It’s pretty insane how long it’s been since I played Mono Studio’s “Insomnia: The Ark”. However, my relation with the game has stayed alive throughout the years (it’s mainly thanks to news updates here and there). You see, my brother Robin uploaded a gameplay video for “Insomnia” back in May of 2016. Furthermore, I Robin did one “Insomnia” interview in September of 2014, and then another interview in May of 2016.
Anyways, now it was finally my turn to sit down with Mono Studio’s dystopian dieselpunk RPG “Insomnia: The Ark” again (my PC preview is based on the alpha tech demo #1), and I’ll have you know that the game has been improved a whole lot since the last time I played it (the last time that I played “Insomnia” was back in 2014).
Well, done and said, because it didn’t take me long before I got everything rolling with the alpha tech demo #1 of “Insomnia”! And unlike the demo that my brother Robin played back in 2016, this demo runs much smoother (Robin had quite a lot of problems with lag once he went to open areas in “Insomnia”, and sometimes the game took forever to load…).
Furthermore, Insomnia’s visuals and graphics look absolutely stunning (“Insomnia” runs on Unreal Engine 4). I also couldn’t help to feel a lot of “Fallout”, “Blade Runner”, “Metro” and “The Witcher” vibes while playing the game. It’s hard to blame me for feeling those vibes though, because that’s really what “Insomnia” looks and feels like.
I mean, you can use everything from rifles, machine guns, swords, shotguns to rocket launchers and grenades. So that means that you could experience both close and long-range combat situations in the game. In other words, you can go full high-tech or medieval on your enemies if you want to (you can also out smart your foes simply by talking yourself out of dangerous situations).
I also think that it’s extremely satisfying to fight in “Insomnia”, because the combat is very straight forward without any unnecessary slow downs or halts. That’s also why I felt like all the combat moments in the demo just ran like running water, and since the combat is fun, it’s a great combination (a mix of “Max Payne” and “Fallout Tactics” actually comes to mind).
Other than that, I had a great time just exploring the world of “InSomnia”. Because even though I was just playing a tech demo, there were still quite a lot of exploring to be had. I also got the chance to talk to a handful of people (there are some rather “interesting” dialogs to be had), fool around with my inventory, play around with my gear and try out InSomnia’s character development feature.
However, as good as all of this might sound, and even though I had a lot of fun playing through the latest tech demo of “Insomnia”. I still experienced some down sides in the demo…And sadly enough, that affected the overall gameplay experience for me. For example, some of the demo’s dialogs are in Russian…So I had quite a few problems finding stuff on the world map from time to time.
There’s also some work that needs to be done on the sound and music front, as there are areas that are silent, and sounds that just sound misplaced or stiff. All in all though, “Insomnia” is a truly impressive and promising dystopian dieselpunk RPG.
So “if” Mono Studio manages to fix the cons that I have pointed before the big launch on the 27th of September, then I have no doubt in my mind that “Insomnia” is going to become a hit among fans of RPG games for sure.
+ Lore Rich: From what I’ve gathered from playing the early version of the game. It has a deep story driven Lore that circles around the game as you progress, and that makes you want to get more involved with the game and everything in it.
+ Flowing Action: I’m mostly used to RPG”S having decision driven combat. Either slowing down or stopping the time to do actions, but in insomnia, it has a free flow that always keeps you at your toes.
+ Character development: I always enjoy an RPG which gives you the freedom to build your character your way and Insomnia is no exception. You can make your character the stealthy staby type or just go full-out Duke Nukem.
+ Game environment: As a big fan of the fallout series and it”s world. I already had a good impression of the game when I saw the world it played out in the trailer. However, once I experienced it first hand, my impression grew even more. Mono Studio really managed to hit the nail on the dieselpunk genre. Everything fits together in a nice bundle. The story about the world has gone to sh*t, world design (being in space is cool af), characters, weapons, enemies, and so on.
Cons: (please keep in mind that “Insomnia” is not a finished product)
– As much as I like Slavic people and their games (The witcher, Metro) I really hope they manage to translate everything in-game on release. I had a bit of a problem with finding stuff on map and dialogs being in Russian.
– More and improved sounds that I feel are needed to improve the game. In some areas, there was just awkward silence that’s need to be filled with more sounds and some sounds just felt flat (like backstabbing or shooting, for example).
– There needs to be more music in the game, because right now “Insomnia” is lacking a lot of soul due to its lack of music
Sound and music: 3/5
Replay value: 3/5
From what I’ve gathered through my short journey of “Insomnia: The Ark ” (a journey that has had it’s up and downs), I’ve come to the conclusion that the game is a really neat dystopian dieselpunk RPG. Espially since “Insomnia” reminds me a whole lot of the old-school “Fallout” games (I’m mainly thinking about “Fallout 1” and “Fallout 2”), but the big difference would be that “Insomnia” has a faster action-filled experience with its own unique elements.
However, as the game looks right now, there is of course room for improvement as it’s still in “work in-progress” stage. Personally, I would like to see an Improved/more sounds, more music and the most obvious one, full English translation. As I truly believe that the music and sounds is 50% of the soul in a game. With these improvements to the full game, I strongly believe that they can turn this game into something great. And hopefully bring back the old fallout feeling (for me at least).
Title: Insomnia: The ark
Developer: Mono Studio
Resolution: Highest possible for PC
Release date: 2018-09-27
Spent time: +6 hours
Average grade internationally: N/A
PEGI age rating: +16
Price: 26,99 USD via Steam
Robin Ek – Editor
Jonas “O.J” Ek
The Gaming Ground
More by Jonas Ek:
Save 3$ with our Play-Asia coupon code "thegg"