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.

insomnia the ark then vs now

I think it’s safe to say that Mono Studio’s “Insomnia: The Ark” has come a very long way since we did our interview with Mono back in 2014.

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).

insomnia the ark the heavy drinker

The full version of “Insomnia: The Ark” is said to launch on the 27th of September this year for PC (Windows 7, 8 and 10).

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…).

insomnia the ark a man on a mission

It’s said that there will be 70 unique locations and 12 different story endings to be found in the full version of “Insomnia”. However, the demo will just give you a taste of what’s to come. Nevertheless, the demo still gives you a pretty good picture of what Mono Studio is trying to achieve with the game.

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.

insomnia the ark your god is not my god

One of the things that I like the most with “Insomnia” is its rich environment and eye for details, because it really looks and feels as if you are wandering around in a dystopian/dieselpunk/sci-fi/apocalyptic environment (the game takes place on a huge space station called “Object 6”).

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).

insomnia the ark the market place

Yes, you can buy and trade items, gear and whatnot in “Insomnia”, and trust me when I say this. There are plenty of gear and items to be found in this game.

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).

insomnia the ark a perfect headshot

The action and combat aspect of “Insomnia” is very much on point, because everything flows like running water on that front (most RPGs has decision driven combat, and that slow everything down quite a bit).

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.

insomnia the ark sexy girls

Some of the best parts of “Insomnia” so far is with no doubt its rich lore and character development features (you get the freedom to build your character as you please, and world around you really allows you to feel like you’re involved with the world and everything in it).

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.

insomnia the ark the mecha man and his friend

Will Mono Studio be able to polish up “Insomnia” and sort out the cons that I (and others) have pointed out before the game launches before the end of this month? Time will tell, but I hope for the best.

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

Gameplay: 3.5/5
Graphics: 4/5
Sound and music: 3/5
Controls: 4/5
Replay value: 3/5
Story: 4/5

tgg grade 3.5 out of 5

Verdict: 3.5/5

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
Format: PC
Genre: Action/RPG
Resolution: Highest possible for PC
Release date: 2018-09-27
Difficulty: Normal
Spent time: +6 hours
Average grade internationally: N/A
PEGI age rating:
Price: 26,99 USD via Steam

Robin Ek – Editor

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Jonas “O.J” Ek
The Gaming Ground
Twitter: @TheGamingGround

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