Soul Axiom Review – Wii U
+ The base elements for a good game are there.
- Just about everything, from UI design all the way up to gameplay and visuals.
Sometimes an interesting concept can be made even better by solid, engaging game play. On the other hand, poor UI, janky game play, and low-grade, bland visuals can tear that concept down, and leave the player wondering why they started playing in the first place. If you couldn’t already tell, I wasn’t thrilled by my time with Soul Axiom. I’m never happy to tear into someone’s art, but let’s get into why you might want to pass on this one.
The world is an electric dream hosted on some otherworldly mainframe. It promises it’s users the ability to live through perfectly-rendered fond memories. What is a soul, and can it be preserved? That’s the premise that launches you on Soul Axiom’s narrative journey, and if there was a good game to back it up, that would be enough to carry you through. Using various powers and abilities channeled through your hands, you’ll run through a variety of levels all built around color-coded objects, surroundings, and power-centric puzzles.
Like The Talos Principle and other first-person puzzle adventure titles, there’s a compelling element to running around an open level and putting two and two together. To the game’s credit, if you can look past the downgraded visuals, there is a fairly interesting and unique design and look to its presentation. While there are interesting and compelling spiritual and philosophical questions the game seems to be putting on the table, it never quite fully explores them, nor gives any satisfactory resolution.
To be honest, I’m struggling here to bring up other good points. There may be better versions of this game out there, but the WiiU version is terrible. Frame rate issues, poor controls, all the problems I mentioned earlier, and visuals that have been downgraded as much as possible to work within the confines of the WiiU make for a less-than-ideal experience. The game looks bland and plays poorly.
As short and to the point as I can be with this one, there are better experiences in the genre out there for your to spend your money on. You really have to dig deep and overlook a laundry-list of faults to get anything of merit out of this version of the game. I’m almost interested in looking into other ports, as what little research I’ve done seems to indicate that while the core game may not be better on other platforms, at least it’s playable. Steer clear.