Games of the Year

INSOMNIA: The Ark

INSOMNIA: The Ark Screenshot 1
INSOMNIA: The Ark Screenshot 2
INSOMNIA: The Ark Screenshot 3
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INSOMNIA is a dieselpunk sci-fi RPG about the slowly degrading remnants of human society attempting to survive on an abandoned space metropolis. Develop your character, explore lovingly handcrafted locations, interact with peculiar NPCs and factions, craft equipment and try to stay alive in this brutal world. Welcome to Object 6 - a colossal space station set on a dismal 400-year journey in search of a new home. Your character wakes from cryogenic sleep — stricken with a rare psychological disease and unknowingly holding humanity’s last hope in his bare hands... Exploration is rewarding…and dangerous Survive hunger, thirst, fatigue while searching for valuable technology and resources in over 70 unique locations. Pay attention - INSOMNIA’s nuanced world can conceal unexpected quests from treacherous characters, as well as savage enemies and deadly hazards.
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Game Discussion

Review by Anonymous
Review from Steam

Great game that belongs up there with the best, think Fallout, Wasteland, Torment. Takes about 60 hrs to complete, I skipped one timed mission ( I hate that) and a couple of very minor ones. You can certainly do a couple of runs, because you can chose sides and the choices you make have serious consequences. You can for example free hostages with a dialogue and no loot, or you can ignore the hostage taker and do a good fight and get lots of loot. If you say the wrong thing to an NPC he will not talk to you anymore etc...
Being developed by an indie team, it certainly has it's fault's, but most bugs are solved and I found all the answers on the internet when I got stuck. The big plus is that you're completely free to play how you want. No hand holding or explanations, you have to figure out how things work. You play missions you like and gradually the (top quality) story becomes clear. Very refreshing!
The recommendation comes with a warning though: save a lot, keep as much stuff as you can (use a locker) because you'll need the most unexpected things, and choose your skills wisely because skill points are rare and far apart. And above all explore and experiment with everything you can and enjoy this wonderful universe.

Review from Steam

A very cool game with an awesome world and story!
The good:
- The effects and the design is amazing. From the perspective the game looks really beautiful and smooth. The effect is nice when you heal.
- There is a lot of content to go through. Lots of quests and lore to explore.
- World building was done pretty well. It's has a lot of parallels to Metro, but I'd say it's unique in its own way. The music is also spot on coming from all the different radios and matches the surroundings well.
- The UI is very well done and clean. World map and exploration reminds me of Dragon Age:Origins with a wide variety of random encounters.
- Weapon jamming and degrading is pretty cool since you are on a junky space station.
- Mecha suits you can actually use!
The meh:
- Specific skills open up some minigame style actions for disarming mines, opening locks, etc. It's cool that working through this additional content gives you more dialogue and open up new paths but the minigames do get stale quickly.
- Classes and combat skills don't really matter much. However, class choice gives you some dialogue options, as well as skills. I didn't spend a single point in combat and finished the game without major difficulties.
- The navigation on the world map is pretty slow.
- Crafting system and recipes are cool but essentially you can do without.
- XP system is not explained at all and progression there is pretty strange (no xp from quests, some from kills, not sure).
- Interesting moral dilemmas which don't have an impact. You can go around killing every NPC without a guilty conscience.
- The combat is pretty rigid, easily noticeable in melee.
- Inventory management gets to be a pain sometimes with every single item having a weight and you actually needing every silly thing for some quest eventually.
- The companions don't show up after finishing their quests. I managed to get Gosp with me and he was helpful after some levelling up. Getting the perk for an additional companion and the mystery companion after going through the storyline and just having him disappear (possibly die) randomly since his hp does not show was frustrating.
- Even though Somnia is a key aspect of the game the only way to track it is an indicator when it gets too high. Thankfully you don't really need more.
The bad:
- No quicksave. Thankfully autosaves are common and you can manually save out of combat.
- No quest markers or any directions. For quests you just gotta talk to people, and best hints that you have are in the journal for where to go and who to talk to next, no guidance here. It can be a problem when you have no idea where the person is.
- No markers of lootable containers. Thankfully most containers are obvious.
- Some dialogues, quest journal entries and actions are not translated from Russian. This is pretty sloppy but it does not affect much, you pick up the meaning pretty easy.
- Some of the icons for items were not added.
- Some quests are bugged, however I could still finish all of them (mainly the problem was running High Society with a Tector, no dialogue option was given for the correct drink).
- The stealth quest has unskippable cutscenes if you fail (and you are very likely to).
- Sometimes containers for loot cannot be reached (also true for corpses).
- Your character can get stuck sometimes. Companions can help snuggle you in gaps as well.
- Hunger and thirst while interesting as concepts are really unnecessary. Having progression levels for them is also cool, but reaching level 2 bugs out the indicator.
- Achievements didn't unlock for me while playing.
I really wish the developers would polish out these bugs and make it a really outstanding game. You can easily see that a lot of work and love went into making it. I'm giving it a recommendation only on account of a well thought out world that I truly hope is expanded in the future, but with how it's going so far I doubt this will happen. I got the game for $1 on Fanatical so I'm really pleasantly surprised.

Review from Steam

If the developement team had the budget and manpower of modern triple A studios, this could've been the Fallout 3 we should've gotten instead. However, despite its issues, its current form is still undeniably hard to resist if you're a fan of the CRPG genre.
The dieselpunk art along with the idea of being stuck in a space ark headed toward a new habitable solar system sets up for an intriguing adventure. As per older RPG games, there are no arrows pointing you to where to go. It is up to you to pay attention when you interact with the various people you come across around the ark, who will let you know the details of the tasks at hand. Luckily to make that aspect more managable, the game does store the information in a log and will show you the icons of the locations on the overmap. This makes exploration more rewarding and natural which can also lead you to stumble into more content of the game.
My only gripe is that, travelling on the overmap can feel slow and sometimes you do get too many random encounters.
Main quests, or rather, the main story path in terms of how you tackle it and even some of the outcomes are more limited than I would've liked. Although I certainly appreciate the variety of things you will do, anything from defusing bombs, going undercover, partake in a fighting tournament and an outright faction war. (May I recommend repairing the giant suit in the garage before the final quest, wink/nudge)
The majority of side quests I accepted were so and so. Most of them were about fetching, so they're only worth the world building and in-game currency they offer you, apart from a select few quests who go into more depth.
Gameplay itself feels janky. I suppose this is where I should tell you that the game was originally meant to be played from an isometric perspective like the old Fallout games. Instead it is third person with the downside of not being able to look up, yet they still managed to make combat feel heavy and impactful. You can spec your character into a melee, short or long ranged soldier. You wanna bypass doors, do you go for lockpicking, hacking or mechanical tinkering? Sadly there is no speech persuasion, that is pretty much dependent on the class you choose due to each class having different relationships to people. One thing is certain, you must spend your attribute points carefully, as you don't get many. Also I won't spoil too much, but there's a slight survival element to the game as well. Aside from dying a lot there's something lurking in places that could turn your character insane.
Issues I experienced, like I mentioned before it can be slow navigating the world of Insomnia... The more unacceptable ones is where I had two instances where I couldn't progress in my quest because doors refused to open until I loaded a save from a previous location. I also did a recruitment mission and when I was done, the guy I wanted to recruit got stuck in an area for the rest of the playthrough and wouldn't tag along. And then there are some minor things such as the UI not being responsive and russian text that hasn't yet been translated.
In the end I very much did enjoy Insomnia and it did scratch that Fallout itch, so.. Thumbs up.

Review from Steam

Bugs are DEVASTATING, but if you want a good RPG, with a complex story, and are ready to have at least three save slots and reload the game everytime it snaps, you will achieve a very intense experience. One way or another.

Review from Steam

Messy pile of bugs, technical issues, locked achievements (yeah no 100% for you), weird controls, broken companions and plenty of other stuff that I could spend whole night on writting them down, because devs just probably said something like... ''Hey it's just too difficult to fix'' and left the game in horrible, but playable state.
Nevertheless under all the stuff I mentioned and not mentioned, is game that had potential to be realy great game with replayability. It contains RPG elements, decision making, crafting, survival elements, different classes and playstyles and much more, but sadly game has been left to rot.
Game is set in dieselpunk setup with a feeling of classic Fallout, supported with slight combination of thrills and chills all aboard the last human bastion, Object-6.
I do recommend this game only if you can accept that the game won't work as you expect to or on sale.

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