Albedo – Eyes From Outer Space is a strange beast. Touted as a first person escape the room game with the occasional shoot-outs and sporting a pulpy 60s sci-fi theme, I don’t quite know what to make of it. Publisher Headup Games demonstrated some hands-off gameplay at Gamescom and I’m quite intrigued, so the impending Early Access launch might sate my curiosity.
The game’s most obvious feature is its remarkable aesthetics. Albedo uses the strangest color filter I’ve seen in a while, and the dark and grainy visuals are clearly deliberate. It looks downright weird, which of course ties in neatly with the 60s theme. Albedo echoes an era of sci-fi flicks when actors in badly fitting costumes stumbled through cheap backdrops, accompanied by eerie synthesizer sounds. It’s an acquired taste for sure, but a charming throwback nonetheless. Furthermore, few games try their hand at this specific era, and more variety should always be welcome.
You’re playing a nightwatchman in a remote research station, investigating strange occurences and dealing with a possible alien incursion. Most of Albedo’s gameplay will revolve around you getting out of the current level by means of classical adventure puzzles. There won’t be any platforming whatsoever, since the game is meant to be an adventure first and foremost. This of course means a lot of pointing, clicking, and searching for needles in figurative haystacks. Through trial and error you’ll be solving diffuse multi-step riddles, which are supposed to be rather hard.
Now and again, you can also shoot your way out of situations. I’m honestly not sure how to feel about the combination of puzzle-heavy adventure elements and first person shooting. I cannot think of any recent games that even tried that, and I suspect there’s a good reason. Different UIs might be required to make both gameplay styles work. Granted, I have seen none of the shooting sections, so I don’t rule out the possibility that the magic formula has been found. Opinions will probably strongly differ on Albedo. It’s too divisive a game to appeal to a broad audience. However, if you happen to be a 60s movie buff and don’t mind tough puzzle games or looking for something off-beat, this might be just the thing for you. Albedo – Eyes from Outer Space will beam down to Steam’s Early Access on October 3rd.