With clear inspiration from first-person greats such as Half Life 2 and Bioshock behind it, Industria offers a neat adventure that’ll certainly pique the interest of players. Unfortunately, whilst I did enjoy playing the game, some niggling issues as well as an unsatisfying conclusion did stop it from reaching the heights of those titles that inspired it.
Check out some screenshots down below:
Taking place in Berlin in 1989, Industria puts players in the role of Nora, who awakens to a call from her partner Walter claiming that their work on a mysterious project known as Atlas is at risk. Worried about Walter, she ventures out to their workplace to find him, but instead sees that work on Atlas has finished and that Walter seemingly activated the device and disappeared. Naturally, the only course of action is to activate it herself to follow him, which sees Nora transported to a seemingly parallel universe – one where robots are running rampant and the city is deserted. It’s up to you to find your way to safety and locate Walter along the way.
The narrative is undoubtedly the most intriguing aspect of Industria and I constantly found myself itching to find out what would happen next throughout the roughly four-hour adventure. Led by a mysterious human ally via radio, there’s plenty going on within this parallel universe to pique players’ interest, whilst the mysteries as to how exactly it ties to Walter and Atlas will certainly keep you guessing.
Unfortunately, it all ends with a whimper. Whilst the final twenty minutes of the game bring with them plenty of mysteries and even more enigmatic sights for the player to uncover, the conclusion left me with more questions (and not the satisfying kind either). I didn’t feel like I found out enough about Walter, Atlas’ purpose, or what exactly happened in the desolate city I was left exploring, but instead was met with an ending that just… well… didn’t make a whole lot of sense. I was fully invested in the world and its story when playing, but was just left underwhelmed in the end.
“Whilst the architecture is reminiscent of home for Nora, the giant robot mechanisms that are laced within it give it a foreboding presence that strengthens the notion that you are, in fact, a LONG way from normality.”
Gameplay-wise, Industria is competent but doesn’t do a whole lot you wouldn’t have seen before. There are plenty of robots to either smash up with your axe or shoot apart with the likes of a shotgun, rifle, and machine gun, whilst there’s even a bit of lite-puzzling that’ll see you carefully stacking boxes to access certain areas, find objects hidden in the environment, or activate switches in a timely manner. Whilst the AI of the enemies could be questionable at times, everything is enjoyable enough and it’s fun to traverse across the world and blast robots apart, even if it doesn’t do anything particularly innovative.
It helps that the world is incredibly atmospheric, with some great visual design ensuring the city itself remains mysterious. Whilst the architecture is reminiscent of home for Nora, the giant robot mechanisms that are laced within it give it a foreboding presence that strengthens the notion that you are, in fact, a LONG way from normality. It helped make Industria’s worldfeel unique, and whilst there are also a lot of more ordinary sights to encounter in the game too, I often found myself simply basking in the mysterious beauty of my surroundings (especially on the train ride you take later on in the game).
That’s not to say that there weren’t some issues with the gameplay. The jumping could feel a little clumsy and make it difficult to get on top of some boxes, there were little graphical glitches with flickering when moving the camera too fast, whilst having to specifically aim the cursor perfectly on certain objects to interact with them could be a little annoying too. I also found the lack of a toggle-sprint option frustrating, whilst you’ll DEFINITELY need to alter the sensitivity of the camera before you start playing. Checkpoints could also be few and far between at times, and whilst I wouldn’t say Industria is a particularly difficult game, there were a couple of occasions where I had to re-play some lengthy sections just because I was caught off-guard.
Check out some screenshots down below:
There’s lots to like about the game, but it also has its share of issues that could have been ironed out with a bit more polish. It does feel unfair to be too critical because Industria was made by a smaller team, but there’s just a real inconsistency of quality across the board that’s a little difficult to ignore.
I enjoyed my time playing Industria, but an underwhelming conclusion to the story and some clumsy gameplay issues do hold it back. Whilst I enjoyed exploring its world, discovering its secrets, and blasting robots apart, having to deal with some clumsy controls, graphical glitches, and unfair checkpoints did deter from the fun.
I wouldn’t call Inudstria a bad game at all, but it certainly didn’t live up to its full potential and will leave players with more questions than answers by the time they reach the end.
Publisher: Headup Games
Platform(s): PlayStation 5 (Reviewed), Xbox Series X|S, PC