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Red Matter Review

Visually impressive narrative driven puzzle game with less than impressive puzzling

Reviewed by Griffin on 24th November 2020 on Windows Mixed Reality

Review

Red matter is a linear single player narrative driven puzzle game where you are sent to a Russian space base, set out to explore the base and retrieve the secrets of the soviets.

Red matter took me about 1 hour and 45 minutes to complete, however I did miss a few memory "collectables" and had I known these were possible to miss, and I set out for them, it may have instead taken me about two hours.

The games narrative is a tad slow and requires you to really fully explore your environments and read all of the games text to fully comprehend just what has happened in this base. It rewards players who take their time and comprehend before moving on unfortunately (without spoiling the game) I think the games ending ultimately is lack luster and a bit of a cop-out. Fans of this style mystery may be disappointed as was I.

Some other reviews have described this game as a "horror" at times for those looking for a proper scare you will be very disappointed and for those who are not fond of being scared let me assure you at worse the game is a suspenseful at a few moments and maybe creepy in two.

I played this on an:

I7 7700k

GTX 1080 ti

16gb Ram

HP Reverb G2

Graphics & Presentation

Visually this game is pretty good, one of the better looking titles for VR but still probably not in my top ten best looking games. It was my understanding that the Quest version even got a few enhancements that never made their way back to PC, which is a bit disappointing for any users like me using a higher resolution headset who could really appreciate the extra details. There are maybe a few lower resolution textures that stand out in a handful of moments but mostly a visuals good looking game.

Sound FX & Music

The games voice acting was all quite good even if there is not a ton to be heard, it sounded very professional.

The music was also quite good however oddly reminded me of Star wars at times which is not the kind of atmosphere I expect in a soviet Space base.

Gameplay & Immersion

This is another let down for this game features no combat so its only form of gameplay is in its environmental puzzles that must be solved, however I found all of them quite easy and none that good in VR. Puzzles consist of turning dials in a correct order or matching colours most of the time, really not a whole lot of innovation for the medium.

Controls

Playing with the HP Reverb G2 all the bindings worked out of the box except for smooth locomotion. This is activated by pressing down on the trackpad, however G2 controllers do no feature a track pad but instead only a thumbstick. This works as a substitute for the most part but for what ever reason I could never consistently press down to activate smooth locomotion. This was not fixable in binding either, the in game controls are not re-bindable and because the input is bound to a trackpad action rather than a proper key, SteamVR bindings could not fix it either.

Users with a trackpad should not have this issue.

In terms of controls the game was also quite boring. While this games contemporaries use much more interesting movement mechanics, Downward Spiral using Z gravity and Yupitergrad using plungers to rope swing, Red matter instead opts to use the teleport systems you would find in the Steam home environment complete with the telaportable surface texture and all.

Value & Replayability

while the story is a bit confusing and would greatly benefit from a second playthrough, the lackluster ending makes this something I don't feel that compelled to do. Pair this with the short play time and the expensive price I would say this game is not a very good value and I would wait for a sale.

Final Thoughts

While the visuals music and performances are good and the story compelling at first, the possible hit or miss ending, lack of interesting puzzle and short campaign make me say you would be better of waiting for a sale or looking to another space theme adventure game instead

  • Visuals are quite nice
  • Voice acting is solid
  • There is a compelling story
  • Gameplay is lackluster and easy
  • Ending may be hit or miss for some
  • Short campaign
  • Weak locomotion system implementation

Reviewed by Griffin on 24th November 2020 on Windows Mixed Reality

5 out of 10

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Red Matter
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