaged wastelands inside a derelict spaceship, tinkering with machines and spending time with his pal Crispin.
When players first jump into the game, they will see that Horatio and Crispin have had their power core stolen, which leaves them slowly draining battery. The objective is simple – retrieve the power core so Horatio and Crispin don’t deactivate forever. Yet, as it so often happens in adventure games, one thing inevitably leads to another and a dramatic story unfolds before your eyes.
The religious and political undertones make Primordia feel like an important title, yet it quickly ends just as you delve right into the world.
For any adventure fan out there, Primordia won’t exactly break from the formula you have seen a thousand times before. You are still pointing and clicking your way through areas, collecting items and solving puzzles in an assortment of ways. Yet Primordia still manages to feel fresh, which is largely due to great writing and a great setting.
It’s not too often we see sci-fi enter the adventure genre, let alone a serious game that has religious and political undertones. Primordia provides a story that takes the player on a journey from the wasteland to the robot city of Metropol and beyond, all the while keeping the player guessing on the edge of their seats.
While Horatio and Crispin are the focus of Primordia, they are backed up by a fantastic supporting cast, all with sharp and witty dialogue that is often humorous without breaking away from the seriousness of the plot. The writing is rather exceptional, even if Primordia manages to fall into a few staple sci-fi traps along the way.
Just as Primordia doesn’t strive to break the mould when it comes to gameplay, it falls into the same traps that many adventure games become victims of. Sometimes the player will find it troublesome to determine exactly where the hotspots are on the screen, which items can be picked up, or how to use them once they are in your inventory.
It isn’t due to bad puzzle design, it just sits somewhere between pixel hunting and not being entirely obvious. Thankfully the developers have included a helpful hint system that will help newcomers to the genre navigate these troublesome areas.
My other main concern with Primordia was the length. Just when I was getting amped up, ready to explore the wasteland and learn more about my robot origins, the game throws a finale at you that is satisfying, yet left me wanting more. That’s not exactly a bad thing, but it simply feels too short once the adventure has been completed.