In Heaven’s Vault for the Nintendo Switch, Aliya Elasra is an archaeologist in an sci-fi adventure game where a mysterious story take center stage. She is not Lara Croft, the action hero. Instead, Heaven’s Vault presents a very unique archaeologist in a world unlike any we’ve seen before. Is this a journey worth taking? Let’s find out!
Heaven’s Vault is a unique Adventure for the Nintendo Switch. I have never played a game like this one before.
The focus of Heaven’s Vault is its story. The game is described as an “archaeological science-fiction adventure game”. It stars Aliya Elasra, an archaeologist, who travels the cosmos in a ship and has a robot helper. The ship does not travel the stars though, it travels a “river” between worlds. Aliya is looking to uncover secrets of the past in the hope of finding someone who is lost and perhaps find out something about the universe too.
The world of Heaven’s Vault is very deep. The mythology is pretty complicated and the story can be a little hard to follow at times.
Thankfully there is a recap that pops up every time you go back to the game to remind you of where you stopped. Sometimes it is not enough and you’ll be just going with the flow of the story and hoping to figure out more as you go. You should without a doubt check the game’s timeline. Its such a cool addition to the game. It might add to your confusion or help. Its one of the coolest extras in the game!
Despite some confusion, Heaven’s Vault is worth checking out because it is so well written: presenting interesting characters, wonderful worlds to visit, and fascinating puzzles.
Like most Adventure games, Heaven’s Vault has you interacting with people, choosing dialogue, and solving puzzles. The puzzles largely have to do with the game’s unique language translation mechanic.
The main character will find an ancient language on her journey and attempt to figure out whats being said. Its up to you to pick what you think is being said. You could be right and you could be very wrong. You’ll keep finding out how good you are at translating as you progress in the journey. Not everything about Heaven’s Vault is as good as the writing and translation though.
The worst part of the game is the way you travel between worlds. As mentioned earlier, you use a ship to travel a “river” between worlds. The river is long and there are multiple paths. The game will let you know if you are going the wrong way and turn you back. Its pretty easy to go the wrong way. And it takes forever to get to a new place.
If you hated Wind Waker’s boat travel, you will want to throw your controller with Heaven’s Vault’s ship travel. Yes its worse than Wind Waker. And its less fun too.
There is a quick travel option that will take you back to certain areas and sometimes you can let the robot take over and pilot you quickly to a new area.
It would be nice if an update would be added to let you always have the option to skip ship travel. sigh. That aside, the rest of the gameplay is good and in my opinion, the story is worth the annoying ship travel. Heaven’s Vault has excellent graphics too and you’ll want to see whats around that next bend.
As far as the game’s graphics go, Heaven’s Vault is a great looking game! All of the worlds are beautiful. The ship travel, though annoying, still looks very nice. The animation for walking is pretty unique and interesting. There are occasional noticeable framerate drops but overall the game performs well on the Nintendo Switch.
Heaven’s Vault also has some voice acting via the main character’s narration. Its pretty good! Its too bad the game isn’t fully voice acted. The dialogue in this game is good and full voice acting would’ve drawn players into the game’s universe even more.
That said, the voice acting available, plus the graphics, story/dialogue, and unique translation mechanic make Heaven’s Vault a game you should absolutely check out. This is another great addition for the Nintendo Switch eshop library!
Heaven’s Vault gets a 9.0 out of 10.
Thanks to Inkle for the digital code for this review. Heaven’s Vault is available now for the Nintendo Switch eshop.