Game Review: Pneuma: Breath of Life (Xbox One)

Developed and published by Deco Digital and Bevel Studios. Pneuma: Breath of Life is a first-person puzzle adventure game that has drawn comparisons to the likes of Thomas Was Alone.

Players are put in control of a silent being whose story is told by a narrator. This being begins his journey believing himself some kind of god. As the game progresses it becomes ridden with self-doubt calling not only its own existence into question but the existence of reality itself.

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This is all portrayed through the narration of Jay Britton. Who is perfectly fine but unfortunately the material just comes across quite pretentious. The deeper meanings are basic & no-where as fulfilling as the game would have you believe.

The problem lies in the average gameplay & the blandness of the location. Add that it can be completed in a handful of hours & what you have is nothing but an ‘alright’ game that’s only worth picking up when it’s on sale.

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The comparisons to Thomas Was Alone are far too kind. Thomas Was Alone is one of the best indie games/games full stop & it is an insult to compare the two. Especially when you look at the differing narration quality.

The majority of gameplay involves you moving through marble rooms adorned with all manner of riches. As well as garden-like areas. To progress you’ll have to solve puzzles that range from keeping an ‘eye switch’ in view to working out patterns on the floor. It’s puzzle after puzzle & while they do increase in difficulty they rarely get too challenging or inventive.

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Split into 6 short chapters (with a prologue & epilogue too), it will become painfully obvious after a short time that Pneuma: Breath of Life isn’t going to get better. The locations start to blend into one another & you’ll start tuning out the narration as it gets more & more pompous.

It’s not even got memorable music, a particular bone of contention for me.

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By time the penultimate chapter arrives you’ve seen everything the game has to offer. It’s not a bad game. It’s enjoyable enough but it certainly isn’t going to be one you want to tell everyone to play.

Pneuma: Breath of Life
  • 5/10
    The Final Score - 5/10
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