PC, Reviews

Episode 1: Austin is a problematic, but still promising start to Destination Primus Vita  

Destination Primus Vita was touted as one big project made by ex Ubisoft developers, an FPS adventure series with an ambitious script. It revolves around saving humanity and restoring Earth’s most precious element that was stolen by an invading alien race. After having played its premiere episode, titled after the protagonist Austin, one of the members of a group of scientists tasked with figuring out exactly how they’re gonna help our planet, I’m not exactly sure where it’s going. But the two hours I spent making my way through it proved to be enjoyable, even though I would not exactly call this an adventure game.

Most of my time playing Destination Primus Vita was spent clicking through dialogue and not having a lot of interaction with anything per se. There’s only a handful of actual puzzles in this initial chapter, and those were very hit and miss. They mostly make use of information you’ve picked up along the way and basically serve as a test of sorts to see if you were paying attention. I think out of the bunch, only one of them actually proved to be challenging enough to require me to sit and think about what I was doing instead of merely processing written info into a visual representation. And even then, I only finished it thanks to a visual clue and not any other pertinent data.

Still, there’s a lot to like about what Primus Vita is trying to accomplish. You’re pretty much thrown in without a whole lot of context into the mix of things right away, and the game does a nice job then easing you into who you’re playing as and who’re the people who surround here. I would’ve definitely preferred a little more quality in the overall voice acting work for her teammates, but they still manage to come off as somewhat promising. The world building is certainly there, with plenty of exposition in regards to who and what the aliens are, and their relationship with the people of Earth.

This first episode is split between a few areas, each dedicated to one of your team members, containing some pieces of info for you to click through and learn about a particular person, which then results in them materializing into the dream world you find yourself in. Since everyone is in the same situation as you — that is, in cryosleep on the way to another world where they might find water — the sense of urgency and danger is kind of thrown through a loop, and even the perils that pop in your way are generally brushed aside without a whole lot of drama.

The weakest part of my experience playing Austin’s episode was having to make my way through a maze. That happened twice. It’s easy enough to figure out where to go the first time through based purely on trial and error that put me back at the start at every mistake I made, but when I had to make my way for the second time, things got a little annoying thanks to what I’ll go ahead and call a bug. Well, two bugs. The first wasn’t too bad, I was merely forced to watch the same scene play out every time I failed, which doubled the wait between retries. The second, however, was much more troublesome, making it impossible to make progress further. I tried contacting the PR folks behind the game, but so far have yet to get a reply in regards to this. I’ll update this review once I do.

Regardless of this issue, I had a good time playing the working sections of this episode, that is, practically all of it. I’m still not 100% in for the ride when it comes to the gameplay loop of having to constantly do the same thing for every section before getting to finish its puzzle and move on. But I’m curious to see how later chapters will develop Austin’s relationships with the rest of the crew, as well as how they’ll manage to succeed in their mission. That’s enough to keep me hopeful for what’s to come, at least for an episode or two.        

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