The year ended on a high for Xbox. With Game Pass at the center of the hurricane, Microsoft has continued to feed the new and old generations with amazing games. Summer has brought us Flight simulator to the consoles next door Psychonauts 2. And now with the arrival of Infinite halo Yes Forza Horizon 5, maybe something more unnoticed has happened, but we must not lose sight of dirt. This is the last work of Thunder and Imagine & Form, and just ended a year full of great games. Will he be up to it?
In this adventure, we will put ourselves in the shoes of Rani, only with the support of his partner Becks, you will embark on an adventure more complex than it seems. These land-based junkyards have a simple mission, but the planet they are on hides secrets. And this is where one of the keys to dirt, constant discovery. Out of curiosity, I’m telling you that in the screenshots you will see the game time in the upper right corner. Yes, the game gives the possibility to include the progress of our game in real time. Note that this annotation excludes screen load time, menus, and cutscenes.
Either way, don’t worry about spoilers, since I only took screenshots of the first couple of hours and in very specific areas. Without further ado, we begin with the analysis of dirt!
Nature in the spotlight in The Gunk
In the pictures that we are slowly getting on dirtWe could be clear on one thing; the game is based on a very beautiful visual section. Not to mention that we are facing an indie game, it should be noted that it is shaping up to be very good, both in the new generation and in the previous generation. In my case, I appreciated 60fps in Xbox Series S at 1080p, very fluid at all times. All this improved thanks to a non-existent HUD, which leaves the screen totally clean.
The environments are very pretty and colorful, with fantastic use of lighting. Even if after the first few hours a significant lack of variety is felt in them. The first impact after starting our journey through these alien lands is quite good, but this feeling subsides within the first 40 to 50 minutes. That’s because, regardless of its linear gameplay, there aren’t many areas that stand out more than others, or things that vary or indicate that we’re really headed for a different place. It’s because of it I recommend a little patience at the start, because it changes (but not too much) from the first hour.
That said, and despite the fact that there is no varied framework, dirt offers a multitude of plants and other materials arranged along the path. Then I’ll delve deeper into its gameplay and how important those elements are to it, but I expect the game to have its own encyclopedia. The entertainment for its part is correct, without further ado. Due to the features of the game, I was even expecting something even better, especially in the interaction between Rani and Becks. However, the planet itself and its nature is the big protagonist.
The glove as a key element of the playable
The gameplay of dirt It is only understood if one takes into account a specific element, Rani’s glove. It will be essential to move forward and obtain resources, in addition to being useful for self-defense. Throughout the adventure, Rani will discover a strange organic substance that inhabits certain areas, and which gives its name to the video game itself, the Gunk. Using the glove, Rani can extract it to clear her way, also serving to solve puzzles or uncover secret places.
To get the most out of it, the game offers us a menu with various improvements to add to the glove. We will have the option to improve Rani’s speed, increase glove extraction, add plasma shots, or increase health. The pity is that some of these options are not relevant enough, especially the plasma shot. I rarely encountered enemies along the way, and all you had to do was use the extractor to grab them and throw them at others. The scanner, meanwhile, allows you to better understand the universe of dirt, as well as the objects we discover and their uses.
In puzzle solving, all of these upgrades come in handy, but despite this, I still feel like they haven’t been used enough (again). It’s a title with potential, which Despite its linearity, it could give a lot of play with the elements it has.. It might not be an open world at all, but exploring with these areas a little more open could be a lot richer.
Discover the world around us
In this linear adventure, one of the main attractions that we will have will be the mystery of what surrounds us. The feeling of exploration is not as good as in similar games, but Rani’s scanner allows you to learn more about the plants and natural elements of the planet. We must underline the good work in this regard on the part of the developers. The encyclopedia
As for the puzzles, they are generally simple, but some of them involve moving around different rooms or caves. The developers’ solution was to opt for loading screens which serve as a transition, despite the fact that we do not stray too far from the goal. The limitation is resolved, and the next-gen SSD makes such displays not too boring. Of course, in the previous generation this can be a more negative point for some users.
I’d love to say more about the lore surrounding Rani and Becks, but I can’t and shouldn’t go into spoilers. I can only anticipate that this aura of mystery will increase and gain integers at some point. The good thing is that we will have beacons to come back to the areas that we have explored previously, and we can always investigate a little more.
A correct sound section
Although Rani always travels alone, she can always contact Becks. Beyond being a means of communication, it will be a constant support for Rani, resolving in many moments the deep loneliness that surrounds him. The dialogues They aren’t overly complex, but they do their job, also providing information about the characters, their origin, and their motivations. Without going any further, the earth is named, they talk about their scrapyard job, and even ramble on what awaits them on this planet plagued by Gunk.
The English dub follows the same line, and in that sense the player can be more than calm, as the performances perfectly match the characters. Unfortunately, the animation is a cut below. And as for the soundtrack, I must say that it is a little heavy, in part by the very concept of the video game, let me explain. It’s a linear adventure, but also almost completely removed from any sort of cutscene. To this must be added a rare variety of situations, which means that some clues do not fully correspond to the moment that Rani is going through. We almost always do the same
Does The Gunk deserve a chance?
It’s not an AAA title, nor does it have strong enough gameplay under its belt, but being on Xbox Game Pass is already a plus. This is the advantage of being able to test any game that joins the catalog, and in this case, I think it will have its audience as well. It is clear that we cannot demand dirt the same specs as an AAA game, but there are a few but in its approach. Some of its mechanisms are not used enough, something that also happens with environments. It’s also worth noting that this is more of an experience than an action-adventure game to use. Many would walk through it like a “walking simulator”, and in part they would not be much lost., because there are almost no enemies.
But all is not negative. The artistic section is very attractive, and it has closed areas and others a little more open, which give rise to forks and secret points. Gunk, the biological substance that takes over life on the planet, also serves as the main plot in Rani’s adventure, and as we get rid of it, an animation shows us how the earth finds its life. Something very similar to what we see in Kena: Bridge of Spirits. The aura of mystery that surrounds the Gunk, and all the flora and fauna on the planet, is also a good incentive. A reason which undoubtedly invites us to continue and to discover more this enigmatic place, in spite of the very low difficulty that it poses to us along the way.
- A very attractive artistic section
- Rani’s Glove offers a plethora of playable options
- Environments that invite you to keep exploring
- Some mechanics are not used enough
- Almost non-existent enemies
- Little variety of situations