PS4 Review: Beautiful Desolation

Hello 90s, my old friend…

Beautiful Desolation is a 2D isometric adventure set in the distant future. Explore a post-apocalyptic landscape, solve puzzles, meet new friends and make powerful enemies, mediate conflicts and fight for your life as you unravel the secrets of the world around you. Mark, a man out of time, searches for his lost brother Don, in a far-flung futuristic era ruled by highly advanced technologies which are both revered and reviled.

Dystopian point and click adventures are nothing new, but it’s been a good while since we’ve seen one. Beautiful Desolation tries to fill this void with a game that looks and feels retro, for better or worse. The UI is clunky and takes a lot of getting used to, but there’s a good story to be found here if you can work your way through the rough bits.

The art style isn’t for everyone, but I personally liked the retro look in its minimalist way. It reminds me of the old Fallout games and while this can’t come close, is still a decent game. Beautiful Desolation is kind of an old-school throwback with its gameplay and art style, it looks and feels like it belonged on a PC back in the early 90s and while it clearly has done this on purpose, it kind of becomes trapped by it and the limitations of the design.

It also doesn’t help that the game is clearly better played on a PC, while the console version lacks precision and responsive controls. There’s a decent game and story here, but its currently hidden by being a game that should have either had mouse support or stayed purely on PC.

The Verdict

Beautiful Desolation is a game that I enjoyed but was ultimately frustrated at through its console version. I can see that there’s a good game here, but it’s held back by lack of console optimisation and that is a big no-no when making console games with point-and-click controls.

Score: 7.0