What do you get when you mix Tron with BioShock Infinite and Antichamber – and sprinkle a helping of Indiana Jones on top? The answer is, er, Soul Axiom. At least, that's the vibe that we got during a hands-on session with an early build of the game. The follow-up title from Master Reboot developer Wales Interactive, this is shaping up to be one to watch. And with a PlayStation 4 release due shortly after its forthcoming PC version, you may not have too long to wait either.
So, what is it? Well, it's a first-person puzzler in which you must use powers to manipulate the environment in order to overcome various challenges. Some of the techniques that we saw included removing and reinstating objects into the environment, as well manipulating time. It's safe to assume that more abilities will be sprinkled into the experience as you progress – and if it can maintain the quality of the parts that we sampled, then we can't wait to see where it goes.
Part of what's so immediately intriguing is the strange fusion of styles, as the areas that we were able to explore included an Egyptian-style temple, a rainforest-like jungle with evil monkeys, and a Tron-esque future environment. It's this latter locale that takes centre stage, as the style extends to the hub world and the introductory areas. The disparate art directions can feel a bit disjointed, but this does inject a sense of mystery, as you never can be sure where you're going to end up next.
However, the structure of its puzzles is where the game really excels. This, ultimately, shares similarities with White Paper Games' well regarded Ether One – but where that included conundrums that felt far too obtuse, Wales Interactive has found the sweet spot. The puzzles certainly increase in complexity, but never to a degree where they feel overwhelming. Most head scratchers use the environment intelligently to show you what you should be doing – without ever smacking you over the head with the answers. It's all really well thought out.
And if this degree of puzzle construction can persist throughout the rest of the title – in other words, striking that delicate balance between being instantly solvable and making zero sense – then this will definitely be one to watch. The clever puzzles and curious – if a little inconsistent – art style should make for a great combo, and a release that we're looking forward to solving in its entirety.
Do you like the look of Soul Axiom so far, or are these kinds of puzzle games not necessarily your cup of tea? Answer the question in the comments section below.