E3 2019: Journey to the Savage Planet Explores Humor, Salutes Metroid

When Journey to the Savage Planet first premiered during the 2018 Video Game Awards, it was little more than a curiosity. The trailer showed some potential for humor on an alien planet, but that was it; there wasn’t nearly enough information available to have any real opinion on it. That’s finally changed now that E3 2019 has come. Not only is there another trailer, but there’s just more information in general. Much of it comes from the co-founder of Journey to the Savage Planet’s developer, Alex Hutchinson.

Hutchinson describes Journey to the Savage Planet as an “explore ‘em up,” in a vein similar to Metroid Prime or even Far Cry 4 to a degree. It’s all about trying to make one’s way around odd planet, filling out the map, collecting upgrades and fighting bosses. The Metroid-influence definitely shines through in its gameplay design, but there’s plenty here to set it apart from its older, more distinguished peers.

The latest trailer for Jouney to the Savage Planet puts a spotlight on the explorer’s side arm: a laser pistol with the power to quickly and easily dispatch hostile aliens. It looks very useful, but players would do well to avoid using it. The gun is there to deal with bosses and make the experience a touch easier, but Journey to the Savage Planet doesn’t revolve around it like Metroid does with Samus’ arm cannon. Rather, it’s an experience aimed more at using the explorers other tools and alien gadgets to solve puzzles and more easily traverse the planet.

The explorer is on the planet for a reason: to chart it for the Kindred Aerospace company; it’s just that their mission isn’t exactly going to plan. The entire situation is cast in a humorous light, and just about everything else from the writing to the gameplay itself is aimed at pulling a chuckle or two out from its players. Some of this will come from the writing and the pre-recorded, live-action commercial players will stumble across from time to time, but most will stem from the player’s own actions and how their equipment actually works. In other words, the lion’s share of the comedy is going to be interactive in some way.

Journey to the Savage Planet is not going to follow the open-world trend that’s currently dominating the gaming industry. It has a story to tell, a softly-guided experience to offer and a definitive end. By its creator’s estimate, it will take most players between ten and twelve hours to complete. That may seem a little short to some, but it shouldn’t be too much of an issue considering that Typhoon and 505 Games won’t be charging full price for it.

Journey to the Savage Planet launches in 2020 for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. This is definitely something Metroid Prime fans are going to want to keep an eye on. After all, Metroid Prime 4 is still a long way off.