As someone who grew up playing Monkey Island and Simon the Sorcerer, Beyond a Steel Sky returned me to those days, minus the point and click gameplay and with better graphics.
Is Beyond a Steel Sky a Sequel?
Let’s get this question out of the way first. Yes, it is a sequel to the 1994 hit game Beneath A Steel Sky, which was most definitely considered a hit.
Both games center around Robert Foster and the events that unfold around him in Union City. However, Beyond a Steel Sky is based 10 years after the original game, and things have changed somewhat at Union city.
Beyond a Steel Sky’s Story
Robert has been living in the Gap since the events after the first game and is quickly drawn back to Union city after witnessing a child being kidnapped by a giant machine.
But everything is not how Robert remembers it. Since leaving the city with his pal Joey in charge, instead, the city is now run by the council, and Joey is nowhere to be seen.
The city has clearly thrived, with residents seemingly being super happy. But as Robert finds his way into the city, under the stolen ID of a man called Graham, it doesn’t take long to see that all this happiness might just be an act.
Citizens are being measured by a metric called Qdos. Their health, work, happiness, and every aspect of their lives are ranked and used to measure their social standing in the city.
Beyond a Steel Sky’s Gameplay
While Beyond a Steel Sky has moved away from the traditional point and click style of gameplay from the original, it’s of course, still very puzzle orientated, throwing you into some pretty difficult puzzles pretty much from the start of the game.
As Robert makes his way back to Union City, players are almost immediately thrown into puzzles. They must work out how to open the bridge and sneak their way into the city, from the parking lot of a guarded vehicle entrance.
Many of the puzzles involve hacking machines, changing how they operate to work in Robert’s favor. While some of these aren’t too complicated, the majority of them can be real headscratchers.
Most of the time these puzzles are an absolute joy to work out, but sometimes, on the odd occasion, they have felt a bit too random and even left me wondering how I was meant to work that one out.
The cel-shaded art design of Beyond a Steel Sky is an absolute visual delight and having the ability to move around more freely than a traditional point-and-click style game gives plenty of opportunities to take in the cyberpunk-styled city.
How Long Does it Take to Complete Beyond a Steel Sky?
In most games, it’s fairly simple to give an estimated completion time, but with games that feature difficult puzzles, it can be a little harder to predict.
For most people, the game should last between 9 to 10 hours. But if you are not used to puzzle games, or find puzzles a little harder than others, it could obviously take you longer.
If you’re an achievement hunter or someone who is easily distracted by the scenery or other aspects of the game, that could slow you down too.
Personally, I would say not to rush Beyond a Steel Sky. There are tons of nods to the original game, and plenty of other things to see and do, that you could easily miss, should you rush the game.
Beyond a Steel Sky made some bold choices for a sequel that has been awaited for so long. The game just goes to prove that sometimes bold choices can pay off.
Right from the start, I could see that Beyond a Steel Sky was going to be something special, and almost immediately into the game’s interesting story, I found myself getting drawn in, wanting to push further.
I did stumble across a few technical bugs when I was playing, but most of them were minor graphical glitches, annoying at most, but nothing at all game-breaking.