The entropy center is against space against time review
Games

The entropy center is against space, against time. review

Played on PC

The earth perished and turned into a blazing sphere right before our eyes. But it doesn’t matter – it’s enough to “rewind” the planet five years ago and report the causes of the disaster to its representatives. It would have happened, but that’s unfortunate: not a soul was left behind in the entropy center, which ensures the safety of the earth from global catastrophes. Except us of course. So saving the planet is in our hands alone, and the path isn’t easy – through curious puzzles, aggressive robots and… ghosts?

    The opening scene takes off straight away

The opening scene takes off straight away

Think entropy

Analogies c Portal (or its magnificent sequel) appear almost from the first seconds of the game. There is a huge abandoned scientific complex inhabited only by representatives of synthetic life (and us), and cubes as the main objects for interaction and, of course, an incredible miracle of scientific thinking at the top of the game – the entropy cannon. And yet The Entropy Center does not try to parasitize on a formula for success, but brings in many of its own ideas.

At least the way the Entropy Cannon interacts with objects is unusual. With its help, we can freely move some objects (or even a whole system of objects) in spacetime. For example, destroyed scaffolding, a broken staircase or a collapsed elevator can be “rewound” back to its original state. And sometimes we need to stop the destruction that’s happening literally before our eyes – in those sections, for example, the chrono-weapon can save us from a huge falling boulder or help create an impromptu traverse.

The destruction can be stopped… and used!

But of course, the main use of the Entropy Cannon is in solving puzzles. The main task in each of the rooms, as usual, is the same – to leave this room. But the way to the solution is always different, but always involves the manipulation of space and time. Somewhere you need to move an ordinary cube in its time sequence from one platform to another, move in parallel from door to door, which opens when clicking on the platforms. In other puzzles you have to interact with a special cube that allows you to jump high and get high. And for other tasks, you have to create the right sequences with cubes that project light bridges or, for example, emit laser beams.

Also on our path there are many different objects that are not subject to the influence of spatial weapons, but nevertheless directly participate in the entropy equations. For example, there are puzzles where you have to figure out how to use a water jet, a diving board or, for example, an industrial fan. I did not immediately understand that the cube can simply be thrown into the river (artificial, of course) and the current will take it to the right place.

The first puzzles (like this one) are elementary, but those that meet later will make you think

The complexity of the challenges ahead is perfectly balanced. The complexity of the puzzles and the number of elements to be solved gradually grows, so you don’t get lost in the abundance of growing nuances, but also don’t get bored with repetitive details. I didn’t complete any critically impossible tasks, although there were a few “gags” typical of games of the genre. However, they were overcome quickly and painlessly. Furthermore, The Entropy Center competently changes rooms and varies the tempo, making it happen in one breath.

Earth, AI and Ghosts

A good science fiction plot also adds to the fascination of the process. The scale of the story is colossal – after all, we’re saving the earth – but it’s presented in the exclusive chamber spirit of the tragedy of one person, Arya, on whose shoulders it is revealed that an enormous burden lies. Fortunately, she is not alone on this difficult path.

    I think Cataclysm Manager will be a very in-demand profession next year.

I think Cataclysm Manager will be a very in-demand profession next year.

Your main assistant in this matter is ASTRA, the artificial intelligence built into the entropy weapon. At first glance, she seems to be trying to be like a colleague of Portal – she uses very distinctive verbal constructions. But the further the plot rushes, the more difficult the image of the AI ​​​​builds, and the heroines’ relationships eventually become trusting (and even almost friendly) and much deeper than the grotesquely toxic interactions of the characters of Portal.

Of course, the projects have many other elements in common, and a direct comparison cannot be avoided here. For example, in a biting satire on corporate culture. The Entropy Center also pokes fun at the cult of “productivity,” bureaucracy for bureaucracy’s sake, and investors’ love of charts and spreadsheets, but it turns out it’s not nearly as sizzling as Portal 2 (Billionaires seem to be doing the real deal according to Cave Johnson’s manuals). Intersections can also be seen in the cross-departmental reflections on the value of human life. Here, The Entropy Center expresses much more humanism and belief in humanity than the more misanthropic Portal.

The Entropy Center has short and simple action segments interspersed with puzzle lines

In general, the local story still doesn’t reach the impact of the senior colleague’s narrative, although the events confidently provide tension and even slight tension up to the end credits. The pseudo-mystical motif also turned out to be curious – if through the eyes of Arya we literally see dark silhouettes resembling ghosts; and small stories of the staff of the center, which can be looked up in the work correspondence; and a general arc on saving the earth and the unequal struggle against time. And although the climax is somewhat predictable, it still ends the work on a high emotional note. And that is already a great success!

Advantages:

  • moderately complex puzzles and good balance;
  • good fantasy story.

Defects:

  • at some points, The Entropy Center is too reminiscent of Portal, and not always in its favour.

graphic

Stylistically, the game is superbly maintained: Abandoned offices and offices, recreation areas, utility rooms and test rooms are detailed, convincing and atmospherically successful. Yes, and they take turns so quickly that they almost do not have time to tire.

sound

Music and sound design fulfill the main function: they immerse you in the game world and create the right atmosphere. However, they cannot be called expressive or original.

single player game

An exciting adventure in which both intriguing puzzles and a curious story found their place.

Estimated travel time

The campaign lasts around nine hours, unless of course a mystery stops you on the way to the goal.

collective game

Not provided. Too bad, the co-op mode could be a great addition to the main campaign. Portal 2 won’t let you lie!

overall impression

If you’re already desperately waiting for the portal triquel, then The Entropy Center is, if not a full-fledged alternative, then at least a solid project that not only confidently continues the ideas of the famous series, but also boasts a few original elements. However, the game can’t quite “break away from the basics”.

Rating: 8.0/10

Learn more about the rating system

Video:

connections on theme:

  • Adventure puzzle about time manipulation The Entropy Center offers in early November to solve the mystery of the death of the earth
  • Portal 2 – Scientific Cyber-Adventure

About the author

Alan Foster

Alan Foster covers computers and games and all the news in the gaming industry.

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