Part of what makes an adventure game compelling is just figuring out what the purpose of your adventure is in the first place. In Soul Axiom – the latest game from developer Wales Interactive – you begin by falling through a seemingly endless thunderstorm. Lightning crashes around you, illuminating the occasional massive structure or seemingly human face in the darkness. Eventually, you end up on the deck of a ship… but in what ocean, and where is it going? And why are you here?
Eventually, you learn that you’ve been transported to a vast, virtual world called Elysia, where the “souls” of people – living and dead – can exist for eternity, influencing the landscape and makeup of the world. Your soul has been “uploaded” to this world, too… a world where your memories and dreams are given a second reality. Are you alive or dead? Is this an exploration of some mystery of your life, or do you need to unravel the details of your death?
While Soul Axiom presents you with plenty of puzzles, much of the game is focused on exploration of its beautiful, Tron-inspired environments and setting. Environments are ever-changing – sometimes due to your actions, sometimes not – and there’s a fantastical feel to everything that occurs. It makes for a powerful sense of awe and wonder, present throughout the game’s story.
But it’s not all simple exploration; dangers do lurk out there, as the lightning at the beginning foreshadows. You have to keep your wits about you not only to solve puzzles, but to understand the implications of what you’re getting into. While Soul Axiom does challenge you to solve mysteries (Who are you? Why are you here? What is this place?), it also reminds you that some mysteries are best left unsolved.
We can’t wait to check out the final release of Soul Axiom for Xbox One, coming in 2015 via [email protected]