A little while back I decided to start playinga new Lovecraft game every week on Tuesdays in the hopes of finding a good Lovecraft game.
I dubbed it “Terrible Tuesdays” both for thehorror aspect and the bad games I would inevitably run into.
Alpha Polaris was the first one.
This game was terrible.
I don't know what the reviewers were thinkingwhen they brought the steampage up to a “mostly positive” but they can't have been playingthe game.
I'll keep it short because I kind of want toforget this mess.
But just in case you were thinking of playing this game.
It's a point and click adventure game and I am going to mess up the entire story for you.
Point by point.
Ok? Let's go.
Oh I can choose.
Take offense and give up.
No, no I, I take offense and give up.
I don't sound Norwegian.
Was that very Norwegian? 'Cause like I.
I don't even know man.
You are Rune, a Norwegian who will not letyou forget that he is a Norwegian also remember that he is a Norwegian.
The Norwegians in my chat by the way found his Norwegian language skills to be lacking, at best.
But he has the flag, so it must be true.
He's on a base called Alpha Polaris (roll credits) with three other people.
Tully, Al and Nova.
Nova is the generic love-interest who is alsoof Inuit heritage and just like Rune being Norwegian, you'd best not forget about that because she will not let you.
Tully is the generic sexist, douchy dumbnut.
He's got literally absolutely nothing goingfor him, basically has “will definitely die first” written all over his gigantic inflatedforehead.
Finally Al is the ye olden scientist who comesin with the majority of the science mumbo-jumbo.
And I do mean that as literal as I can.
This game will just throw terms at you andhope that the player, whoever they are, won't really know what they mean so they sound convincingand “Lovecraftian”.
Because Lovecraft uses a lot of expensivewords that nobody understands so that's probably what makes the horror happen.
They're especially fond of the word “Crevasse”.
Or Crevasse or ah, don't even get me started.
Rune is at the base to do research and writehis thesis, the rest of the people there are around to look for oil for their big eviloil company.
The big evil oil company is a great way foreveryone around you to talk about climate change and how it's bad.
Like we didn't already know that.
We'll come back to this but not in the waythat you think.
Day one you're woken up by Tully who tellsyou there's a Polar Bear outside.
Rune's entire thing is putting trackers onpolar bears and studying their habits so he gets up to go and see.
The entire game is a point and click adventureso you have to pick up a tranquilizer gun, put some darts in and sedate the bear.
We quickly find out that the bear is havingsome teeth issues so Rune wants to keep her here to help fix that.
You shove her into a cage after a really, stupid puzzle and leave her there for now.
Because that is the smartest way to go about this.
Back inside we hear that Al has also foundoil, woopdeedoo.
He also found some bones and a patch of stitchedtogether skin with weird symbols on it that someone, meaning you, will have to do someinvestigating on.
While the Scooby gang talks it over, Novastorms in with the message that corporate is coming over to check on them.
Not just any corporate, no, douchey corporate.
The son of big man corporate, whomst she wasdating prior.
So of course, in this professional setting, she gets upset and spends the rest of the day crying in her room.
Yes, really, I'm serious.
That's what happens.
The professional scientist sits in her room, crying.
Because her ex-boyfriend who she works for, willingly, is coming to check on her work.
Rune leaves to give the Polar Bear some antibioticsfor the time being, then dissolves some of the crap on the bones so he can have a betterlook at it later, which again, is a very stupid puzzle.
I use the word very loosely.
And that's it for day one.
At this point, every following night, everyonestarts to have horrible nightmares.
Rune wakes up in the middle of the night tosee Al staring whistfully out of the window and Tully shambling around in the loungeroomlike zombie, completely messed up over his dreams, claming he's seen the beast and itcould see them too.
And yes, Nova is still crying as this is allhappening.
I'm not kidding.
Rune calms Tully down and goes straight back to bed.
Because yeah, what else are you gonna do really.
Day two you're woken up by Tully again toshow you that the Polar Bear broke out.
Tully is very upset and implies that climatechange was to blame.
Because climate change makes polar bears violently break out of their cages.
Rune decides it's best if he goes to findthe bear to put her out of her misery.
And I need you to remember this.
He goes out, specifically, to put her out of her misery.
We also find out that the bones Al found were probably used by cannibals because the marrow was sucked out and someone scribbled on them, for some reason.
Because they didn't have paper.
Rune sets about to track the Polar Bear next and this puzzle is one of the stupidest ones, probably by far.
And I'm just going to show you some clips of me doing it just so you're aware of how stupid it is.
How is that not a thing? Is it an.
Is it, eh, is it this? Is it like this? No it's none of those.
You have to do it outside.
*laughs* How shite is.
like I said this as well.
That we might have to go outside.
But how shite is your high-tech triangulater that you have to be outside to do it Like, does that not make you want to cry.
'Cause it should.
That can't be possible, I did something wrong.
No, that's not it either.
Is that what they want? 2 5 2? That can't be possible, I did something wrong.
Just f**king end me man.
You chose to become a bear expert.
And how do you even know how much 15 steps is?! Was that 15 steps? Maybe.
No it still says 15 steps.
Ffffffffff**king end me.
7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 Despite the radiometric inter- *laughs bitterly* *exasperated grunting* This game is sh*t! Go take the snowmobile you C- But he eventually finds a lead and he's offon his snowmobile.
Despite the bear being covered in blood and it being the only living thing in miles and being very, very loud She still gets the jump on Rune and he's forced to shoother which makes him really very sad even though he, yes, set out to shoot her to begin with.
So our Norwegian returns to the base to complainabout his having to fulfill his actual objective.
We use the collar we had put on the bear tofigure out where it had gone before so we can use that information for a thing later, no doubt.
And we also grab an article from Nova thatconveniently holds all the clues we need to unravel the meaning of the weird symbols onthe human skin patchrag.
He figures that out and then decides he'sgoing on a date with Nova he had planned the day before.
So now your quest is to make a cake.
And it's a very bad cake.
We literally use a fire-extinguisher to makethe icecream.
I'm not kidding.
We're eating fire-extinguisher foam.
Let's say for the sake of the game, it wasa Carbon Dioxide extinguisher and not water, powder, foam or wet bloody chemical.
I don't think they use the dry ice versionin this thing.
And anyway we're using F**KING FIRE-EXTINGUISHERSTO MAKE ICECREAM! *exasperated sigh* Anyway, yeah this is still apparently a Lovecraftian inspired game.
Whilest the cake is being et, mister big douchecannoocorporate bigshot comes in to tell everyone to get back to work and so it's time to goto bed.
Because that's what we mean by work, right? This time we dream about the evil crevasse or crevasse or whatever, where Al had found the bones and skin and also of a lot of blood which included a beheadedNova in the sink of the station.
And you might think that sounds very interesting but we never actually see this scene happen in the game.
It's just a dream! We wake up again to find Nova shivering infront of her room because she too had a terrible dream.
But at least she's not crying so she's definitely upgraded.
So again, naturally, we find Tully outside with ashotgun, shooting at nothing.
That makes sense.
Mister corporate comes out and points a gunat Tully so to de-escalate the situation, naturally, Rune fires his tranquilizer gunat Tully and the next morning everyone accuses Rune of encouraging Tully's super crazieseven though both Nova and Al also know the evil is real.
Did you catch all that? Ok.
Yeah it's really as dumb as it sounds.
Because Rune is a bit pissy now he decideshe'll go to the evil crevasse or crevasse or whatever to do Al's job of finding oil samples but actually he's justgoing to investigate the evil, of course.
But first, because you want another Deus ExMachina Article from Nova, you make a masterkey to the compound to sneak into her room andsteal the article she already told you she had but now refuses to give to you becauseshe doesn't want to admit the bad dreams are real? Yeah.
I think I liked her better when she just criedall day.
Also the key is stupid.
The article talks about the Wendigo and yesthat's probably what the evil is.
Anyway, Rune goes to the crevasse or the crevasse or whatever and hops on down and finds a very boney boy on a very frozen throne but it's not the Lich King.
He spots some bloody markings on a wall nearbyand after translating them the not-Lich King comes to life and Rune hightails it out ofthere as fast as he can.
Alass, he crashes on the way back becausehe sees a ghost Wendigo and he wakes up to find his hands are cut off! Oh no! It's actually getting very Lovecraftian up in here! Actually no he wakes up a second time andhe's actually mostly ok.
And his hands are still there.
So, it was again another dream because we can't have people actually die that we care about.
That would be.
Tully and Al are missing though and this makes Nova mad at mister corporate for some reason.
Because now she realizes that maybe she should've admitted that she had bad dreams and maybe they were real because of her Inuit heritage and I.
I don't really know why honestly.
I guess she had to move along the plot.
Nova apologizes for being the actual worsthuman being earlier and now she and Norwegian boy work together to fix this.
They bring up the crevasse or the crevasse or whatever again.
They decide that their best course of actionis probably to destroy the bones and the skin entirely so Rune sets out to find a way toburn them to a crisp.
During his search he unfortunately or fortunatelydepending on how you look at it, finds Tully who seems to have shot himself in the headduring the night, even though nobody heard anything or saw anything at all.
He's unceremoniously dragged back inside and Rune burns all the stuff, we never really talk about it again.
Thinking it's a job well done he then triesto figure out what happened to Al, finding a note in his room that basically amountsto “I've gone off for walkies, don't follow me, I'm probably dead”.
Just as we're about to go off to bed again, Nova wants to talk and also invites us to spend the night with her which I, pure boyas I am, declined on my playthrough mostly because I figured she was going to get mekilled somehow, or vice versa.
And so we go to bed on our own, decide we'recold and go to find Nova in the middle of the night anyway.
Who, unsurprisingly, is sitting on her floorcrying again.
Which prompts us to run away immediately and go investigating, find out that Tully'scorpse has had his arms cut off for some reason and also the generator's shut off, that'sprobably why it was cold.
After fixing the thing up, mister corporatecomes outside yelling that we hurt Nova and the logical solution would be to try and shootme.
From outside the window however we magicallysee how Al is actually still alive and dragging Nova's body, also still very alive, out ofthe laboratory.
So we find a way back inside that isn't thefront door, distract mister corporate once we get inside and then we kill him.
By jumping on top of his face with our veryspikey feet.
This is still a Lovecraftian inspired game I swear.
After stealing his gun, obviously, and doingsome very stupid thinking again, we figure out that Al is actually in an even deeperbasement beneath the complex and indeed, we find him there trying to sacrifice Nova'sheart to the little boney not-Lich King-Wendigo.
Who is also wearing Tully's arms because he needs to have his body restored.
Except that, for some reason, everything else isn't flesh-covered but just bones and the head isn't human.
So why does he need human arms? I don't know, why couldn't you just use animals? Doesn't matter.
When he tries to come for Rune, obviouslyhe gets shot so he yells that the Wendigo, who is actually called Asphalt or some shit, will just have his heart then as he stabs himself to death.
Boney-M's eyes start glowing red but beforeanything interesting can actually happen, Rune and Nova run upstairs, crash the elevatorthing down into the basement which was actually made of ice, I guess, because it was a well? Which causes boney and Al's corpse to sink to the bottom of the ocean and never be seen again.
I don't know.
But Rune and Nova, heroically snowscooteroff into the sunset so I'm assuming the evil is defeated, yes really.
Does it look as cool as it did in Metal GearSolid? Not even close but they needed an ending so there it is.
And don't worry, if you're wondering where the climate change has gone.
Al was still having a little speech before he did the whole sacrificial ritual about how humans were the great evil and it was only right that they should sacrifice themselves because of the oil company coming to destroy the planet because of all the natural resources being destroyed.
It's a very, very paper-thin plot-thread.
Don't even worry about it.
If that story sounded kinda dumb it's becauseit's kinda dumb.
The puzzles were not good, there was a pinchof moonlogic involved but the main problem really was that often times I had the rightidea the game just wanted me to be excruciatingly precise for some reason.
Yes, the bones do need to go into that bowl, but when you try to put the bones in the bowl the game will tell you that they don't fit, so what does that tell me? Does that tell me that I need to take out the bowl? To put in the bones? No no no, that tells me that the bones are too big and I have to cut them down somehow.
But now, what they really wanted me was totake that same bowl and put it somewhere else.
Now, the bones fit just fine.
Because of course they did.
It was infuriating.
They're also just not very good puzzles ingeneral.
When you watch my four hour playthrough which, yes, was definitely aided by backseating, you'll honestly probably be a little bored.
Did I just say that of myself, yes, becausea lot of the playthrough was me going back and forth from place to place not really findingany logical solutions and again, when I did, they weren't precise enough.
And in case you were wondering, because I'msure you were, no, there wasn't really anything Lovecraftian about it.
People were driven slightly mad and that'sit.
It wasn't even a good build up, it was just:guy find bones, guy mad now, we all mad now, because dream? Even scrapping the Lovecraftian part, thegame isn't scary.
Just slightly obnoxious.
They also straight up forgot to render Nova'smodel in the semi-last scene.
So there's that.
Game? You're not rendered.
I just need to render first.
Let's not speak of this one again.
I initially thought this game was from 2015so I hated the graphics, but it's actually from 2011 and so I thought well, maybe that's not that bad.
But then I looked up 2011 games and realizedit had games like Uncharted 3, Batman Arkham City, Dark Souls, L.
Noire and the like.
Jinzee you can't compare big games like that, I hear you say, but yes I can.
Because their drawn avatars were fine, they lookedreally nice so why in the flying night-gaunts would you try to add cutscenes and animationslike the ones they did because they clearly weren't equipped for full CGI storytelling.
Like the rest of the world was.
They should've just done the whole thing inthe artstyle of the talking avatars.
That would've already softened the blow ofthe terrible story just a bit.
And it might be funny to note here.
I got Alpha Polaris for free, not as promotionbut it was just free on Steam.
When I picked it up it had 11 recent reviewsand the score was mostly positive.
It has since then gained a review and it isnow mixed and no at that point I hadn't written a review yet.
Other, OTHER, funny thing to note is thatthe tags for the game do not include Lovecraftian but the actual description does say it drawsinspiration from the Cthulhu mythos and also Inuit legends.
Please point me towards the inspiration drawn from the Cthulhu mythos.
And Inuit legends? That's a pretty broad take right there because, well no.
You went with a Wendigo monster but you honestlybarely even deal with the Wendigo and when it comes down to it the Wendigo isn't eventhat big of a deal because all you need to do is knock his pile of bones over and he'sbasically defeated.
The extent of the story is “here's some articles”that one of the people in this station decided to randomly take with them on the way here.
And unfortunately that is where most of their”mystery” (I use the term loosely) is located.
Not in the day to day of the researchers ofAlpha Polaris, no, in two articles.
They tell you about the Wendigo and aboutthe Tribes.
So let's end on some positives at least.
I will commend it for having actual voiceacting.
Seriously I'm so glad it had voice actingand it wasn't even half bad if I'm honest.
I said some positives but that was the onlyone I could really think of.
So on that merit alone, 3 out of 10 Tekeli-lis.
See you next time!.