Corpse of Discovery Review
Corpse of Discovery Review
Alone and helpless, abandoned in space with only one clear mission – return to Earth. This is the mindset we enter controlling the silent protagonist of Phosphor Games’ new title, Corpse of Discovery. Released in late August of this year, this indie exploration game reaches into the stars to present a sentimental story about fear, loneliness, and death.
Not the first (or the last) alone-in-space game to reach our screens, Corpse of Discovery works hard to create not just a game but a story that will affect players in a big way. In some ways it succeeds, and in others it feels like it could have reached further.
The First Day
Corpse of Discovery starts by showing a press conference in which a man describes the events surrounding a missing astronaut employed by his company. At this time, he tells the audience that no information has been learned about the astronaut’s safety or location but that ‘rescue protocol’ has been set in motion. Even from these first scenes it is clear that not all is as it seems with the Corps. Our protagonist wakes in his shuttle, and information scatted around the hull lets us know that he is a family man who left his brood behind for a chance at money, wealth, and to provide a dream life for those he loves. He seems immediately confused and it is hard to tell where in his journey we are meeting him. He heads to the control room and gets his assignment. He dons his space suit, and exits the airlock. Before he can take a step onto the planet he is immediately met by his own personal AssistBot named AVA. Through AVA and her often GLaDOS-like snark, the player starts to learn about the Corps and our astronaut’s mission on this desolate planet.
Emotion and Enviornment
Corpse of Discovery’s team makes it clear that they know they have made a walking-simulator. In every sense of the world, the player will simply walk their character from location to location to progress through each stage. There is no combat, no collectibles, no crafting, and no challenges. Corpse of Discovery is simply made to be walked through and take in the sights. The movement offers a walk, run, and thruster pack variety which is a smart move considering how much time the player actually spends simply trying to get form point A to point B.
While the gameplay ranges from slow to non-existent, the creativity is does not fall as short. A beautiful world created for the player to enjoy, each level offers new environments, unique creatures, and stunning views. The frame rate and resolution featured in Corpse of Discovery leave something to be imagined, causing the game to actually feel like a much older release than what it is. I could only image in-game, how incredible the visuals would have been on a stronger engine.
The story, dialogue, and themes presented in Corpse of Discovery are subtle and well-handled. It doesn’t hit you over the head with its messages, but all gameplay continues questions begin to answer themselves in a natural way. As we learn more about our astronaut, his family, the Corps, and the very missions we are participating in. Corpse of Discovery is a quaint, thoughtful game, that for some players will suffer since they will not know how to categorize it. Is it an indie environmental-based game? But the graphics are too poor. Is it an action or horror title? No real break-up of gameplay makes that impossible. Despite its unique style making it hard to define, Corpse of Discovery tries and succeeds at telling a beautiful story, however, whether or not it is a successful game is something you’ll have to decide for yourself.