The Prince of Landis | PS5 Review
The Prince of Landis, developed by Lorestrome and published by Ratalaika Games, is a story driven visual novel with some puzzle elements included. It is currently available on Windows PC, PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch, and for the purpose of my review I was playing the PlayStation 5 version.
The Prince of Landis sees you take on the role of Evan, a young man who must survive a bleak, dreary life in the blackwater town of Landis, Oregon and seems to be set in the late 80s. One day, his entire life is changed forever because of a bizarre visitor who appears to bring with him powers of darkness from another world. I believe that there is a slight need for a content warning as The Prince of Landis features themes such as bullying and a father who struggles with alcohol addiction, so consider this a heads-up, if these things could be upsetting for you. The game also warns you at the beginning that there will be use of some language that, in 2022, we wouldn’t exactly consider right, and there is the option to turn it off. Some of this language includes homophobic and ableist slurs. I personally understand why games set in a certain period would use such language to maintain the atmosphere of whatever time it's set in. However, I can see why so many would be offended by it so the option to turn it off is important, in my opinion, but I do think from an immersion standpoint it really does drive home the time in which the game was set and just how rough life was for young Evan.
The general gameplay loop of The Prince of Landis is essentially a point and click visual novel, so many of the missions that you’ll need to complete will generally be fetch-and-grab quests that can begin to feel a bit repetitive after a time. The Prince of Landis is not a long game - it took me just under two hours to complete - so it never really had a chance to outstay its welcome, but it did start to feel a little bit tedious and repetitive towards the end. One of my favourite aspects of the game has got to be the hand-drawn art style, which was charming.
Alongside the art style, I was quite fond of the story in general and feel it could have been drawn out a little more to develop and build on many of the ideas present. As previously mentioned, the gameplay loop got stale, so some more variety from the typical fetching missions would have been nice, because it didn’t feel like any of the actual puzzles or quests really served a purpose in progressing the story, so they very much began to feel like a bit of an afterthought for me.
Overall, The Prince of Landis as a story, was great. As a game, however, it felt like a hollow template awaiting to be fleshed out and developed into a game. Perhaps future releases could be a little more fleshed out and still maintain the level of excellent storytelling that was provided.
Lj’s Rating: 3 out of 5.
For more information on The Prince of Landis please use the following links...
Many thanks to Ratalaika Games for the Review Key.