There’s occasionally a moment when you play a preview build of a game where the demo ends, and you’re just left standing there thinking “But I wanted to carry on playing for the rest of the day!”. That’s exactly how I felt after playing the preview build for Hevn, an immersive, story-driven sci-fi adventure from developers MIGA.
You take control of Sebastian Mar working for the potentially shady Nomoni Inc on the planet Naic in 2128. You wake from stasis to find your colleagues working on Naic are back in stasis having finished their six month rotation, or are already out on the surface of Naic harvesting the soviten deposits to earn a living. It all means that you are limited to interacting via GeoTag messages that are dotted around the base, via email with your friends and family on Earth or with the different bots that roam the corridors of the base.
Exploring the base, the initial goals of the demo are to find your work tablet which acts as your link with Earth, reactivate the Quantum Radio to contact Earth and Nomoni engineers and get equipped ready to head outside. Once you have established Earth communications, your learn that your family have been waiting several years for you to arrive on Naic and emerge from stasis, and they have concerns over the work you are about to carry out in the volatile conditions of Naic. You start to ask yourself why the communication system had been turned off, why Nomoni haven’t provided adequate equipment to perform your job and why it appears that someone, or something, has dislodged an access vent in the quadrant you are meant to be working in by yourself.
Very quickly you get a feeling that there is something larger happening, not helped when the base is rocked by tremors. There is a lot to think about, scattered through the base are logs left by your colleagues on events during their rotation, magazines give you an indication of the delicate environmental and political situation on Earth, and the robots and base AI are your only source of constant interaction. You have to take care of not only your physical wellbeing, but also your mental health.
A good rest in your bed is refreshing, but you will lose time to be out on the surface earning money. If you don’t hit your target of harvesting three soviten deposits a day, Nomoni will charge you credits rather than paying out. That doesn’t sound like an appealing long-term arrangement where you will ultimately have to pay for more food and water, something that proves to be a concern when you realise that last supply drop is weeks late.Your personal assistant, MQ, can point you in the right direction if you’re stumbling around, but in the true spirit of survival games, you will ultimately have to figure things out for yourself.
There’s a great deal happening in Hevn, and the demo packs in a lot of clues about what is happening in the grand scheme of things, but sadly the demo comes to an end as you first step out into toxic atmosphere of Naic. On the official website, the team at MIGA describe Hevn as being “a survival game with a difference: one that invites you to investigate a series of rich environments and uncover a complex and human story.” There’s a great deal of potential depth in this game, and right now I just want to check our more of it.
Hevn has been Greenlit and is currently slated for a Spring 2017 release. It’s definitely worth keeping an eye on the official Twitter channel, there are plenty of interesting GIFs and images of the world outside the base to check out there.