I’d love to work on a deep-space research station.
Not because I have an aspirations to see the galaxy, but because of the sheer entertainment opportunities it would provide. I’d set my cryogenic sleep pod to wake me up a couple of hours earlier, giving me plenty of time to smear tomato ketchup all over the walls. Throw a few plastic skulls around and I’d be ready to give my fellow explorers the fright of their lives.
I’m convinced this is what’s happened in HEVN, which sees you waking up to find your planetary base has giant space prawns hanging from the ceiling and that everyone else has scarpered. I was reasonably sure that the other crew members were hovering just out of earshot, sniggering as I flailed away with a fire extinguisher.
It’s only when I settled down that I realised HEVN wasn’t going to be one of those games, where enemies poured out of the metalwork. It didn’t scare me once, but toddling around the station’s corridors proved to be reasonably entertaining; particularly when the game started throwing up flashbacks suggesting the main character’s reality was less than concrete. And getting to blitz a keypad with a defibrillator, rather than roaming around hunting for a keycode, was satisfying.
HEVN’s research station is suitably retro-futuristic, channelling the spirit of both Alien: Isolation’s Sevastopol station and 2001’s rotating cheese-wheel. Though unlike Alien: Isolation, when combat does eventually occur, you’ve got a fighting chance of surviving. That’s particularly the case since the enemies aren’t exactly taxing or smart which, given their nature, is understandable. Less acceptable are the the glitches that can get in the way of gameplay; HEVN may be pretty but it never came across as particularly polished.
Still, while it doesn’t exactly break new ground, if you’re looking for another intergalactic local to prove around, HEVN may prove tempting. Just don’t try eating the prawns.