Review: Beyond a Steel Sky
Set 10 years after the 1994 game ‘Beneath a Steel Sky’, you are once again placed into the shoes of Robert Foster and have to revisit Union City to try and track down some children after a mysterious machine kidnaps them.
A huge graphical upgrade from its predecessor (no surprise there after an almost 30 year gap between games), Beyond a Steel Sky now places you into a 3D environment complete with a pleasing art style that helps to bring the game world to life.
The narrative draws you deeper into the world, though frustration and repetition of the gameplay can deter you from finding out what happens next…something which I often encounter while playing these sorts of adventure games.
It’s no surprise that you spend much of your time chatting with NPC’s, collecting items and putting them into your inventory, and then trying to work out which items to combine that will solve your current puzzle that a NPC has given you.
These can range from the blindingly obvious, through to ones where you’ll just cycle through every combination available until you hit the right combo to solve the puzzle. Though you do have a scanner that can help you hack into a variety of devices and is an interesting device to use throughout the game.
You will end up walking around a lot, though the visually pleasant environments do help at first, it does soon become a bit of a chore to keep having to tread the same ground to get all the puzzle pieces and/or say the right things to NPC’s to move onto the next stage.
Beyond a Steel Sky has an interesting narrative, pleasing visuals, great voice work and soundtrack, but the actual gameplay does rest on your patience with these types of games and the repetition involved.
If you completed the previous game, or are a seasoned adventure game player from the ‘point and click’ era, then there’s a lot here for you to enjoy. However, if traditional RPGs or FPS games are more your thing, then you may well get frustrated very early on.
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X and Series S, Nintendo Switch and more.
Review by Dave on Xbox Series X.