Heaven’s Vault (Steam Deck): COMPLETED!

Heaven’s Vault (Steam Deck): COMPLETED!

What an unusual game. I don’t mean that in a bad way, it’s just not really like anything I’ve played before. Heaven’s Vault has the feel of a point and click adventure game (albeit with direct control of your character), but it’s also mostly a visual novel. Except, it has “driving” sections. And, perhaps most interesting and unusual, there’s an entire language you have to slowly translate as the game progresses. Then there’s the animation style, which is like a flickbook with static frames rather than fluid animation – again, not something you see often.

All these quirky features are before you even get into the world (or rather, worlds), the lore, the story and the characters.

In the universe you inhabit, there are a number of moons. Some are huge, with cities of people living on them, and some are not much bigger than a house. Some are very technologically advanced, some are farmers, and some have slums. Water is an asset, and the richer moons have lots of it. Religion and history play a big part across the moons, with the main concept being The Loop, where everyone that dies is restored and history is cyclical, but as Aliya (you) discovers on her travels, it’s not quite that simple. Or true.

As an archaeologist, she’s interested in the artefacts found on all these moons, on wrecks of ships that once travelled the “waters” between moons, and books and inscriptions with the ancient language I mentioned previously. Slowly, with the help of Six (definitely not Johnny Five), a robot from times past who was reactivated, you discover the true history of the universe: The gods, the robots, the reason why it declined, and the nature of The Loop itself.

Heaven’s Vault has probably the most compelling and deep story I’ve found in any game for a long, long time. There’s just so much to find out, piece together, and draw your own conclusions from. So many questions, not all of which are answered (at least, not in a single playthrough). The basic mechanics of the game aren’t perfect, with the navigating from moon to moon being somewhat dull and boring (although you do unlock some fast travel later) and a lot of to-and-fro to take items to various people, but the world building is top notch and has to be experienced.

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