The creators of 3D action adventures often try to evoke a sense of nostalgia in the audience. Sometimes it happens by accident, sometimes on purpose. The audience notices this – no matter how beautiful the recent Kena: Bridge of Spirits was, it did not cause delight in the gameplay precisely because of the desire of its authors to cling to the past. So The Gunk makes the same mistake, only its flaws are even more striking, and it gets bored faster.
In the role of the space trucker Rani, we go to an uncharted planet. It all starts with a simple search for valuable resources, but over time, the heroine (and her partner, who always stays next to the ship) learns about an ancient civilization that existed on the planet. Numerous tablets, moss-covered mechanisms, huge doors with mysterious inscriptions and symbols – the longer Rani explores the surroundings, the more details he learns. Maybe there are living creatures here? ..
In the outfit of the heroine there is only one item – a prosthesis in place of the right hand. This is a kind of portable vacuum cleaner – you hold down the button, and objects are drawn into it. First of all, with its help, you need to clean the surroundings from poisonous dirt, after the disappearance of which nature blooms – and the plants become brighter, and all sorts of stairs with platforms appear. Before the dirt is destroyed, it is more details to penetrate the next area.
Flora is saved.
The problem is that this mechanic is not getting any development. Throughout the game, you simply hold the button and move the character and the camera. Sometimes dirt hangs on the ceiling and walls, sometimes it flies in circles, but this does not change the essence. What seemed funny in the first chapter, by the middle of the passage begins to tire.
Here you can draw a parallel with Luigi’s Mansion 3, where you also run around with a vacuum cleaner and interact with everything, but there the gameplay was much more diverse. Items reacted differently to your actions, there were secrets and original mechanics everywhere. Here, everything happens according to the same scenario: they sucked in the dirt, everything around turned green, and move on.
This is a job for a real cleaner.
Some plants and breeds also react to the vacuum cleaner – the only sources of resources. But here the principle is the same: hold the button, the objects are drawn to us for a few seconds and then end up in the inventory. The authors tried to throw in a few “puzzles” – for example, there are exploding fruits that need to be pulled in and thrown out towards the littered passage as soon as possible. However, this is such a hackneyed mechanic that you can’t write it down as a virtue.
With riddles, The Gunk is generally bad, as well as with the study of locations. Everything is too obvious – what and where to throw, how to climb onto the upper platform, where is the path to the cache, which, as if no one tried to hide. The locations are linear, and there are practically no branches – the developers paid more attention to beautiful views than to interesting gameplay solutions. Journey to the Savage Planet, where we also found ourselves on an unknown planet and explored the surroundings, is constantly remembered, but it was much more fun to do it there. Even scanning objects there was more fun – here you do it simply because you have to, otherwise you won’t open modifications for the prosthesis.
An excellent description that tells what we already see.
Although over time you come to the conclusion that there is no point in these modifications. Since they are not required for passing, the developers did not make them useful. The only thing that will come in handy is acceleration when running, although you sometimes forget about it. You can increase the suction radius, but you won’t even notice it. You can increase the heroine’s health, but it’s impossible to die in this game anyway. You can buy bait for opponents, which does not help at all. By the way, what do you think, how do you defeat enemies here? That’s right – you suck with a prosthesis.
Since there is not a single valuable modification in the game, there is no need to explore the locations, unless you want to get an “achievement” for creating all the improvements. I did not notice any changes at all between the starting character and the heroine, who had ten mods attached to her. So in the second half of the game I didn’t feel like looking for the rarest nooks and crannies where five pieces of unnecessary metal were waiting for me. There is nothing else to do in the game, except to follow the plot and suck up the dirt in every second location, so by the end the gameplay had had time to get fed up, and the monotonous jungle quickly ceased to impress. But the game lasts only four or five hours – an achievement that in such a short time it manages to get bored.
In dynamics, the game looks slightly better, although chromatic aberration is a little annoying in any case.
The screen is kept only by convenient controls and dialogs. Rani constantly communicates on the radio with a colleague – the first seeks to study everything and help everyone, and her friend dissuades her, worrying about the health of her partner. The story of saving the planet from muck is pretty banal.