Typhoon Studios was founded by veteran developers in the industry, including Alex Hutchinson (Assassin’s Creed III, Far Cry 4) and Reid Schneider (Batman: Arkham Knight). At The Game Awards 2018, Typhoon Studios revealed its first game, Journey to the Savage Planet.
At PAX West 2019, OnlySP sat down with Typhoon Studios to play Journey to the Savage Planet and explore the wonderful and goofy world.
The demo started with the player respawning in a ship. As I stepped out into the world, the game notified me that I was in the Insect Kingdom. I had a gun in my right hand and an item in my left. By pressing left or right on the direction pad, I could select between different kinds of weapons, such as the Bombegranate, Bait, Live Sampler, and a Gelatinous Blob. To test some of the items out, I aimed the Gelatinous Blob with the right bumper button at the enemy in front of me, which was a chicken-like creature with huge eyes. The creature was startled and a giant blob grew underneath it, sending it off a cliff. I was also able to enter a scan mode and analyze different items in the environment, such as the Stinkshroom, which would often contain amusing descriptions: “A disgusting, grey mushroom in an endless state of decomposition. Smells like dumpster shrimp.” Following OnlySP’s interview with Denis Lanno, Typhoon’s community manager, he told me that the descriptions were purposefully written in a way to convey the sense of lightheartedness and humor in the world. I definitely enjoyed reading the different descriptions and wanted to scan as many items as I could.
I hopped between different small islands using the grappling hook tool and discovered an area called Jellywaft Islands. Some enemies in the game will not attack you unless you attack them first, such as the chicken creature. However, I came across a floating jellyfish creature that attacked as soon as it saw me. While I was shooting at the creature, I brought up the menu and selected options, hoping to lower the x and y-axis sensitivities. Unfortunately, I learned that bringing up the menu does not pause the game at all, as I kept getting hit by the jellyfish’s attacks. My blunder caused me to die and I respawned back in the ship. Honestly, I did find this a bit unfair since you would expect the game to pause when pulling up the menu. Additionally, I thought the aiming reticle should have been darker. The jellyfish enemies that wiped me out were flying in the sky, and since my aiming reticle was white, I had a difficult time aiming and actually finding where my reticle was positioned due to the bright blue sky directly in the background.
I took the time to explore the ship and came across a funny commercial advertising a product called Grob. Grob is essentially just purple goo that comes in different flavors such as beef and chicken. As the commercial went on, it kept mentioning even more absurd flavors such as Lamb Spleen Poutine, and Wonton Fecal Surprise. Typhoon Studios did a great job of keeping me invested in the commercial until the end and small details like these really make the world come alive.
I discovered two new areas: the Swamp Gully and the Sick Tree. Typhoon Studios is clearly leaning into the humor and bright colors to give the world a personality as I eventually encountered more plants to scan and creatures to fight. Players can shoot the Vitality Plant to pick up pieces of health. Blight Bomb Plant provides the player with some timed corrosive acid grenades and scanning the plant gave me my favorite description of the game’s demo: “Acidic pustules. Do some science and turn them into face-melting grenades.” Blight Bombs were effective against a new monster I encountered: a chicken creature with its head encased in hardened, amber-like armor. The acid grenades were the only weapons that could get through the armor, as bullets bounced right off, and I even threw a Bombegranate to blow it up to no avail.
I ended the demo exploring the Sick Tree more and I encountered a new type of chicken enemy that looked like some sort of bomb. Killing the creature would result in the chicken exploding. While I cannot confirm that being close to the chicken creature when it explodes would cause the player to experience some collateral damage, I did not stick around to find out. To top off my time with the game, I decided to use the bomb chicken to my advantage and attacked a few of the other chickens around so they approach me before shooting the bomb chicken, causing it to take out all of the other chickens around the area.
Typhoon Studios definitely managed to create a world that is unforgiving and fun to explore. Compared to other games in the genre which sometimes take themselves too seriously, Journey to the Savage Planet’s humor, charm, and bright colors keep players wanting to come back for more.
Journey to the Savage Planet is slated for release on January 28, 2020, for PC )via Epic Games Store), PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.