Journey to the Savage Planet Xbox One X Review

Journey to the Savage Planet is a funny and delightful adventure that will leave you smiling well into the finale.

By Grayshadow, Posted 27 Jan 2020

You’re trapped on an alien world, your spaceship is broken, and the only way off this planet is to venture into the unknown and do your job. In any other game, this would be a bleak and dark adventure but not in Journey to the Savage Planet. Instead, despite being in a life and death situation the colorful world, toon-like lifeforms, and disturbingly cheerful AI create a lively atmosphere. Journey of the Savage Planet provides ample areas full of hidden secrets waiting to be unearthed but relies heavily on collecting items and hoarding resources. Despite the heavy collection focused gameplay the wit and charm of Journey of the Savage Planet provide a gleeful mask to cover the tedious collecting.

Journey to the Savage Planet,NoobFeed,Typhoon Studios,

You’re a nobody, literally. A random employee who just joined the 4th best interstellar exploration company Kindred Aerospace. You’ve been dropped onto an uncharted planet called AR-Y 26 and must catalog the alien flora and creatures to determine if the planet is fit for human habitation. Unfortunately, Kindred isn’t the best company to work for. The company only gave you enough fuel for the journey to the planet, not back. Now you must locate a local fuel source before you can leave the planet. Things get strange when you discover a massive structure, confirming you’re not the first lifeform to visit this planet. To the surprise of Kindred who happened to miss this the company has now added another task to your list, getting into the structure by any means.

Accompanying you on this adventure is the Kindred AI unit. This unit is both light-hearted and sadistic. Often making light of your possible death but at the same time serving as your ally. It’ll save you from deadly falls or clone you if you happen to die but jokes how it can keep cloning you even if you die from old age. The dialogue is the best part of Journey to the Savage Planet. It’s clear the developers had fun writing this game and it shows, with dialogue that made me smile throughout. 

Much of Journey of the Savage Planet will have you exploring the 4 biomes, surviving the local wildlife, and locating resources. Each of the locations is teeming with hidden areas and items waiting to be looted. It can be overwhelming and frustrating at times since the game constantly alerts you to secrets that are in close proximity. Even if you don’t have the tools to open a specific door or the ability to mark the location to come back too. But the density and layout of the environment ensure you won’t have to walk large distances through dull terrain when exploring. In addition, each biome has multiple teleporters that makes traveling much easier.

Journey of the Savage Planet encourages you to go off the main path and look around. You’re going to need a lot of resources to craft the necessary gear to get into the alien tower. You’ll need to gather silicon, aluminum, and carbon along with alien resources locked away in alien shrines and hidden throughout the world. Some gear is locked behind specific alien resources and must be found within the environment or completing Kindred’s science experiments. If killed you lose everything but can recover all your materials if you can collect your fallen gear. The goal is to take advantage of these resources to build stronger equipment so you can explore the planet further and survive longer. The options are your standard increased inventory and more powerful blaster along with more mobile gear such as a double jump and plasma tether. The resource requirements are not unreasonable. With the exception of the rare Alien Alloy that is usually locked behind specific challenges and puzzles, you’re given more than enough resources to build the required items. Enemies and mineral veins provide enough opportunities to gather the necessary resources without having to grind for long periods of time.

The protagonist will have to not only use their own gear but take advantage of the resources on the planet. There are a variety of seeds and goo that offer offensive properties and unlock blocked paths. Such as an explosive seed, acidic goo, and much more. It was a bit annoying that you have to manual cycle through these items but this was a minor vexation. 

Instead of granting experience through killing creatures or completing missions you earn increased health and stamina through a strange orange goo. This substance is littered throughout the planet, either right in the open or hidden. Once you get your hands on a handful of the stuff the protagonist shoves it into their breather allowing tumors to form into their body, granting them increased strength and stamina. I’m not kidding, according to the game that’s what this strengthening goo does. 

The stamina meter was unnecessary here and serves more of an annoyance as you’re forced to rest when trying to run from one location to the next. During combat, I often forgot it was even there. There’s also so much of this orange goo that it dissolved much of the game’s challenge within the first hour. During the beginning level, I was about to collect about 20 pieces of the goo and boosting my health to the point that taking damage was no longer a major concern to me.

To prevent players from getting frustrated locating the variety of collectible items scanners are provided to show the location of each. You do have to earn these and build them but without these scanners locating the various items on the planet would’ve been far harder and more vexing. You’ll still need to exercise some problem solving as some of these items are hidden behind gates or a trial.

When you’re not gathering resources from the mineral veins and local plant life you’ll be scanning the environment and battling the local creatures. Not everything on AR-Y 26 is docile and some creatures, and even plants, will attack on sight or if you get too close. There’s a healthy selection of animals and plant life throughout the game with unique variants separated into boss encounters. There are very little boss encounters and I did wish there were a few more to break up enemy encounters, especially against the large amounts of Pufferbirds.

The core adventure will take around 4-5 hours to complete but getting the game’s true ending will require a few more hours of collecting. There’s the required fuel for your ship, hidden alien logs about what happened on the planet, an alien who discovered the planet before you, and you need to scan everything for Kindred Aerospace. It can become tedious since there’s no way to mark specific locations.

Graphically Typhoon Studios did an exceptional job. The lush array of colors and incredibly designed landscapes that are separated into large chunks of land. You can see the various environments from a distance for some amazing views. I wish there were more underground areas to explore that took advantage of the game’s lighting. There are specific areas where a natural light-based plant is needed to navigate the area but these situations were often limited to optional areas. The soundtrack was also well-composed, complementary to both exploration and combat.

If you get lonely you can bring a friend along for the ride. Cooperative play is easy to start and story progression is tracked by the host. Achievements can be earned during these sessions and it offers the best way to gather items. It does make the game’s challenge nonexistent since you can plow through enemies with ease when in cooperative play but it’s a nice addition.

Journey to the Savage Planet was a wonderfully funny and entertaining adventure. The heavy focus on collecting won’t appeal to everyone but those who commit to the game’s exploration heavy gameplay will find a lot to love here. The appealing environments and interesting looking enemies offer a lot of reasons to keep exploring as you find out more about the planet. I did wish that navigation was handled a bit better seeing that collecting hidden items takes up the bulk of the game and there were more boss encounters. But for all its faults Journey to the Savage Planet is a funny and delightful adventure that will leave you smiling well into the finale.
 

Adam Siddiqui,
Senior Editor, NoobFeed
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General Information

Platform(s): Xbox One, PS4, PC
Publisher(s): 505 Games
Developer(s): Typhoon Studios
Genres: Adventure
Themes: Space
Release Date: 2020-01-28

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