Albedo: Eyes from Outer Space is a game that combines elements of shooter, puzzle and action genres. You take the role of John T. Longley, a night guard in a secret laboratory which conducts research and partakes in mysterious experiments. One night, after a few too many drinks, a strange explosion occurs and John is sent to the basement of the facility. From there on in, your objective is to find your way out of the hell John is in – all without dying! To do that you will need to solve puzzles and defend yourself against the aliens who want to kill you.
At its core, and despite the first person visuals and gameplay, Albedo is pretty much a point and click adventure – one in which John usually ends up in rather small rooms with different possibilities of interaction. A locked door, a lift to operate, an opening in the ceiling to be reached – there is always some kind of an enigma to solve, and these need to be completed in order to progress further in the game.
The interface of the game seems to be an adventure title adapted to fit the first person visuals. Your movement and sight are managed as usual by the analog sticks, but to interact with the objects you have to select them and choose an option. Depending on their type, the number of interactions can be many, such as combining it with another element, the possibility of launching it across the room (as long as it doesn’t weigh too much) or even consuming them if they are food or drink. All these options are put to good use sooner or later, and combining the best of all the available information is the key to success; creating mechanisms by combining various objects, using ropes or weights to remove barriers and throwing objects to distract monsters are all possible.
Wait a minute, monsters? What do you mean monsters!?
It soon becomes clear that the experiments carried out at the base have nothing to do with science as we understand it, but with something much more dark and dangerous. From the beginning in fact, we find ourselves in contact with bizarre creatures which in some cases can be killed either with your own bare hands or with an acquired object. Hammers and firearms can all be found and will have to be ultilised, as unfortunately for you, there are always hostile beings that are not always possible to take down easily.
But there aren’t only the wacky enemies that indicate that something is wrong in this base, there are also many items available to find throughout the adventure which will help you understand many things. A bizarre storm detector that can analyse areas by giving you a little glimpse of the future, can help you in solving some of the tougher puzzles because it allows a glimpse of the final result…but you still need to found out how and what to do in order to achieve that result.
As the story of Albedo proceeds, you are faced with all kinds of situations, such as complex puzzles, platforming sections, skill and time challenges, cunning fighting encounters rather than brute force ones, pure exploration and more. There is also a feature that lets you backtrack your movements and decisions, so if you find yourself stuck at some point or make a wrong decision while solving the various puzzles, you can always perform a U-turn and try a different solution from scratch.
The sci-fi aspect is reflected in the look of the game. With a good physics engine and interesting lighting effects full of filters, the design draws heavily from the style of those old 1960’s science fiction B-movies. Unless you get stuck for too long with a puzzle, Albedo: Eyes From Outer Space can be completed in around 4-5 hours but a decent amount of secondary objectives can push you to explore the game world a bit further.
Overall and Albedo is an interesting game, especially for those with a penchant for 1960’s sci-fi B-movies. The fact that you have to fully explore each room in order to be able to solve the various puzzles gives it a unique approach, but the areas which you’ll need to check out aren’t that big and the game tends to become a bit repetitive after a while. The system used to interact with the objects is also a bit clunky and ends up getting on your nerves, especially when you need to rapidly select a weapon.
For those who enjoy a good puzzle game that tests out your ability to solve puzzles and hard work, I’ll recommend giving it a try, but if that isn’t your idea of fun then you might find that Albedo is not exactly the gem for you.