​The Persistence Nevertheless we…..

When I first started The Persistence from Firesprite Studios, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I am a huge fan of Sci-fi horror of any genre, the usual problem I find with most Sci-Fi experiences is they lean too heavily into a troupe of cliche of some sort and sacrifice focusing on the story. Luckily, The Persistence walks the tight rope of delivering a very focused narrative while maintaining homage to all the classic Sci-Fi horror that paved for the way. A slow and tactical game that had me aching to head back into the action and leaving sweat marks on my controller.

We are Legion

The Persistence throws you right into the action from the very start. A bare-bones basic tutorial and then the game leaves a lot of the decisions up to you. You start off a formerly deceased patron of “The Persistence”. How are you alive you ask? Cloning of course! The Persistence sets the pace of the game right away. Letting you know that you are going to die A LOT during this game and honestly, that’s kind of the point.

Starting off you’re going to notice one thing right away. You cant run, only short burst of teleportation (which can be upgraded slightly down the road), this threw me off at first. I’ve been used to first-person games that push you to move as fast as you can, all while dodging whatever horrors await you. Being forced to walk at a snail’s pace makes you take in the environment and think of your moves very carefully. While you can’t run, most of the foes you face during your playtime can move very quickly. This is where the brilliance of The Perstiance shows its true genius.

The Persistence clearly takes a ton of inspiration from games like “Alien Isolation”. It wants you to be scared and does a wonderful job of doing it. The sound design is intense and the smallest creaks or pipes bursting made me jump out of my seat. As usual, I always recommend playing any horror game at night, in the dark, with a pair of solid headphones. What’s the point of playing a game to be scared if you don’t set up the right environment for it?

Live, Die, Repeat

The Persistence isn’t just a tongue-in-cheek joke at the name of the game. It’s what you’re going to need to survive if you intend to get through this game. As I mentioned before, will die. A lot. Sometimes you deserve it and sometimes you just got a bad luck of the draw. Well, if I die and come back it will be easier right? I’ll know the layout, where the enemies are, my weapons are upgraded. It should be a breeze!

Well, you’re half right. Yes, your weapons will be upgraded and the tools you collect will be instrumental in surviving, but the layout. Well, that’s going to change every single time. Every time you die, the layout of the levels change, the enemy placement changes, the weapon boxes change. This is why you have to be persistent. Eh, see what I did there? Every time I died, this giant sense of dread came over me. I lost all the weapons that I collected and more importantly, I have to go through everything all over again to get back to where I was.

This is the genius of The Persistence. It may not be a giant game with over fifty hours of gameplay, multiple sidequests, but it’s going to make you fight for every inch of ground you cover. It will also make you pay severe consequences for being cocky or making a mistake when trying to tackle a room. Another thing I want to mention is how you pick up items. It seems like such a small thing to mention, but I believe The Persistance could start a new trend in first-person shooters. In normal games you look at an item, you press the button to get the item, rinse, and repeat. In the Persistence, you merely have to look at an item for a second or two and it automatically picks it up.

While this seems like a silly thing to mention, it is an absolute gamechanger. I can’t tell you how many times in first-person shooters, I became so annoyed by the routine of having to press a button to pick up every single item and also the wear and tear on your controller. It’s a very unique gameplay choice and one that I hope future developers take notice of. Not to mention, when you look at a container that’s set to blow and you only have a few seconds to look away before you kill yourself; it just adds an extra element of tension to an already tense experience.

How would you like to die?

​What would a horror game be without a vast array of weaponry? The Persistence doesn’t disappoint. Throughout the game are various weapon stations.

Experimental, guns, melee, grenades, etc. They all have their pros and cons and you have to choose very wisely. It gives the game a way for the players to make it their own experience. Are you an action guy? Want to go in guns blazing, throwing grenades, and letting your presence be known? Or are you more of an up-close and personal kind of person? Sneaking into rooms and stabbing your victims without alerting anyone? If neither of those options works for you, then don’t worry, the persistence also allows you to sneak through rooms completely undetected.

The world is your oyster and The Persistence wants you to know that. Also, scattered throughout the world are “side-quests” of the sort. Explore and reap the rewards or consequences. You can check out the generator room to get an extra boost to your shield, but be prepared to fight a horde of baddies. The medical bay can hold the body of a shipmate you can now transfer too (grim, I know), but now you have to decide if you want to die to reap the benefits of the find.

The Persistence gives you enough options to challenge you, but not enough to make you feel overwhelmed.

Final thoughts

The Persistence came in and blew my expectations out of the water. What could have easily been a generic Sci-Fi shooter experience ended up being a very creative and difficult game that kept me coming back for more? The game can be rough around the edges, I experienced some clipping issues or invisible enemies taking me out. The melee animations can leave something to be desired. These were not big enough to ruin the experience for me. Whether your a first-person shooter fan looking for a new game or an avid fan of classic Sci-Fi horror experience. I highly recommend The Persistence to gamers of every type.

The game is available on Xbox One, PS4, and Nintendo Switch This Summer!

*DFAT was given a review code for the Xbox One