Peregrin is a narrative driven story with puzzles and synchronized turn based combat throughout. The game itself took me around 3 hours to complete, and whilst having a nice story the puzzles and combat felt a little constrained.
The game itself revolves around a post apocalyptic world where you play a girl on a quest to explore an area that takes away the memories of those who venture into it to discover and hopefully put right whatever caused the world to fail as it stands. You have taken on this quest as one of the few with the ability to take control of creatures and this is how you not only solve the puzzles of the game but also succeed in the combat scenes.
The puzzles of the game involve the possession of three native creatures, a troll who can pick up heavy objects and also heavily weigh down buttons, a bull like creature who can bash objects and bridges around, and a frog who can carry attraction points of creatures and tnt as well as trigger switches from a distance, and through a combination of possessing the various creatures and activating the totems which amplify your control ability and in essence create the area you can navigate the creatures around you have to solve the puzzles to allow you to progress to the next area’s. This is interlaced with combat scenes against native elementals, however the combat scenes are very constrained, often only allowing you to take control of one specific enemy which you then use to take down enemies creating shields and follow a very obvious combat direction which destroys any replayability to the game as well as potential to fail and experiment in combat which would also add to the game length, add to this the fact that the creatures puzzles is also very constrained with what you can do I felt a little let down where the game had so much potential and a promising premise that the actual gameplay elements were so restricted that in essence you were playing a very on rails experience.
The puzzle elements have very specific places you can move objects and they haven’t allowed for you to place things in an incorrect area or to really fail at the puzzles so for the most part these weren’t too much of a challenge to an experienced puzzler and it would have been nice to have more options on where to place objects and more ability to fail in these aspects.
The combat as stated through most of the game restricted which enemies you can select often to only one enemy that it became no question what you should do in order to progress and to fail in the combat would be more of a challenge than succeeding, unless you were planning on playing through without the obviously signposted possession mechanic as perhaps there are ways to defeat the battles without possessing any enemies but it was so signposted that this was what you must do that you couldn’t fail in most instances, and I didn’t fail in combat until chapter 5 the final chapter where the mechanic had changed slightly to possess then attack then possess and perhaps if there had been more variation and more choice in enemies the challenge might have been more enjoyable but I was left constantly feeling restricted and that it should open up at any second and allow me to fail and make my own decisions in combat but this never really opened up the gameplay as much as I expected.
All in all it was an enjoyable experience, the story did make some references at times to things abi had encountered which were never actually visible on the screen and never signposted, including where she references how she’s stopped counting the steps when it never gets mentioned that she is counting her every step, also it implies that she was given a seed that eventually becomes a branch or a tree and implies a much longer time passing than you will experience but this isn’t overtly explained in the storyline.
The ending of the game does perhaps allow for dlc to explore all of the other quests who had previously attempted this adventure and perhaps activated the four previous monoliths and satisfied the steps necessary previously for abi to succeed in her own adventure as nobody alone could atone for what had passed. However the ending also provides a secondary story for the entire game told from a more scientific point of view where you had played the faith side and followed a storyline of that nature.
All this being said I would still say the game is a fun experience and worth playing, however the £11 price tag might be a little high and for what you get it might be more reasonable to pay £8 as the replayability is definitely effected because of just how constrained the puzzles and combat is that you would only play again if you had planned to run speedruns of the game, and I note that at least one combat scene can be completely skipped and simply walked around.
The story is touching and emotional and combines science and faith as well as consequences for humanity reaching too far and being too greedy for what really I don’t understand why people desire so much, without spoilers. And the main enjoyment of the game is going to come from keeping your eyes out and discovering the storyline as it progresses and putting together the mystery of what happened, and it would be nice if some of the things stated to have been found could be seen beforehand even as a brief mention, and if you could perhaps go back at the risk of spending too much time and failing entirely in your quest because you must press onwards and complete your journey without looking back at the risk of losing all of your memories, but these don’t take away from the enjoyment too much just a few nice touches that could have been added.
Check out peregrin for yourself on steam now store.steampowered.com/app/573080/Peregrin/
Also available on green man gaming at https://www.greenmangaming.com/games/peregrin/?tap_a=1964-996bbb&tap_s=4707-cadadd