A corridor in HEVN.

Hands On With Hevn: Deus Ex Meets Red Faction

Games from Miga sent us the demo. The least we could do was play it. We were worried we’d hate it. We ended up really liking it. Phew.

We’ve already written about the premise behind Hevn in detail; the developers describe Hevn as an immersive, story-driven sci-fi adventure, set on an isolated planetoid orbiting a distant star, heavily influenced by Deus Ex and System Shock.

We’ve played the opening stages of Hevn and the influences of the original Deus Ex and System Shock are evident, but the original Red Faction also comes to mind. It helps that the planetoid you’re visiting resembles Mars.

The opening stages are reminiscent of games of yesteryear; a tutorial and lots of world building documents strewn around for reading. The developers go to great lengths to provide the background detail to put the premise into context, should you want to know more. If you just want to walk on by then you can, but you’ll miss out on a level of detail which makes this world so great.

Very early on you’re issued with a tablet, which acts as your hub of information. The tablet also has the functionality to email fellow crew members and family back home, giving multiple choices to respond as you wish. It will be interesting to see whether certain dialogue will result in unique in-game events and whether relationships can be developed or destroyed depending on what you choose to say.

Given that this is a demo, glitches and bugs can be expected, of which there were a few. There were also numerous spelling and grammatical errors, but these are all issues which can easily be cleaned up before release.

The sound design is strong and helps with the immersion. I love the beep, boop of the doors, and the satisfying thud when walking into a glass door. The music is both calming and foreboding.  Additionally, the voice acting is decent and the dialogue with the robots I ran into had enough humor to be amusing, without feeling forced.

The controls feel slower than the frantic arcade-influenced schemes that many games utilise, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The controls feel like you’re controlling a normal human being, who jumps like a normal human being and runs like a normal human being. You’re not a super-human space marine, and that’s okay. I’m bored of playing the bad-ass space cowboy.

Graphically, Hevn is gorgeous, especially for an indie title. The base has clean reflective surfaces which beautifully refract light, and there are several dark, moody corners for contrast.  This feels like a real space station. If the planetoid matches this level of detail, the world will carry the authenticity needed to immerse ourselves in.

Having read every line of text and explored every corner, I can see the promise in Hevn. It is early days, but the foundations are in place. With the promise of survival mechanics, relationship building and conflict to resolve, we could be looking at the next big Steam indie hit. Head over to the Steam Page to Greenlight Hevn so we can see this come to fruition.