If you are in your late 30s or early 40s, you’ll remember the fall of the Berlin Wall. I wasn’t fully aware of the political ramifications, but I knew it was a significant event. Consequently, I’m more surprised that this key story doesn’t feature in more games or books. Industria aims to break this mould with its strange take on a key event.
Developed by Bleakmill and published by Headsup, this is a first-person shooter with a sci-fi edge. What’s more, it has dramatic undertones, some minor puzzle elements, and a bit of resource management. Think of War of the Worlds crossed with Half-Life, and you get the idea.
Industria is an odd game of cat and mouse.
Now, I enjoy a slightly unusual title. Therefore, I knew I’d like the bizarre gameplay of Industria. On the surface, it’s just another first-person shooter. However, its combination of a gritty plot, strange puzzle elements, and ammo management, make it stand out. What’s more, it has distinct Half-Life vibes, and that is just fantastic. You spend most of your time creeping around grim rooms or sneaking through corridors. Why? You may wonder. Well, the world is full of deranged robots. Consequently, they stop at nothing to end your life.
So, why are the robots so pissed off? Well, this is the crux of the story. Industria is set in an alternative reality of 1989. The Berlin Wall is being ripped down and East and West Germany are no longer divided. However, not everyone is happy about this news. A scientist known as Walter Rebel is less than pleased as his experiment must come to an end. Worried about her colleague, Nora rushes to their lab to try to help. But on arrival, her colleague is missing. Using the “ATLAS” tech that they have been studying, she is flung into a parallel dimension. With no sight of Walter and an army of robots attacking her, Nora must fight for her life. Thankfully, though, she is not alone. With the help of a mysterious man, she uncovers the truth behind the top-secret experiments.
Slow but captivating gameplay.
Industria isn’t a fast-paced first-person shooter. Instead, it has a slower and more considered approach. With its combination of simple puzzles, exploration, and claustrophobic environments, you must take your time. Yes, there are fleeting moments of madness, but stealth and guile are the name of the game.
Guided by your mysterious helper, you will follow a semi-linear path. There are minor detours en route, but much of the gameplay funnels you towards one conclusion. Accordingly, fans of open-world games may feel disappointed in this restrictive approach. What’s more, the small selection of weapons is distinctly underwhelming. Now, I wasn’t expecting a Rambo-esque arsenal of weapons, but I wanted so much more.
If you place the lack of weaponry to one side, you experience a wonderfully suspenseful and fascinating story from the off. Even the combination of sci-fi and the drama of the Berlin Wall didn’t put me off.
Industria is somewhat dated.
If a game is discussed in the same sentence as Half-Life, then it’s done a great job. However, this does have its drawbacks as well. See, Half-Life isn’t exactly a modern title, and Industria suffers an outdated aesthetic as a consequence. Yet, I still liked what I saw. The robots are varied, aggressive, and petrifying. Then there are the dark, dank, and claustrophobic areas that are uncomfortable to explore. In short, it may not be modern, but it looks fantastic nonetheless.
The atmosphere is enhanced thanks to the excellent audio. With a dramatic soundtrack, thumping sound effects, and excellent acting, it captures your imagination. The use of walkie-talkies and a lack of human presence creates a cold edge to the plot. I adored its clinical approach, as it made the situation more sinister and desperate.
If you a first-person shooter aficionado, you’ll feel right at home. Industria uses a familiar control layout that is easy to understand. Alongside this, helpful prompts assist you in finding key items. My only complaint is that the controls aren’t responsive enough. The slight input delay is a little frustrating, but you soon get used to it. Therefore, it has a minor impact on the action.
Because of its linear approach, its longevity and replay value are reduced. Now, there are some collectables to find, but they do little to help the experience. Subsequently, one playthrough is sufficient to get the most out of it.
Industria is a great indie title.
Indie games divide the community. Some believe they are of poor quality while also undermining triple-A development. I, however, think this is nonsense. Yes, a smaller budget has its limitations, but there is usually more originality. Industria wears its influences on its sleeve, but its gameplay is a breath of fresh air. I loved its storytelling, the claustrophobic world, and its cold and callous undertones. It’s for these reasons I recommend you to buy it here! The fall of the Berlin Wall is a momentous occasion. However, surviving this ordeal is now your main priority.