Valve caused a bit of controversy with the introduction of Early Access games, games which are currently incomplete but still sell for the full price of the finished product with the developer’s promise that more features will be added. This can be a handy system for studios who lack the proper funding to fully realize their idea while testing alpha and beta builds and generating user feedback to further develop the game. Unfortunately some companies have been using it to make a quick buck from broken and incomplete games that will never truly be released. Somewhere in the middle is Reverse Side, a science fiction thriller from Russian studio REEW Games.
In 1972 the last manned mission to the moon took place and during that time an amazing discovery was made: an extraterrestrial ship on the dark side of the moon. The US quickly hid it from the general public. However, in 1976 the USSR rediscovered the ship and thus began five decades of research, including the orbiting science station Orbit and a series of tunnels dug into the surface of the moon itself. In 2023 contact with the ground station is lost and the only one who can discover what happened is Gregory Klimov, a Russian cosmonaut.
As I said before this game was just released under the Early Access program on Steam. Sadly, it seems to only be the demo that was released last year with added broken English subtitles and a short tutorial level introducing you to docking mechanics and not much else. Gameplay includes docking with a damaged space station, going on history’s most boring space walk to fix a broken solar panel, and failing to refuel a lunar lander module resulting in a giant explosion that kills the player and ends the game. I would have given you a spoiler alert, but this game lasts for all of about 25 minutes and certainly is not worth the $13.99 that they are charging.
I wanted to like Reverse Side. The graphics are well done, apart from the rather odd looking character models seen in screen shots, and the mood is dark and quite foreboding. However, these shining moments of positivity do nothing to abate the wide array of problems the game faces. Perhaps given another year or so before release they could have had a product worthy of purchasing, but until then save your money and stay here on Earth.