INDUSTRIA – A beautifully atmospheric but short-lived experience

Waking to a strange strange call from your partner our protagonist and scientist Nora heads out of her apartment to the sounds of sirens the quaking of the earth beneath her feet. ATLUS has never caused frequencies like this before she wonders. Finding no trace of her beloved Walter in the offices of the facility you make your way through the empty building to its heart. There your journey to final Walter in a surreal and peculiar world begins. Where is he and what has happened to you.

INDUSTRIA is a story-focused and atmospheric first-person shooter set in East Berlin before the end of the Cold War. Inspired by one of the greats of the mid-2000s, Half-Life 2, INDUSTRIA oozes the aesthetics of alien technology taking over city streets. Careful design of the ATLUS machines makes them feel real and purposeful with each serving some purpose in the game lore keeping you immersed.

While exploring the strange city of Hakavik, Nora comes into contact with the only other resident who saves her life and will be in contact with you via radio. Unlike its inspiration of a silent protagonist, you’ll be getting a dialogue between the two characters for most of the game giving you insight into the disaster that happened here.

Gunplay can feel quite weak in INDUSTRIA. This is a story first game and it shows in these moments. Enemy AI while they are robots in-universe can be a bit off. I found that there was a lack of cover and ways to take on the ranged enemies since there are no grenades to help take them out in groups. Face tanking a ton of damage seemed to be the only option.

The guns themselves looked incredible and well modeled and the sounds they made were great. Speaking of sounds my god the sound design is incredible. Wear surround sound headphones and get creeped out by the weird electronic sounds the enemies and environment emit. There is a moment where a somber song plays after a combat event and the relief mixed with that is perfectly timed. Completely immerse yourself and you won’t be disappointed in the experience.

There are abstract dream-like monochromatic sequences that reveal hints and nods to the underlying story and keen players will be able to use these moments to gain insight into what has happened to Nora and Walter. These moments are eerie and certainly add a strange aspect to the game as I found there was no explanation for them beyond a way to visually show some more story they couldn’t fit into the main sections.

Stellar visual design, audio engineering, and world-building carry INDUSTRIA through its downfalls. It is a brief experience with unfortunate technical issues such as optimization and poor pacing and level design during combat sequences. Additionally, the ability to sprint may have done more harm than good for the pacing of the game.

INDUSTRIA delivers a wonderful and evocative adventure in the shoes of Nora as she comes to terms with the circumstances she is in. It, however, felt like it was just beginning before the game was ripped out from under me and the ending crashed in too soon. There is no doubt that this is a short game, the team behind it should feel incredible with what they have delivered. INDUSTRIA truly is a wonderful experience that left me wanting more. Playing on the hardest difficulty or above normal is my suggestion If you’re wanting the game to last longer and feel that bit more challenging.

INDUSTRIA gets a Recommendation.

INDUSTRIA - CONCLUSION

- 8.5

8.5

POSITIVE

INDUSTRIA highlights the power of perseverance in a small indie development studio. The amazing atmosphere and music alone drive the game above and beyond expectations. Short and sweet but left us longing for more.

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Review by SMILEONSPEEDDIAL for GameHub NZ
A Digital Review Key was provided for the purposes of this review.

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