Element Space is a tactical turn-based RPG developed by Inca Games and Sixth Vowel and published by Blowfish Studios. In Element Space we seek to stop a mysterious organization from overturning the peace humanity has gained after colonizing a distant corner of space. Element Space is unique as choices matter a great deal. Every mission choice and dialogue choice holds a good amount of weight to determine which factions reputation is gained with as well as on the loyalty and trust of your companions. This is our Element Space review for PlayStation 4.
Choices that Matter
I was not sure what to expect coming into this as I knew nothing about the game going in. It felt like developers took inspiration from Mass Effect and, instead of a squad-based shooter RPG, they turned it into a tactical turn-based game. I was hopeful that there would be some team customization like XCOM but, sadly, there was not.
Element Space is like a typical tactical turn-based RPG with a few things that set it apart. Each mission has dialogue choices that impact the game’s world. The choices made affect what companions think of you and what factions think of you. Mission choice is also critical. As far as I could grasp, some missions do not come around twice but the rewards for completing the missed missions could be gained in other ones.
Not having much in the way of character customization wasn’t as disappointing as I thought at first. This is because each companion plays very differently from the others which makes them unique. Each has different skills and can fill a different role in the team. But what truly makes Element Space unique is the loyalty system for those companions. The choices that you make affect how they feel about you. There are positives and negatives gained with every choice made. I kept a pretty balanced ratio so I don’t know what happens if one of them takes a negative view. I imagine that if their trust in you goes down completely they may leave the party for good. This system brings a different aspect to the story and game play.
I did have some issues with Element Space during my time with it. I ran into a number of bugs that caused me to have to restart missions. In some of the missions during the battle, there was a lot of lag. I’m not sure what from because after the battle the lag disappeared but it made missions a chore to get through. Another example is that one area the level where the lag was so terrible simply did not load. NPC’s were present but nothing else, just a black void. Having to restart from the beginning was annoying.
Not all the bugs were bad in sense. One, in particular, was a bit funny. Element Space has slow-mo kill cameras. When one of my characters melee’d in a kill cam shot, they punched the enemy straight through the floor. Another bug is at one point some enemies might try to attack, but nothing happens at all and this goofiness actually saved me many times. While these are not bad exactly, they are still bugs nonetheless and shouldn’t have made it into the final version of the game.
I did find something that minorly irked me about Element Space. When not in battle and moving across the map I could only move the cursor so far before having to click to move the team. Every time I had to do that I found myself wishing that I could just move about the map freely and click wherever I want to move the team. It’s not a major issue but it is slightly annoying.
Overall, despite the bugs, Element Space is a decently fun and challenging game. With the choices one makes as a player having weight, it has a lot of replayability. I see myself replaying Element Space albeit at a slower pace. However, when I have to restart a mission where there is a fight that lags so bad, I’d rather just put it down and play the next day. Until we are several patches down the road to address the lag issue and the frustrating number of bugs, I cannot definitively recommend the game. There is a good game here, it is just a shame that there are so many bugs. If you are interested in checking it out you can find it on the Playstation Store for $24.99.