Beyond a Steel Sky Review

Well this is a long time coming.

Beyond a Steel sky is the sequel to Revolution Sofware's 1994 adventure game Beneath a Steel sky, in which you play as Robert Foster, kidnaped by security forces from Union City while your family is killed, you escape from custody and seek revenge on those who wronged you.

Beneath a steel sky came out when point and click adventures were extremely popular, with classics such as the Monkey Island series, Day of the Tentacle and Simon the sorcerer among the many.

Beneath a steel sky ended with Robert's sidekick robot, Joey, taking control of the city and vowing to turn it from the corrupt state it had become into a utopia for all its citizens.

Things have obviously moved on since 1994 and gone is the point and click of old, we now have a third person adventure game. But thankfully that's pretty much all that has changed.

This time, a child from the village Robert was staying in is kidnapped, and Robet vows to bring him back. Eventually he finds his way back to Union city, which is where you are left to take over.

Reuniting with comic book artist Dave Gibbons, Revolution have kept the same unique style that the first game had. Again, the plot is delivered via a comic.. The original shipped with an actual paper comic you could read, now this is told digitally, but is in the exact same style.

The game is typical for what it is, a modern point and click adventure, and with this comes a ton of dialogue, sometimes crazy solutions to puzzles and an array of items to pick up and use. For the most part I found the puzzles pretty straightforward, though some do require a little "out of the box" thinking.

Not long in you are introduced to a mini game that is key to progression, hacking.. You acquire a device that lets you hack various items in the game, and by changing how they work, you can for example gain access to areas you don't necessarily have the right to access, or change how robots in the game behave. It's all a nice change from the usual adventure puzzle structure - and always worth seeing what happens when you change the behaviour of things.

Visually the game looks very nice, the years have been kind to Robert and he's never looked better, the cell shading on everything gives just enough of a hint that it could be out of a comic, animations are crisp, and it gives the game a real feel that the world is inhabited by a variety of people and droids. I did experience some frame rate drops in the game, but nothing too serious.

Voice acting is also top notch. The actors have really given life to the droids in particular, and the emotions behind the voices make them almost humanlike, and still as annoying as some of them.

There are however some issues.

The camera positioning could do with some work, initiating a dialog with someone when you are too close or in the wrong area, the camera tends to be in the wrong place so you either see them way too closely or not at all because the camera is behind a post or some other object.

NPC's also have a fair wander distance, so can often disappear just as you want to talk to them, which results in a little, hunt the NPC game sometimes.

Dialogue options are also a mixed bag, there are indicators when talking to an NPC that more dialogue is available for an option, however, this doesn't always happen or happens when it shouldn't, so you often find yourself repeating the same dialogue trying to work out which one will advance the story.

It would also be nice to have keyboard shortcuts for the dialog options, something that PC games have included, and which I missed - this is probably down to it first being released on Apple Arcade, but that's just an excuse.

After all that's been said, the game is exactly what fans of the original will want, there is plenty here to satisfy, the story is as good as the original, the humour is spot on and new players will feel right at home too.