Abiotic Factor – PC (P)review

Abiotic Factor – PC (P)review
Latest posts by Coipher (see all)

Genre: Co-op survival crafter
Developer: Deep Field Games
Publisher: Playstack
Release Date: May 2nd, 2024
Edited by AlexKnight2005

We all had a bad day at work at some point. At times like these, you just need to face the reality and do your best. But how would you react if this all included aliens, horrible mishaps, and survival challenges? Let’s find out in Abiotic Factor.

Normally I explain the game by stating the genre and setting and go on from there. But the Abiotic Factor is more like an experience.

At first, you might feel like you’ve been transported back to the 90s and are facing yet another first-person shooter. But you couldn’t be further from the truth. Not only is the goal to make your way through the enemies using whatever weapons you can find but you are faced with many more challenges and decisions. Do you have enough food and drinks on you, are you protected from the cold or hazardous environment, and do you get enough rest?

Normally you would just keep going and hope to find enough resources, throughout an underground laboratory. But what if you could do so much more? Set up a defense perimeter, set up crafting stations, and create farming plots. Simply build your base in the center of the whole adventure and pave your own road to survival and to spice up the whole gameplay, you also work on yourself with very interesting RPG aspects. At the start of the game, you are offered to create your own character by choosing your background and your physical traits.

Furthermore, you gain experience to level up your skills which can be sorted into three categories: Fitness, Combat, and Crafting.

Fitness as you could guess is about your movements. Get better at running, and throwing things, or increase your chances at stealth. Combat helps you with the strength of your attacks and handling your weapons. Since you are a scientist and not a soldier, using for example a gun will be a challenge before you level up because your hands are shaky and reloading gets very slow. The third skill category is crafting. This will affect the speed at which you build things, and unlock new recipes for medicine, food, and farming.

Fun little thing you also face is that to make for example a crafting bench, you need to collect the right materials which will unlock a blueprint. To turn the blueprint into an actual recipe, you need to do a little puzzle and guess the right resources from which you make it. And this helps a little bit with the immersion. You know what you want to make, but you gotta figure out the right way to do it.

The only thing that didn’t ring with me, was that the quests were mostly bring thing A to place B. And playing in single-player, with my inventory filled to the brim, caused a lot of running back and forth, over and over again.

Of course, since you will be moving through different parts of the laboratory, good inventory management is necessary. you will be faced with lots of different materials, which will force you to leave things behind sometimes. To make this a little bit more bearable, get better backpacks, and build boxes, and once you need to move larger amounts of stuff, craft a cart or even grab yourself a vehicle. Forklifts can help you carry the resources with you, while a security cart is set up with multiple seats.

Yes, the seats are very useful if you decide to make your way through the story with up to 6 friends in a cooperative mode. Gather up a party, set everyone up with different skill sets, and get right to it.

Another thing that the developers did well, is setting up the environment. They took a regular game setting of an underground base and turned it into a very atmospheric mysterious place. The level design might seem very complicated at some points, but there is always some side corridor that connects everything and turns roaming around into an enjoyable experience.

Many different enemies ensure to keep the gameplay fresh, so you don’t just run into the same soldiers from the start to the end and then there is the case of the atmosphere itself.  Occasional earthquakes caused because of malfunctioning maintenance, or remnants of recent fights. And to top it all, running around in an underground lab, where every night the power goes down and suddenly simple action turns into an attempt to survive in closed-off areas filled with aliens, soldiers, and security bots.

All this is supported by a very good sound design, which will keep you on your toes most of the time. Although the soundtrack is well made, you will mostly deal with it in the menus. the game itself is carried by sound effects that are sure to help with the immersion. Not only are they perfectly fitted to the environment, which means you will clearly hear the difference between moving around the air-conditioned offices, old mining tunnels, or the manufacturing halls, but they are also done in very high quality. Going along with this is some good voice acting. You won’t encounter chatty NPCs too often, but when you do, you can believe them.

Now when I mentioned that you could feel like going back to the 90s with the looks of the game, there is one thing that needs to be said. Yes, the visuals might feel like being back then, but it’s done well enough that although it does look a bit archaic, it doesn’t interrupt the gameplay. Actually, it has its charm, fits the game, and you will easily get used to it and the graphical settings for all the necessary things like antialiasing, bloom effect, or texture quality help you to customize your gameplay.

What I would also like to bring up are the accessibility options. The developers made sure to allow players to enjoy the game even if they might be challenged in many ways. Misophonia, sight problems, or even arachnophobia. Abiotic Factor helps you overcome those and dive deep into the adventure.

Going along with this are the controls, even though the game is a very complex survival, you won’t have any issues getting used to them. In addition, most of the time you will get hints about what to do, and how to do it.

All things considered, Abiotic Factor is a game I would recommend for all the survival, crafting, and action fans. Especially if you have friends to join you.