Shattered Haven Review
Shattered Haven is a PC exploration strategy puzzle survival game from the minds at Arcen Games (A Valley Without Wind and AI Wars). Suring development I had the honor of playing the game through the beta stages until release. My main problem with Shattered Haven is the conveyance. That has been tweaked so you won’t be wandering around wondering where to go for 45 minutes. The story progresses better out of beta stages and barring a few problems, this is a solid title that puzzle/adventure enthusiasts will enjoy.
Grays roam a post-apocalyptic land in Shattered Haven. While the Grays resemble zombies, they are an entirely different entity and far more dangerous. The disease even effects animals as they will burst into ravenous creatures hell bent on killing anything that moves. As the Earth slowly withers away Daryll and Mary Williams have a lot on their plate. In the span of nine years our protagonists were able to raise a family in a secluded part of the world, free from the Grays and dangerous of the wilderness.
Their safety is compromised when a young man arrives at the haven due to being on the run with his mother. The son is taken in but due to his recklessness, he threatens Williamses and entangles them in a conflict against two eldritch horrors. Survival is number one on their agenda. Who knows, they may even save the world.
The story is very open ended with plenty of different endings. Much like the Walking Dead game your choices will change the course of the game and how you play. I really like this aspect of the gameplay, especially when those game changing choices seem small or not even transparent. Many games like Fable or Mass Effect try to preach this gameplay mechanic but cannot deliver.
There are a lot of puzzles in this game. Many of them environmental and ever changing and you will have to think on your feet and use your available tools to your advantage. Everything seems to have an item count as well. So if you run out of an item, you will have to improvise. Most of the puzzles can be challenging but others are rather simple and require a quick work of the keyboard to maneuver.
Speaking of keyboard, my main problem with this game seems to be the control scheme. While I can appreciate the thought and ingenuity of continuous Co-Op, the key placement seems to feel a bit strange. While you can change your key bindings I like sticking with a similar scheme. Using WASD to move feels better than the Arrow Keys. You can also play this game with a controller. However, I would not recommend it as the precise movement with the keys or mouse works better when navigating dangerous terrain. The combat is in real time and relevant to what item you are holding. Sometimes you will have trap items like spikes, or attacking weapons like a sickle. However, you will have to be incredibly resourceful the more you fight. In some cases, running is the best option.
The art of Shattered Haven is retro, but still feels fresh. The best part of Shattered Haven besides the non-linear fresh story is the music. Hot damn this game has a great soundtrack. Pablo Vega does it again.
Shattered Haven is a unique game with a lot of replay value. The atmosphere is ever changing and you can get invested into the story easily. This is a game to play. I give Shattered Haven a 9/10. Arcen Games delivers a unique survival puzzle adventure game that is a must play for indie enthusiasts. You can pick up the game on Steam or direct from the developer.