The way the game progresses is also effective; the surprise moments catch players off guard. Stela is a dark, collapsing world. Daniel has been writing video game news, features, and reviews at TheGamer for some time now. Platforming is effective, and the puzzles are decent. As a video game, Stela is a rare experience that may happen once in a generation. Stela is now available on Nintendo Switch and PC. Here, Stela becomes a stealth title, where players have to maneuver past these beings without being seen. The character is dropped into a dark place, and then makes her way to the surface. Games like Limbo, Gris, and Little Nightmares are memorable for their take on 2D gameplay. What happens, and why, is never really explained, and the imagery isn’t enough to carry the game on its own. The trouble is that for all the power of its visuals, animation, and sometimes clever level design, Stela is never able to build toward anything with meaning. Check out more reviews from IND13 ! Our hero is human, but capable. Because Halo, of course, already has a story behind it. As for the platforming, Stela won't win any awards, but it's effective enough. You'll use this small skill set in a variety of situations, helping Stela to survive plenty of encounters with monsters, environmental hazards, and bottomless pits. All … Click the button below to start this article in quick view. It is available on X1 and will come to PC in 2020. Stela is more like Gris, but Gris had emotional resonance in its end. The aesthetic variety is the game's greatest feat, and the singular way Stela rises above the games from which it so clearly takes its cues. Finally, the cinematic presentation of Stela is shown, or rather heard, in its soundtrack. One-night game. Stela is traversing a world on the brink of its end. His favorite video game company is Nintendo, and once you get him talking about Mario or Smash Bros., he won't stop. It’s not that easy to engage a player deeply in a game without any dialogue and narrator, but Stela has done it with a piece of heartful music that’s deeply stranded to the game’s stunning visuals. Stela is one of those games that keeps me either yelping in fright or breaking out into nervous laughter. A lot of the time is spent running to the right and jumping over objects. Overcome daunting challenges, treacherous terrain, and gargantuan beasts while traversing a decaying land. Early on in Stela, I escape from a swarm of rustling beetles in a dilapidated building by breathlessly pushing a box to plug a hole in a wall, blocking their path. The only other entertainment he enjoys more than gaming is watching a Godzilla movie. Stela will have to be careful as she makes her way across this desolate world. The character is dropped into a dark place, and then makes her way to the surface. Its mysterious setup creates curiosity that would have been lost with a comprehensive storyline, allowing for an unique sensation despite its fairly common game style. If you’d like to see more of Stela, check out the developer’s official site. The official story synopsis for the game tells that a young woman witnesses the end of her world. This review is based on a copy of the game provided by the developer. She pants after running for more than a few seconds, and often looks tired. Each solution usually requires a combination of platforming, timing my movement, and pushing and pulling objects in the world to get something done. He also contributes to ScreenRant. There's a nice weight to your character, especially the realistic feeling of weight in her ju… Here at GBG we use a rating method that you … There were multiple times throughout my playthrough where the games graphic style left me in awe and in its later levels I was stunning by the scale that the game takes from its humble beginnings. The puzzles are decent enough, but can lack satisfaction for those  looking to feel rewarded. It does the trick. The game knows how to surprise players with a simple breaking of the floor, forcing players to adapt to a new situation. A cloaked figure approaches her, and brings her to a temple. One of the most exciting aspects is the desperate run-for-your-life, whether it be against a swarm of insect-like creatures, or something far bigger. The blaring horn players hear near the beginning, and other parts of the music, have a dramatic flair to them. 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You can emphasize style over substance in a game like this, but the style better be damn good, and Stela never quite gets there. Find reviews, trailers, release dates, news, screenshots, walkthroughs, and more for Stela here on GameSpot. One can definitely get through it in under three hours. The game was reviewed using a final “retail” Xbox One download code provided by SkyBox Labs. Stela is a beautifully well-made game, with the score and the background creating a wonderfully immersive atmosphere. I have to tie together speed, planning, and execution to survive most of these situations, and each one leaves me a nervous wreck. In terms of style, story delivery, gameplay, and appearance, Stela is similar to Playdead’s INSIDE and LIMBO, but it manages to iterate on the formula and distinguish itself as an independent evolution rather than a mere copy. Stela is not a long game. The game was provided to us for review on X1. The camera sometimes pans across a scene to create a beautiful composition between our hero and the background scenery. All the storytelling in Stela comes in the form of context clues given to me by the scenery and larger world. The forest, the snow area, and everything else all look like great movie set pieces. Stela is a beautiful platformer, but not much else, CD Projekt has blown years’ worth of goodwill in a week, Botched Cyberpunk 2077 launch and now problems with Devotion, Sony offering Cyberpunk 2077 refunds, pulls game from PlayStation Store, PS4 owners who purchased Cyberpunk 2077 digitally can get a full refund, Cyberpunk 2077 drivers are showing their butts to all of Night City, Riot Games is making an MMO set in the League of Legends universe, Nintendo is blocking Switch games from extreme eShop discounts, Best Buy now giving refunds for Cyberpunk 2077, Immortals Fenyx Rising guide: The Messenger’s Path Vault of Tartaros walkthrough and puzzle solutions. It's a shame that at this present time, there is no way to enjoy the music outside of playing through the game. One can tell the world is ending due to the desolate cornfields. Stela's ending is too vague to be effective and doesn't live up to everything that came before. Stela is a nice break from the hectic shooters and other competitive style games. Allure is all well and good, but Stela is a game that doesn’t have much to tell players plot-wise. Her motivations and goals are unclear. They can quickly kill her (without blood or gore), but she doesn't fight back. Stela - Review. Stela is a cinematic, atmospheric platformer about a young woman witnessing the final days of a mysterious ancient world. Stela won't go down as the next Limbo, but its dramatic presentation is effective. ... Stela is ultimately an empty title that brings to mind the better games that inspired it: Journey, Limbo/Inside, and shades of Oddworld: Abe’s Odyssey. And having played Stela, I’m actually more enthusiastic about that game. A Nintendo Switch copy of Stela was purchased by TheGamer for this review. Stelaisn't that difficult to understand gameplay-wise. Compared to Inside and Little Nightmares, the puzzles in Stela are relatively simple. He resides in Old Bridge, New Jersey, and graduated from Thomas Edison State University with a B.A. She awakens in a cave-like area, and makes her way above-ground to a world that appears to have been sucked out of life. Stela has genuine scares thanks to the forest with human-like creatures. As Stela ended, I found myself asking another question: What was the point of it all? It appears only monsters concerned with surviving and killing roam about. Stela frequently comes under attack from a variety of creatures, including beetles, lizards, and shadowy humanoids with glowing eyes. The puzzles are nothing too frustrating (but probably not complex enough), making playing through the game a brisk experience for those who prefer not spending too much time on puzzle-solving. Running across a bridge as giant tentacles crush it provide an adrenaline boost. If Stela was a movie, it would have one captivating introduction. Visually, the game shines. Even when I do everything right, I know my next death is lurking around the corner. You can find additional information about Polygon’s ethics policy here. Sometimes I need to figure out a way to avert the gaze of a monster, other times I might need to find a way to survive hazards like a rolling stone covered in spikes. It’s what this wonderful medium of … RELATED: Ori And The Will Of The Wisps Review: Even The Bugs Are Beautiful. Stela is an epic poem of a game that plucks at the heart and makes you yearn for a world that you never knew existed. It's a little too short to recommend for its $19.99 price. I wasn’t intrigued as much as I was annoyed. The jumping can feel floaty in comparison to something like Super Mario World, but it's nothing too bad. This is our Stela review for Xbox One. This cinematic quality continues throughout the game in terms of unexpected, unsettling danger. It’s stunning to look at. There are no other controls you discover later, no abilities added along the way. - 4.5/5 Stars, Touch Arcade "I love this game man" - Jesse Cox Stela is a cinematic, atmospheric platformer about a young woman witnessing the final days of a mysterious ancient world. Behold, Kirby as Sephiroth in Smash Bros. Cyberpunk 2077’s digital store removal: your questions, answered, Immortals Fenyx Rising guide: Kalliope’s Distress Vault of Tartaros walkthrough and puzzle solutions, Destiny 2 Trials of Osiris rewards, Dec. 18-22. In the past, he's written for ComicBookMovie, Unleash the Fanboy, and 411 Mania. Stela is light on storytelling, but this (mostly) works in the game's favor because the minimalist backdrops are interesting to look at. Stela is a cinematic, atmospheric platformer about a young woman witnessing the final days of a mysterious ancient world. As a whole though, platforming is good. Other puzzles require using mechanisms. It opts for impeccable sounds and visual design in order to convey emotion throughout the three-hour playtime. Sadly we never really understand how its human protagonist has managed to survive for so long in a self-consuming world, but maybe that’s for the best because it would likely seem ridiculous. But if “witnessing the final days of a mysterious ancient world” sounds intriguing, don’t stop reading this review yet. Stela Review — The Bottom Line. Overcome daunting challenges… And even the game’s animations help sell its personality. My questions about the world and this character were never answered, and I didn’t feel like I learned much of anything during the journey. Parents need to know that Stela is a puzzle and exploration game for Apple Arcade with a strong female protagonist who never gives up. At a glance, Stela is a spectacular 2D puzzle-platformer with pretty aesthetics, slick design, tense sections encouraging quick reflexes and an apocalyptic perspective on society. What elevates Stela among so many incredible games of the modern design age is that it follows a “less is more” attitude around gameplay, but this is amplified by one of the best scores I’ve heard in a videogame before, and a cinematic approach to key moments, reveals, set-pieces and deeper environmental storytelling, that fills in the many blanks you’ll have as you press right on your controller, … Unfortunately, there are a few things that keep Stela from being a great game. “Stela is one of the more enjoyable gaming experiences I’ve had in a long time.” 4.5/5 Stars, Touch Arcade Stela is a cinematic, atmospheric platformer about a young woman witnessing the final days of a mysterious ancient world. ‎"Stela is one of the more enjoyable gaming experiences I’ve had in a long time." There is not a single dialogue box or spoken word in the entire game. Stela, Like I said, maybe it’s just me and having played so many of these sorts of games before, but on the other hand, the game does cost 20 bucks (albeit it’s 16 bucks with a sale right now), and that’s arguably way too much money for only 2 hours of gameplay. Likewise, the player being in an enclosed place as creatures try to break in was excellent, and again, would make for a great set piece. Stela follows an unnamed protagonist, a tall woman clothed in white, as she explores a world in ruins. Of course, there are puzzles to be solved along the way. READ NEXT: Stardew Valley Developer Says There Are Still Secrets No One Has Found Yet. Then it makes me solve a puzzle. Summary: Overcome daunting challenges, treacherous terrain, and gargantuan beasts while traversing a decaying land. Stela is a 2D puzzle-platformer. Manipulate the environment to solve elaborate puzzles and creep past dangerous creatures under cover of muted landscapes, all set to an original soundtrack in this cinematic, The go-to source for comic book and superhero movie fans. Stela’s puzzles take on multiple forms. One recent platformer in a similar vein to these games is Stela. Limbo left players pondering the true meaning, as did Inside. Still, Stela will likely leave more of a positive impression than negative. He has also enjoyed many PlayStation exclusives, such as The Last of Us and Horizon: Zero Dawn. Stela (Switch eShop) Review. Stela Review - Noisy Pixel The game was provided by the publisher for review purposes. An interesting premise that never pays off. Stela is available now on Apple Arcade, and will be released Oct. 17 on Xbox One and in 2020 on PC. Atmospheric platformers stand out. SkyBox Labs has done a great job with the environment and music. Stela follows an unnamed protagonist, a tall woman clothed in white, as she explores a world in ruins. All the latest gaming news, game reviews and trailers. One thing to note is that a couple of times it can be easy to overlook where to climb or what to grab due to how the game is presented. So many games with platforming elements or jumping puzzles feature characters that are always on their feet, but the hero in Stela frequently stumbles and falls. One can tell the world is ending due to the desolate cornfields. The game perfectly combines stealth and frenetic escape in one experience. Review: Stela Posted on October 16, 2019 October 15, 2019 by Michelle Kruse There is something to be said about a game without dialogue, narration, or text of any kind. Overcome daunting challenges, treacherous terrain, and gargantuan beasts while traversing a decaying land. in Communications. Each of the game’s zones has its own color palette and striking aesthetic. 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