Son of Nor PC Review
Cross platform multiplayer
Works with many platforms
Oculus Rift compatibility
Being an Avatar
Lack of any map
Ton of Snore
The video game jack of all trades, but master of none.
In this new third person action-adventure by Stillalive studios, you are on a desert world trying to save your city from a race of evil reptiles that have enslaved most of the known the world. To do this you have telekinetic powers and the ability to move the sand around you as you see fit. Used for both combat and exploration, this terraforming ability is essential to the whole experience.
Being of Kickstarter origin you would expect a single player game of limited content, but this was not the case for Son of Nor. Being available on Mac, PC, Linux and having cross platform multiplayer, along with connectivity with the Oculus Rift and other VR systems is impressive for a project with such humble beginnings. While most large company games don’t have these perks, they are quite good at crafting decent gameplay and stunning graphics which is where Son of Nor is found wanting.
The lackluster character models are the worst part of this new adventure. If I am to control my hero and embark on an epic quest, I shouldn’t be distracted by how awful he looks and how it seems that the environment is missing a few layers of detail. The powers you gain might be the best looking bit to the game, but they are a small part of a poor looking world. Even locking on to an object to use your telekinesis is tricky because the only thing that changes is the object gets a bit blurry with some static, but that’s impossible to see in a fight and you can’t worry about that when you’re about to die.
The telekinetic power, which is used for basically everything is a pain to use. It’s very unclear what you’re locking on to, and when you think you have control of the item you really don’t. It takes far too much concentration and fine movement to use just to pick up a log and throw it at a lizard man. It does have its good points, like being able to freeze an object in space to use as a platform and being able to use the “mass telekinesis” power to pick up everything around you and throw in front of you very easily. Although the aiming is still pretty terrible even with the mass telekinesis it does come in handy for battle. If you are building a game all around powers like this, it seems confusing that you would not be inspired by those before you like The Force Unleashed which uses many of the same patterns for battle.
Many independent developers who use crowdfunding have a bad habit of abandoning games or putting out a product not equal to the amount of money earned, but Son of Nor does try for more. There is clear effort put into this world, with a large mythos and cast of characters, details, and interesting story. Also, the community that enjoys this game lets the developers know what isn’t working, and they do seem to respond in a timely manner. This is a huge factor when deciding if a new indie game is worth your money. So if story, puzzles, multiplayer, and powers straight out of Avatar are up your alley and you can forgive graphics from a few generations ago then this is the game for you.