Peregrin is a game I saw at one point on the Humble store as a pre-order. I remembered looking at the steam page and thinking it looked pretty neat, so when I saw it again on the Humble store seeing a small sale in anticipation of its impending release, I went ahead and bought a copy for myself. I have Enhanced Steam, and it shows sale numbers, total players each day, people currently playing, etc…These numbers are shockingly low for a game that really fits nicely into a few genres and does everything exceptionally well. Before I jump into the actual review categories, I am just going to recommend right now that you grab a copy and throw some support in Domino Digital Limited’s direction. If this is the game they can accomplish on their first attempt, I would very much like to see what they come up with next. Anyway, now onto the review portion of this chat we’ve been having.
The story in Peregrin is actually quite nuanced and complex. You play as a villager, Abi, who has come of age and is tasked with representing humanity in an attempt to heal the world and atone for mankind’s past sins, which brought devastation and apocalypse upon itself due to its lust for immortality. More and more of the story will be revealed as you travel through the five chapters of the game until you are treated to the two conclusions of the story (sad and hopeful all at once).
There are a lot of layers to Peregrin. On the surface, it’s about vengeful gods crushing humanity to prove a point about trying to claim the immortality that only gods should have. However, while that story leads you through, it’s actually explained that way due to the primitive nature of post apocalyptic mankind and their perception of the world after having lost all knowledge of what had come before the world came crashing to an end.
A subplot of this story deals with loss and how a person can use personal tragedy or loss to actually motivate themselves to help prevent others from suffering as they had.
Peregrin does stop frequently to tell the next part of the story, whether introspection, interaction, or communication with Abi’s tribe, you will be stopping and reading/listening to dialogue often throughout the game.
I won’t go much more into detail about the story beyond what you can obviously read on the product page. I will simply say that I found the various layers of story and the subplots woven into them, to be completely engaging and compelling. This is a game that will have you contemplating various aspects of humanity afterwards.
9.5 out of 10
The gameplay in Peregrin is an interesting blend of point and click with some pausable real time combat and a heavy dose of straight puzzle solving (an aspect of PnC’s, but also it’s own category). There is even a little bit of walking simulator and mixed in. The actual game design is linear, and this works perfectly with the intent behind the game.
The point and click aspect takes the form of points of interest within the game. However, your character controls more like a platformer would be set up. Abi can use her powers to tame and control certain beast. Some, the more natural types (as much as there can be natural animals in an irradiated world) are controllable for as long as you want and are used to accomplish set tasks: the toad can grab stuff from a ways away and move small items around; the bull can ram stuff, moving or knocking them down; the troll can lift boulders and is heavy enough to hold down pressure plates. All of these come in handy throughout the game. You can also possess the bodies of enemies in the game as well, having them attack one another so you are left with only one or two enemies to kill on your own.
Combat, which is initiated once you enter an enemy’s zone, is real time but can be paused to either possess a foe or simply attack. However, these battles also function as puzzles, figuring out the best use for your possession ability so you aren’t left with more than one or two enemies, which you will then easily dispatch with your staff (it might actually be a spear….I’m uncertain, but it’s definitely one or another). When you possess a creature, Abi will remain huddled in one spot and motionless. Depending on your positioning, this might allow an enemy to get to you before you’ve been able to possess or otherwise dispatch it.
There are other puzzles that will need to be solved as well to progress the story as well, typically sequence puzzles both subtle and overt. I didn’t find any to be particularly challenging, but they were cool nonetheless.
There is an auto save function, and it is very forgiving. Typically, if you die via mishap or combat, you will only lose 10-30 seconds of progression. I did however encounter one bug in Chapter Two that caused an infinite death loop after I died, by creating an autosave at that moment. The only fix was to restart the chapter. Thankfully, that represented about 10 minutes of gameplay, and so it was easy enough to get back to that point and not make the same mistake. Outside of that, I encountered zero technical issues.
All in all, outside of that one minor bug, this was a seamless experience. 9 out of 10
The graphics in Peregrin are flat out cool. The game’s presentation is isometric, and the actual chapter gameplay frames, character design, and so on were flawless. The use of color to really set the mood of hopelessness and abandonment in the world was pretty stellar, and the representation of old world military equipment was really neat to look at. This is a broken and almost irreparably damaged world and the graphics really drive home this point.
10 out of 10
The audio in Peregrin is similarly spot on. The sounds in the world, from movement to combat, were really cool. However, the voice acting was the shining star. As I mentioned earlier in this review, there is a lot of dialogue in between frames, and this is all voice acted to perfection. The subtle voice inflection to carry soft spoken drama was really peerless. I was quite enamored of the cast and their performance.
9.5 out of 10
Peregrin is a game that presently isn’t getting much attention. There is little to no advertising and if you aren’t a keen observer of new games released, you might not even know it exists. This is a shame however because it deserves notice and you deserve a chance to play it.
9.5 things of godly proportion emitting radiation that causes survivors to forget everything about the world in which they live, out of 10 possible. I don’t remember what the other .5 was for.