The Persistence review – A space oddity
“The Persistence challenges you, a clone of security officer Zimri Elder, to survive aboard a doomed deep space colony starship, overrun with horrific and murderous aberrations. You are the last survivor. Your mission? Restore functionality to the ship and somehow make your way back to Earth.”
The Persistence is a procedurally generated FPS with horror elements that puts you in the shoes of a clone generated from the DNA of the inhabitants of the ship The Persistence, which purpose is to reestablish the different sectors of the ship and make it back to Planet Earth. The game can be played both with and without VR (on Playstation/Steam). Is the game compelling enough as its own or does it fall into the void of VR games?
Story – The Last Hope
The game starts strong with an introduction to our character Zimri, a clone that’s linked to a digital mind and can be recreated multiple times without losing any of the past knowledge, and their creator Serena, who also created The Persistence itself.
The Persistence is being dragged to a dark hole and is being overran by zombie-like creatures.
The story is one of the highlights of this game; with an immersive world and well-written dialogue, you get invested in this world and characters. With each death and floor you unlock, Serena and Zimri evolve as characters and slowly unveil the mysteries that lie within the ship.
With each floor, the secrets slowly unveil themselves and create great horror sci-fi vibes throughout the campaign.
Gameplay – The marriage between VR and conventional games
The Persistence is a First-Person Shooter with rogue-like labyrinths. Each floor gets a new layout every time you die and come back to it, different enemies, rooms and upgrade stations are scattered across the levels and heavily incentivize exploration to scout for resources and the different stations to upgrade your weaponry.
Despite being a VR game, it looks and handles very well. Shift movement that’s normally used for stationary VR movement, is used as an ability that allows sneaking through enemies and moving more efficiently across the floors.
Unlockables include different bodies that Zimri can use, alongside weaponry and upgrades, and stats like ability energy, damage and health.
The rogue-like elements fit the game perfectly and make for an addicting experience where you want to get the right equipment to breeze through each floor, either by going guns blazing or by taking down enemies in a silent and precise way.
The movement, despite being basic, is one of the greatest tools the game offers. Approaching the floor correctly is the difference between clearing the floor or getting beat down by a zombie. Despite this, the shooting mechanics are very weak and take a long while to have any impact on the game. Guns don’t feel useful unless you get a lot of the best upgrades, and at that point, you’re so far into the game that using melee tools and take-downs are more effective.
The enemies tend to go from pushovers to absolute beasts with no regard of level layout or progression. The difficulty of the game varies so much that the campaign can lose its pacing really quick once it starts introducing more powerful beasts without taking into account that the character progression can’t keep up with what the level is making you face.
The game loses a lot of its flair due to these problems.
The music, lightning, designs and everything in this game on a graphical level is done spectacularly; even on the Nintendo Switch, the game has a sense of tension and suspense that’s never lost throughout the game even on repeated playthroughs.
If you’re a fan of suspenseful sci-fi movies, The Persistence might give you something to really enjoy.
The Persistence is an interesting mix between FPS and rogue-like games that incorporates horror and sci-fi into its narrative perfectly, and captures the best things this type of game can provide. It’s a delight with the story and ambient level for fans dark sci-fi adventures.
Enemy AI and lack of proper enemy escalation ruin the game and makes the rest of the games aspects bleak due to having to deal with the most of the time overpowered enemies even before being able to upgrade your character to deal with them correctly.
Unless you’re very interested in the narrative of this game, the game is not polished enough on the moment-to-moment gameplay to keep you engaged throughout.
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Reviewed by ChitoWarlock on Switch. Game provided by Firesprite Games.