After finding my feet and making it all the way through Deck 1 it was now time to tackle the challenges of Deck 2. I had made it half-way through the deck when I came face to face with a botched clone. I had run out of ammo in all my weapons, so I quickly activated my shield to block. I was about to return an attack but it was too late.
You learn quickly that this is what life is like on board The Persistence.
The game starts with you waking up in a cloning tank. You are a clone of the ship’s security officer Zimri Elder. You are resurrected by the ships engineer Serena who is the only other survivor.
The Persistence is a colony ship that exited a star jump too close to a black hole and is now stuck within its orbit. Your job is to reactivate the star drive and jump the ship clear of the black hole. You have to go deck by deck reactivating vital systems to do this. There are 4 decks in total. While having the ability to be resurrected as a clone each time you die is a safety net, it also came at a price. The other clone printer on the ship also activated at the same time. However, this printer malfunctioned, spitting out continuous botched clones which are highly violent and cunning. Several of which have deadly mutations, making for unique encounters. These clones stand in your way of restarting these vital systems which makes clearing each deck a challenge.
Now this task sounds easy to begin with, actually completing each deck however is a lot harder than it sounds. The Persistence has the ability to rearrange the decks. Which means each time you teleport or you die, the decks modules will rearrange creating a completely different layout to when you started.
Which brings me back to my opening statement. Once I died on deck 2 having gained a route and idea of where I was going, I had to throw this out the window once starting again. This makes the game more of a challenge. While on paper 4 decks sounds easy and doable within a couple of hours, the reality is that you will find yourself grinding through each deck trying desperately to stay alive and complete your goal.
The tension of the challenging decks also adds to the horror aspect of the game. The Persistence is in essence a survival horror, similar to that of Alien: Isolation (Which I found myself comparing it to a lot). You start off with very little in the way of defending yourself. You are given a Harvester (stem cell extractor) which is only effective if you are playing stealthily as you have to get right up behind the enemy to use it. Your suit fortunately has a feature that runs on dark matter allowing you to teleport short distances, which allows hard to reach spots more accessible.
The sound and lighting also add to this unsettling feel. A crash from the hall behind you, footsteps walking nearby, the distant screech of a botched. I have to say my anxiety was at an all-time high while playing this game. And my partner could hear the yells from downstairs as a botched clone creeped up on me and jump scared me.
The experience changes a little once you have access to the weapon and equipment fabricators. There is a wide arsenal of weapons to choose from to defend yourself in your quest through the desks. While this does give you the sense that you are protected, each weapon comes with limited ammo and once the gun is depleted, it is discarded from your person. These makes picking your shots ever more important. You can choose whether to attack directly, which comes at the cost of alerting more enemies to your presence and running the risk of running out of ammo and dying in the process. Or the other option is to employ stealth which I spent half the game doing.
Yes this game (as the title suggests) is about persistence to reach the end goal of reactivating the star drive.
The Persistence started its life as a VR game. I’d imagine the anxiety levels would be increased tenfold while playing this in VR. I scared easily while playing this normally, so I’d imagine the tension is ever more while playing with a headset. It is evident that this game started its life as a virtual reality game. Instead of picking up objects by using a button you simply stare at them instead. Even the dark matter teleport feature felt slightly like the snap to move function on the PlayStation move. This being said, it does play well on the Xbox One. The controls have been properly redesigned to be used with a controller.
Initially I thought the port from VR to standard controller based game would leave it’s marks, but the game stands well in both areas. It is still as immersive playing with a TV and controller to when playing with a VR headset. Just with the TV you don’t have that added pressure of knocking over a glass or falling over from a jump scare while wearing a headset.
The game comes with 4 game modes. The first being the campaign, you unlock the other 3 modes upon completion. The other modes include: Survival mode (as the name suggests). Campaign + (Where you keep all your gear from your previous campaign, but this time you are challenged with a ultra-hardcore difficulty mode) and finally Permadeath mode, which as the name suggests, once dying in this mode that’s it, game over man.
The Persistence is a fun sci fi horror mixed into a challenging and sometimes taxing package.
The game is available for PSVR, PC (VR Supported), Switch and Xbox One and developed by Firesprite Games.
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The Persistence challenges you to survive aboard a doomed deep space colony starship in the year 2521. Stranded, malfunctioning and caught in the inexorable pull of a black hole, “The Persistence” is overrun with a crew mutated into horrific & murderous aberrations. It’s down to you, a clone of security officer Zimri Eder, to make your way deeper in the decks of The Persistence to repair the systems and prevent the ship from being torn apart. Gather resources, upgrade abilities and fabricate an arsenal of weapons in this brutal sci-fi horror roguelike.
Product Currency: GBP
Product Price: 24.99
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