Review of The Pale Beyond: A compelling survival sim full of drama and despair


you know it’s a great turn pale beyond Only 5 crew members have frostbite, 2 have frostbite, and 1 has scurvy. After all the struggle and danger I’ve been through trying to keep the ship’s crew alive in the bone-biting cold of the Arctic tundra, it’s definitely a success in my book.

Bellular Studio is easy to explain. survival sim as it is ‘frost punk You are the leader of a group trying to survive in a harsh, icy wasteland. But it’s also a poor comparison in many other respects. Sure, this survival sim’s engine might work just like Forstpunk’s, but it’s embedded deep inside a hand-crafted hull. . With an overarching story dealing with the drama and despair of survival, and a cast of underdog characters whose personalities and flaws fuel your determination to keep them alive, The Pale Beyond is far more than a Steampunk creation. very human.

Your journey begins with an interview. You are a sailor named Robin Shaw who is drafted as first mate into the crew of The Temperance, a ship on a mission to sail deep into her passage in search of the missing sister ship Viscount. The first few weeks were smooth sailing, but one morning I awoke to find my ship stranded in a thick layer of ice. Not only that, but your captain has gone missing and you are hundreds of miles from civilization. need to find. The rescue will take about 35 weeks. Cool, cool, cool, no problem at all.

It’s a hopeless mission from the start. The ship’s fate was decided the moment it left the dock. What quickly started as a search and rescue mission has now become one of survival. All because a mysterious patron had enough cash to pay desperate sailors to pursue Myth. It’s a charming setting, only made even more chilling by the opening text when you launch the game: “This game contains mature themes inspired by the real-life historical experiences of polar explorers.” ” Who knows how true that is? But it really puts you in the right frame of mind for a poignant story about human survival—but also heartbreaking.

The crew gathers on the deck of the steamship of The Pale Beyond

The Pale Beyond captain asks about your background

Stowaway found on board The Pale Beyond
Decisions that seem obvious now may yield the best results later.

We have to survive over half a year in this arctic death trap. As with any standard survival sim, careful resource management is the only way to get back on land again. In The Pale Beyond, this is represented by his two categories of food for rations and fuel for generators. At the start of your expedition, you’ll have plenty of coal and food cans, but once your ship is stuck, you’ll have to start scurrying for supplies. Each turn is his week in the game, during which he assigns his crew various jobs. At the end of the turn, the consequences of those decisions are displayed in a long, terrifying list. Did they get frostbite because they went out hunting when it was already freezing? Who is malnourished because they wanted to cut their rations to save food? Well, if it’s not the result of my actions.

As such, The Pale Beyond has the usual management sims Vagrant and Jetsam, but it’s the story and characters that really underpin the whole game.This is nothing like a story generator rim world again this war of mineThe best comparison would be Stoic’s Viking RPG banner sagaSo yeah, there are characters you could come to love, and you could die. It’s all your fault.

Building a relationship with your crew is very important. There was a vote to replace the captain when he went missing, and I won by one vote, so it’s a worrying position. It is a measure of how loyal they are, and their subordinates follow the loyalty that their superiors have. By doing so, you will gradually accumulate points to support them.

Imagine Hammond, the ship’s chief engineer, with three other engineers working under him. But you killed one of his team on an expedition to the Arctic, stopping him from burning books as fuel for his generator. Look down, his loyalty drops. This all goes hand in hand with general crew morale represented by a meter in the bottom left of the screen. If someone makes a decision they don’t like, such as confiscating a box of chocolate biscuits they’ve been hiding, not only will they lose loyalty, but they’ll lose morale, which can lower the crew’s overall morale rating. Like food and fuel, when it reaches zero, it’s game over.

A long list of frozen crew names from The Pale Beyond
This is what I call the black screen of death.

This relational system carries great weight. Because don’t tell other captains about this.difficult Decisions about the crew. If you can only send one person to the doctor and you have two people with frostbite, I’m sorry but that doesn’t make you a loyal person in relation to the old captain who got up and did the runner. But it is true! You’ll have to think tactically about who to prioritize, and outside of their jobs, crew loyalty can be a piece of the contract. You just assign it to a job, but at The Pale Beyond you have to weigh your options differently. Tell them to go find the penguin, when if they don’t look directly into the eyes of the character’s portrait, the penguin will completely frostbite and die.

As you play the game further, all the characters will grow into you, even those who hate your guts. Unable to do so, the crew made up a disrespectful song to sing about how I was a terrible captain with a frozen ass. But i still like him. I love how he plays the accordion and worries about his little brother. Heck, I even like his unwavering loyalty to the Captain, even after he hasn’t been back for weeks. Gradually getting to know her, I found that she was into theater and now I love her even more. Little stories abound, such as one crew member teaching another crew member how to read, Harold Turner, nicknamed “Lefty” because he lost an eye, and a father-son duo who didn’t want either of them to die. because they are family. That’s emotional blackmail, I tell you! Decision-making is difficult not because you’re losing your workers, but because you’re missing the characters you’ve built connections with.

Decide what resources to use for the food pot that feeds the entire crew in The Pale Beyond

A group of sailors standing around the hearth of The Pale Beyond

Steamboat surrounded by ice at The Pale Beyond
Crew manifests display details about your crew, including their loyalty. Scoom a little more and juniors here will finally see me as the real captain ;_;

Playing politics with the crew is one of the tense aspects of the story, but there are also certain story beats that can throw the journey into chaos. They’re spectacularly dramatic, but they can also completely end your game if you’re not prepared.The Pale Beyond is no easy game. It’s not a Frostpunk-level grueling game, but many times I decided to stop running and start over. Thankfully there’s an auto-save system, but you can’t save weeks at a time. You can change it in detail. This way you get a ‘perfect execution’ because you know all the story events and important decisions to prepare for. Total play time is about 15 hours, but my best run took about 5 hours from start to finish.

I’d like to leave a review here, but unfortunately The Pale Beyond had some serious bug issues that were plaguing my builds. Resource numbers would change all the time, some would be hidden and empty space in inventory. In a game where a single can of ration can mean the difference between life and death, it’s always been frustrating to have these issues. Hopefully these are issues that can be fixed with a quick patch, but they’re still annoying.

Once these bugs are squashed, The Pale Beyond will be an amazing survival sim. I love the story and attention to characters that make you want to survive, not because you want to beat the campaign, but because you want to spend more time with your crew and uncover the greater mystery behind the missing ship I think next time I’ll try to save each and every one of them. Half the crew is dead, and the other half is barely able to make it through frostbite and starvation.

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