Heaven’s Vault is a science fiction adventure game where you go on an archaeological investigation to find a missing colleague and discovers a mystery much bigger.
I was provided a copy of this game for the purposes of this review.
You play as Aliya Elasra, an archaeologist with a knack for deciphering languages. She has been sent to investigate across the network of moons in the Nebula to find a missing roboticist and end up uncovering much more.
The gameplay is very straightforward. One of the main mechanics is deciphering a lost language which will help you learn more about the lost kingdom from before. What starts with guesswork leads to more educated deciphering as you really start to learn the language. How you decipher the various phrases will affect the story and Aliya’s interpretations of the Nebula. The game is open world and completely non-linear, so you have many choices of where to go at different points and when you do things can affect how the story unfolds.
I will say, I think I would have preferred a more linear story in the long run. With a mystery to solve, I want to go from A to B through a story so I understand what is happening a little better. Since Heaven’s Vault is non-linear and your choices affect the outcome, I personally feel like I don’t actually know the story and how the mystery is solved all that well. I would have preferred if it was just non-linear or if it was just choices matter instead of having both.
The overall concept of the mystery is very interesting with it starting as just a missing person investigation and it expanding into something much greater. I feel like the pacing of it was a little weird, but do to the non-linear structure the game would, in theory, slow down in places I though went to fast. As an example, I feel like I found what happened to the roboticist too quickly. However, I did not explore all of my options prior to taking the mystery-solving path. So if I took advantage of doing every little thing before doing the obvious mystery-solving it would have paced itself better for me. This also just goes back to me wanting more structure personally.
I do really like the art style and it fits perfectly for the game as a whole. There is some voice acting, mostly as Aliya’s inner monologue. It’s a little strange when it happens honestly because there was not a whole lot of consistency with when the voice acting happened so I would have preferred if they either had everything voiced or had none of it voiced.
Overall, I did find the game very interesting. The language deciphering is easily my favorite part of the whole game. I would have enjoyed the game more if it was more linear and I don’t have a strong need to go back into the game to try for new outcomes and find what I missed honestly.
What open-world games do you enjoy? Let me know with a comment below.