It all ended with the collapse of the wall and the fall of the Soviet Union, or so we believed. Twenty-nine years later, however, the West discovers that they are still haunted by old fears, and in Kosmokrats, the developers at Pixel Delusion reworked the historical myths of the past in a plethora of works that differ from each other. After all, we live in troubled times, in which the rise of nationalisms and dictatorships continually pushes us to rethink the past. History is therefore an existential category which acquires the value of truth regardless of the accuracy. So why not rethink it in a sci-fi key? And why not tell the story through the eyes of those who lived it behind the scenes? Kosmokrats looks at history as an existential category. Here is my Kosmokrats review on PC.
THE POTATO PEELER
My Kosmokrats review is worth starting by talking about the most important object in any fictional work: the characters. Who is the protagonist of the Pixel Delusion and Modern Wolf title? This is an unnamed potato peeler, a hero who represents the last level of the command ladder within the Soviet space fleet. The latter is preparing for a great journey into space, hoping to find a new world to colonize.
Here is where luck changes your hero’s fate. You will have to put the potatoes aside and devote yourself to building complex orbital modules. It goes without saying that circumstances will lead you to occupy the new role for much longer than expected. At a certain point you become an active part of the state, taking part in what I could call actual production processes.
For the entire course of the game, therefore, you won’t only assemble the orbital modules by piloting your drone, you will also end up influencing everything with the mistakes and choices you make. It is in this ideological inconsistency that the narrative essence of Kosmokrats manifests itself.
Depending on your ability, the resources of the space station may decrease, leading the crew to starvation, or worse, even cannibalism. At the same time you will have to make more voluntary and conscious choices, for example, you have to decide whether or not to save a scientist of the opposite faction adrift in space, and keep in mind the consequences that this will entail.
THE NARRATIVE EXPERIENCE
While you are assembling yet another module, the Earth, in the background, is completely destroyed by a nuclear war. Dozens of atomic bombs begin to slowly corrode the planet. The only hope is to find a new home, bringing with you all of your ideological heritage, but above all your individuality. The freedom left to the player in Kosmokrats is very wide and allows you to change events very radically.
You can provoke a plot against your Kommandant or even support the cybernetic ideas of a strange artificial intelligence built by capitalists. The cases take up everything you might expect from a science fiction work, but always with an ironic aftertaste that makes the beautiful dialogues written for the game even more enjoyable. The other supporting actors also enjoy a certain level of characterization. Kosmokrats is definitely one of the most successful narrative experiences of 2020!
GAMEPLAY AND PHYSICS
How does the gameplay in Kosmokrats work? Pixel Delusion have come up with a convincing puzzle game that will see you fully engaged in the construction of various space structures useful for the Soviet cause. To do this, you will have to regularly check your drone trying to push the various pieces so that the connectors fit together.
I highly recommend the use of a controller! You will have the opportunity to grab some of these pieces, while consuming a certain amount of energy. Take note that each time you will have to complete the operation before the fuel of your drone runs out.
The physics of the game is particularly successful and brilliantly simulates the absence of gravity, allowing objects to move in a very believable and precise way. To this very simple structure, however, there are some interesting variations. Be careful not to cause damage to the structures.
For example, you need to avoid destroying the potato containers (the primary food resource) or the two-way antenna. If you fail a mission, the game will continue, but this will involve inevitable penalties. Destroying too many potatoes, for example, will lead the crew to starve and prevent you from getting any money. With the latter you will be able to buy a fairly acceptable amount of collectibles, but also some food.
A GAME WITHIN A GAME
The things that happen in the drone command station are just as important as the action in the field. By reading the newspaper on your desk or the reports of the latest missions, you will learn very important notions, while playing with a state-of-the-art Я-Box games console.
The fact that in Kosmokrats there is an actual game in the main game itself shows how much Pixel Delusion and Modern Wolf’s title can continuously amaze the player with new playful and narrative ideas. They have enriched even the sections where you use the drone with certain variants.
For example, an annoying asteroid can compromise the entire operation and you will have to make some specific choices in these situations. I have never seen a real gap between narrative and gameplay, and this is what makes Kosmokrats so immersive and engaging, even for those not accustomed to the puzzle game genre despite a certain repetition.
AESTHETIC AND SOUND
Kosmokrats’ aesthetic style is what one might expect from a modern day indie title. The cel shading used by the developers offers you very stylized characters, environments, and very simple textures. This all helps to enhance the ironic writing of the dialogues brilliantly. We are not in a world full of hyper-compressed cyberpunk data, but in a more sober classic science fiction, made up of sidereal and unknown spaces.
The soundtrack of the title reaches excellent peaks. Halfway between synth waves and extensive reflections on the spatial vastness typical of a certain modern ambient, Kosmokrats offers a plethora of songs with a high emotional impact. Also, thanks to these fantastic melodies, in short, the ultimate experience is really successful!
Do you want to try Pixel Delusion and Modern Wolf’s Kosmokrats? What do you think of my Kosmokrats review on PC? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below. Are you interested in more games? Check out our reviews for Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope, Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty, and Ghostrunner.