Stasis Review
Stasis Review
A highly atmospheric sci-fi horror game which is very well-made and will leave you thinking. One of the best in a long time.
Posted: 09/30/15 | Category: Review | Developer: The Brotherhood/Christopher Bischoff | Publisher: Daedalic Entertainment | Platform: Windows, Mac

Genre: Point-And-Click Adventure
Release date: July 28, 2015

Whatever became of Wisdom?

In ancient times the Wise Men, who could read the signs and point out the best path, were the most important advisers to the King. This skill, which frequently had to transcend experience and reason, was rare and highly prized.

Then came The Enlightenment and The Age of Reason. The new materialist viewpoint had no place for transcending phenomena; if it couldn't be separated, captured and measured it was just silly superstition. Although phenomena such as intuition and creativity were grudgingly admitted to, they were placed on a back shelf and ignored.

Wisdom was still given lip service through The Age of Progress, but no effort was made to cultivate it or reward it (at least in Western culture). The Wise Man was replaced by the Subject Matter Expert. Then came WWII and Wisdom became an embarrassment. We are now in The Age of WMDs (Weapons of Mass Destruction) and it is difficult to see how Wisdom played any role in their development. But this last century has shown us how Science is all-powerful and can solve all of our problems without any help from mystical Wisdom.

Welcome to Groomlake, the most advanced medical research ship ever created. Its team of highly skilled scientists have discovered the cures for AIDS, Alzheimer's, hepatitis, cancer and much more. It is currently parked in orbit around Neptune, far away from the jurisdiction of any governments and their pesky medical ethics laws. Here, Science is free to explore the workings of the human body without any restraint. A new Golden Age is upon us.

So why are you here? You and your family were placed into stasis to journey to Titan. Where is everyone? Why are there blood stains everywhere? And bodies? And... worse? What has Science done?

Stasis is a sci-fi horror adventure game created by The Brotherhood, a small independent studio. It was successfully funded via Kickstarter almost two years ago and while it was delivered almost a year later than promised, it was well worth the wait.

In a horror game, atmosphere is everything, and Stasis succeeds right off the bat. The view is 3D isometric with each scene rendered and animated – fans spin, lights blink, things pulsate. This was perfect for me. It created just enough separation that I could tolerate the fear and violence. If it had been first person perspective, I might not have been able to finish the game. But still, it is horror and you can expect plenty of blood, bodies and dismembered limbs.

There is very little music in the game (I only caught it twice), but the ambient sounds are perfect. You hear the voices of automatic systems still performing their duties, the groans of a ship in desperate need of maintenance and the screams of horrors blessedly out of sight.

But where the sound really shines is in the voice acting. It is excellent! Each actor gives his or her part just the right interpretation, and context is always maintained. If a person has recently been injured, that person sounds as though he or she is still in pain. There is none of the panic-about-to-lose-it in one clip and happy-no-cares in the next. This may be the best voice acting I have ever had the pleasure to experience.

Of course, the best acting can only carry a mediocre script so far. Just how is the story line? It's great. It has depth and movement and it unfolds steadily throughout the game. You could easily take the story and make a novel or a movie from it. It incorporates universal themes in a way that will keep you thinking long after the game is over. My introduction is just one example of where it could take you.

OK: sound and graphics are great. Storyline is great. What about the puzzles? The puzzles are very good. They're incorporated well into the storyline and mostly involve how to get across to the other side of the ship. You'll have to get past locked doors and jammed elevators. You'll have to repair transit systems or figure out alternatives when they can't be repaired. You'll have to stay alive.

Most puzzles are flawless, but I did find one that didn't have enough clues to be solved. So you'll either have to use trial-and-error or a walkthrough. A couple of other puzzles are solved by clicking your inventory on everything. After I solved them, the solution made no sense to me. But these are just three out of many.

All in all, this is one of the most finely-crafted adventure games to come along in a long time. There are a couple of minor missteps in the puzzles and a couple of minor plot holes at the very end, but over all it's a joy to play (and I normally don't enjoy horror). And this comes from a small, independent team running on crowd funding. Awesome.

Grade: A
Excellent sound and graphics
Excellent puzzle integration
Outstanding voice acting
A story line which leaves you thinking
 
+/- Lots of blood, screaming, body parts, screaming and corpses. Did I mention screaming?
 Logo
 
 
~If you enjoyed this game, you might like to read about the life and works of Joseph Megele.
~If you are interested the Science/Ethics issue, you might like to read Science is Not Enough: Reflections for the Present and Future by Vannevar Bush
~If you would like to learn more about the history and nature of Wisdom, you might like to read The Wisdom Category by Ingo Swann
  
System Requirements
 
MINIMUM PC:
OS: Windows XP 32 bit SP3
Processor: 2.0 GHz - Dual Core
Memory: 2 GB RAM
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce 205, AMD Radeon HD 3400 Series with 256 MB+ VRAM, latest OpenGL driver (Shared Memory is not supported)
DirectX: Version 9.0c
Hard Drive: 5 GB available space
Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c Compatible Sound Card with Latest Drivers
Additional Notes: Windows XP may require a few extra drivers. Windows 10 users note that STASIS MAY work with AMD radeon 5000 and 6000 series and Nvidia Geforce 8 and higher cards - we have had crashes on Nvidia Cards due to graphic driver problems with Windows 10. Windows 10 users MUST enable VSYNC on their graphics card
 
MINIMUM Mac:
OS: Mac OSX 10.7
Processor: Intel 2.0 GHz Dual Core CPU
Memory: 2 GB RAM
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce 205, AMD Radeon HD 3400 Series, Intel 4000 Graphics with 256 MB VRAM, latest OpenGL driver
Hard Drive: 5 GB available space
Sound Card: Any
Specials from Digital Download
Leave A Comment
All Comments
JustAdventure
David Kim
It's good to see a crowdfunded game exceeding the hype! Congrats to the Brotherhood.
Posted Date : 10/07/2015
Screen Shots
Related Articles
More...
Popular Articles
More...
1997 - 2017 Just Adventure, LLC. All Rights Reserved
Web Analytics