Stasis

A lifetime ago I really wanted to play Sanitarium and I even bought it on GOG (years ago), but to this day I haven’t touched it (shocker). So this is the position from which I’m judging that Stasis appears to be kind of similar to it (I swear I had no idea the wiki page even mentions Stasis!). “Nowadays” the majority of games are either first or third person 3D OR outright throwbacks like Thimbleweed Park, who actively try to be reminiscent of games of another era. So by default it’s almost rare to get any game which deviates from these few formulas. Devs only seldomly try to mix genres or apply a genre to any unusual, varying format. Certain top down views are “always” real-time strategy, but rarely action and 2D views from the side are adventures, but not e.g. strategy games.

So here comes Stasis as an isometric adventure game, in a tonally dark science-fiction setting, which could be compared (in the broadest sense) to something like Dead Space. The game has no action sequences, which might be a little odd, given the setting and for some gamers this might even detract from the atmosphere (as it’s supposed to be so dangerous at times), but I prefer no action to action which is implemented poorly, so things could be much worse, as far as I’m concerned.

The only negatives that I have to think of, which definitely should be pointed out, are that there is no reliable consistency between cursor icons. What I mean by that is, that certain actions have their own icon, so obviously a player will just assume without an interaction icon, they won’t be able to interact – WRONG. For no reason whatsoever, the game abandons its logic at several points throughout the game and items with the “look at”-icon can and must be clicked regardless, to progress even. It’s obviously annoying to be stuck because of that. I can also see no reason why this wasn’t fixed in a patch at some point, since this seems to be a good example for something, which should (after all) be relatively easy to fix. I’m curious to find out, if their newer games will be improved in this regard. It is not obvious to me if this is just an oversight or intentional bad game design.

I liked the game more than enough to also start playing Cayne. This game seems to take place in the same universe and I’m eager to learn, if it will shed some light on issues, Stasis remained too ambiguous about.

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