The Entropy Centre | PlayStation 5 Review
It’s funny how things work out. When we kindly received a review key for The Entropy Centre, a puzzle adventure game developed by Stubby Games and published by Playstack, I was right in the middle of my first playthrough of Valve Games’ Portal 2, so I was already in fine puzzle solving form. Although, I had no idea going into this that there would be so many similarities between the two, but I will touch on that later. The Entropy Centre is currently available on Windows PC, PlayStation, and Xbox, and for this review I was playing on the PlayStation 5.
The player resumes the role of Aria Adams, a junior puzzle operative on a space station named The Entropy Centre. You awaken alone on the space station with no recollection of your past. Armed with only your Handheld Entropy Device, you must make your way through the facility, solving puzzles as you try to uncover what has happened and make a bid to save planet earth from catastrophe.
Solving the puzzles within the Entropy Centre generates energy which, in turn, charges the facility's power core, which you will need to happen in order to save earth. This is where your Handheld Entropy Device comes in. It looks like some sort of futuristic rifle that you might find in the likes of Halo or Destiny, but this is no ordinary rifle. You don’t use it to fire bullets, you use it to rewind time for certain objects in the environment. How this works is that you need to get through each puzzle room in turn by making your way to and powering up the exit gate. You will have to place cube blocks onto various pressure pads which will, for example, power elevators or open doors. You certainly need your wits about you, as there are never enough cube blocks for the required number of pressure pads. You have to place the blocks you do have in the correct sequence and then, using your Handheld Entropy Device, rewind the cube blocks back in time to land on the pressure pads in the right order.
This sounds rather confusing and believe me for starters it really is. Just as I was getting to grips with the whole concept and logic of rewinding the cube blocks, the game decides to throw in additional blocks which serve a different purpose, such as launch pads to help you reach higher platforms or bridges which allow you to cross gaps. There are some real head scratching moments as you essentially need to figure out where you want the blocks to end up and then work back from there to solve the puzzles. I feel like they really nailed the difficulty level with the puzzles in The Entropy Centre, and there is a nice balance between easy and really tough. Some of the puzzles are real doozies, which for the first 10 minutes or so seem utterly impossible, but after a bit of perseverance I was able to figure them out, and my goodness does it make you feel like a genius in doing so. It is so rewarding to finally have the penny drop on an extremely taxing puzzle solution.
It was pretty apparent from very early on that The Entropy Centre takes a lot of inspiration from Portal. The designs of the cubes, the blue bridges, the launch pads, the A.I. Astra who is assisting you. It all feels very similar if you have already played the Portal games. Make no mistake, though, this is no cringe-worthy rip off. The Entropy Centre pays great homage to its inspiration, but it also more than stands on its own as an amazing puzzle experience.
I really enjoyed seeing the story unfold as I made my ways through the game. The interactions between Aria and the A.I. Astra were very charming, and it was a lovely thing to hear their frequent exchanges of banter. The dialogue and various text files are really well written throughout and provide an excellent accompaniment to the gameplay.
Visually, I thought The Entropy Centre looked really nice with lovely colours and textures. One gripe I would have is that I felt like the level designs could have had more variety in terms of their appearance. Yes, the actual puzzles themselves were all different but the puzzle room environments all felt very samey which did, at times, make things feel a little repetitive. There are virtually no loading screens and load times are almost zero, which is a massive plus point and very rare in any game.
I feel like The Entropy Centre, as it stands now, does come lacking in the features department. The addition of a co-op mode or time trial mode with online leaderboards would have really elevated this into something incredible, but currently there is only the single player story mode to play through, so there is somewhat of a lack of replayability here.
Overall, though, The Entropy Centre is an accomplished and very well-thought-out puzzle game with a pretty decent story to go along with it. It feels like a very respectful “tip of the cap” to the wonderful Portal series, and it is done so very well. I would highly recommend this to anyone who finds enjoyment in puzzle games of any kind. For this to be the developer's first release is mind-blowing to me. They really have done an amazing job and I can’t wait to see what they bring to the table in their next showing.
PaultheBrave09’s Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
For more information on The Entropy Centre please use the following links...
Many thanks to Terminals.io for supplying the review code.