REVIEW : INDUSTRIA (PC)
Valve doesn’t release a lot of Half-Life, but it is to mark a turning point in the Industry when it does release. Half-Life 2 is a game that was before and after and inspired a multitude of developers. Unfortunately, the Industry is an independent project that takes specific ideas from the Valve game, and despite having multiple benefits, in the end, it fails in a clumsy execution that makes it less recommended than it should.
Industria is a first-person shooter game with a small puzzle and exploration component that leads us to face robots in an unknown world. It all started in November 1989, in Berlin, when, playing as Nora, we received a call from our husband, who seems to have achieved something special with his secret project. We quickly show up at the offices where this project is taking place, but we arrive too late and end up in what seems to be another dimension, a place that, of course, is not the one we expected.
The history of Industria, which lasts around four hours – perhaps a little less – is not bad at all. However, it is undeniable that it is somewhat predictable as soon as you are familiar with other works of science fiction. Even so, it serves to justify a world that is the central pillar of this adventure and that, despite its explicit references, shines with its light. Artistically, the world we travel in is fantastic, with great prints that have even left us wanting to see more.
The rest of the game is fine … although with some problems that are somewhat difficult to ignore. The levels are well designed, and we don’t have time to get bored, but the combat is fierce. Playing with the controller –which, moreover, is half integrated– directly is not even funny, so we recommend playing with a keyboard and mouse. Still, at the design level, it is insurmountable. Artificial intelligence is conspicuous by its absence, even as robots, which somewhat clumsy controls, end up with bizarre combats. To this, some particular but somewhat questionable puzzles must be added, without apparent logic and without the information that the player needs to complete them.
Another questionable decision is automatic save points. There is a higher difficulty mode that only allows us to save typewriters in specific areas, while the normal mode uses these automatic points. The thing is, they’re pretty arbitrary, and it’s not uncommon for you to only save when completing one goal and not the “subgoals”; for example, if to open a door, you have to do two “minimisations” to activate two switches, only save when you have activated both and crossed the door. Small details that can be improved but that are subtracted.
The technical ups and downs
As we say, artistically, it is an excellent game, which also benefits from ray tracing to offer an even more attractive graphic section. Although there seems to be no shadow auto-projection, we have reflections, shadows, and ambient occlusion, so some objects look a bit flat. In any case, it is a welcome addition, which, together with Nvidia’s DLSS, put the icing on the cake. Unfortunately, some pretty ugly oversights, like crystals using pretty poor cubemaps and colliding with perfect ray tracing reflections around them.
Apart from the design issues we mentioned earlier, Industry also faces specific technical issues. Again, it’s a shame because they are ugly, a graphic section that is otherwise great. Still, we find textures that load late (on an NMVe SSD), objects that cannot be picked up, or inexplicable image rate drops, in addition to a whole level with poor performance. However, the developers have already assured us that they are working on fixing it.
The almost total absence of music has also been curious to us, something that we can solve by finding vinyl and playing them, but which does not replace traditional background music. The sound effects are good, and they do their job and almost that of the music, but it’s a funny thing. The voices, meanwhile, are in English with texts in our language.
A bittersweet taste
Industria is one of those games that we would have liked to have turned out well. It has everything we wanted in a game like this: a good setting, attractive graphics, simple gameplay and a tight duration, but the execution seems too poor to recommend it without reservation. Fortunately, many of the problems – technical, save points, implementation of the command … – can be fixed with patches, while others – the design of the shootings, a specific puzzle … – require more work.