Vesper Gamescom 2020 Impressions

Vesper is a 2D puzzle platformer where you take the role of a small android, Seven, lost in an eerie and dangerous planet. His goal is to control the power of Light (through a Drive Gun) and decide the fate of his race.

I played the available demo and immediately what strikes me is the fantastic visual style. The game plays with similar tones as Limbo and Inside, meaning that everything happens in a shadowy forefront, but its background has more colour. There are many moments that I felt that the areas I was in were desktop wallpaper worthy. The shadow of the game also plays another role, in gameplay.

Seven is an android with only a visible light on his face, the other part of his body is shadow. When enemies are around, you have the ability to hide in the shadows, turn off the light and wait for them to pass you by. At some point you get hold of the Drive Gun, an item that can absorb light and reuse it in different places. This is the main mechanic of the game, find a light source and see where the best place to use it is, in order to move the stage’s obstacles.

With the light from the gun you also have the option to mind control an enemy and make it kill other enemies or press switches only available to it. This mechanic reminds me of Oddworld: Abe’s Odyssey and actually the whole vibe feels like that classic game. You are hunted by ruthless enemies, no actual weapon to destroy them, only the ability to mind control them.

The world building of Vesper is great, you feel like you are in a desolate planet with the backgrounds telling a story that is not clear enough, you can decipher it as you want. The music also helps with its (mostly) absence. You don’t notice the ambient sounds but when something is about to happen, a musical theme will play and it makes the anticipation even more palpable. It’s a very well thought design, both visual and sound.

The demo is from a very early version that would be available at Gamescom but due to what’s happening in the world right now, it is available on the developers’ Steam page. They mention that some animations are placeholder and I could feel that while playing, the controls felt a bit heavy and not precise. But that’s definitely ok, they aim to release some time in 2021 and they do have time to polish everything.

At least from what I’ve experienced right now, this is definitely a cool game to try.

Watch the trailer here

Wishlist the game on Steam and play the demo here

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