The Girl and the Robot PS4 Review

August 15, 2017 by  
Filed under PS4, Reviews & Features, PlayStation

Publisher: Flying Carpets Games  Developer: Flying Carpet Games  Genre: Action Adventure

Players: 1  Age Rating: 7+  Other console/handheld formats: Wii U

The Girl and the Robot is in no way a competitor to The Last Guardian or ICO. By their standards, this is a pretty sub-par game, jumping on the “two characters putting aside their differences and working together” preachy bandwagon. First impressions of this successfully funded Kickstarter game is the obvious drop in the quality of the graphics – if anything, it looks like a PS2 HD Remaster. Animations and character movement also feel very stiff – not very good considering the game features combat.

You shouldn’t really judge a game based on its graphics, though these are pretty dull-looking, and there’s not much in the way of decent gameplay to make up for that fact.

Upon playing you’ll notice straight away the strange choice of control scheme. Characters move forward or backwards with the left control stick, and the direction they walk is changed by rotating the camera using the right control stick. Both characters can run at quite a fast pace; the girl has the ability to heal the robot after it has taken a few beatings during battle, repairing its armour. Being on the diminutive size, the girl can also crawl through narrow spaces and reach areas the robot cannot. Being built for battle, the robot can swing a sword, use a bow and arrow, and defend itself with a shield. Both of the characters differences are put to use for puzzles, and even during battles.

Combat in the game is done poorly, and it isn’t helped with the stiff controls. Movements feel very clunky, with the type of combat in which you have to stop and stand still before you can strike – combat doesn’t feel very fluid at all. Swinging your sword feels very heavy and slow, and there’s no satisfaction to be gained from striking an enemy.

There are numerous robot enemies, and to defeat them you only need to knock off their armour and deliver one final blow. However, you’ll have to move out of the way quickly, as they explode upon your final hit, which will cause your robot damage. This is another time when the slow movements come at a disadvantage, as you’ll find yourself more often than not being hit by the blast thanks to the robots’ slow dodge. It helps having the girl somewhere close by in order to heal yourself. Thankfully, if you move away from a confrontation, the other robots don’t follow you, enabling you some breathing space while you heal. However, the girl needs to be somewhere safe, as it is a game over if an enemy captures her.

Puzzles are done well, though again these are hindered by the poor movements. One puzzle requires you to hit numerous orbs to open several gates, though as your robot is so slow and awkward, it took several attempts to get through; to say this game is trial and error is an understatement, though perhaps unintentionally so, all thanks to the sluggish movements.

To be fair, the game delivers some great, unintentional jumpscares. Some enemies will dart towards you unexpectedly, and there was a point when the girl was trying to push a switch, only to be accosted by an enemy robot that gave no signal it was nearby. This is thanks to the fact that the game is very low on sound effects, making for a very quiet game. There are faint footsteps that can be heard as you run, and some simple effects for background noises, such as for streams or gates. There are important sound effects for when the robot is in battle and you can hear the clanking of metal against metal. There is also some music at integral points, though mostly you’ll wonder if they ran out of money to put in more sound effects.

Combat is very trial and error, but only thanks to the awkward movements.

Story-wise, there isn’t much substance. Of course there’s that undertone of two different characters working together, building up a close friendship as their adventure progresses, but it’s nothing that hasn’t been done before, and to much better effect.

Whilst some try to excuse the game as being humble and not trying to wow you with “features or complicated mechanics or frilly, detailed graphic design”, there are budget games that offer a much more unique perspective and gaming experience than what The Girl and the Robot does – it’s so simplistic the characters don’t even have names, which says a lot about the game really.

It is fair to note, however, that whilst The Girl and the Robot is very much on the simplistic side, I never experienced any glitches or bugs, making the game still playable enough, though it comes to something that you have to note its functionality over its gameplay quality.

If you are looking for a very old-school looking game, one that has simplistic puzzles, a meagre story and clunky controls, then by all means try out The Girl and the Robot. At £11.99 though, it is rather overpriced for what is on offer, including the short length of gameplay. My recommendation though is to definitely seek out or replay The Last Guardian, ICO, or even RIME.