Developer Final Boss consists of team members who have collectively put several years of work into the world of video games, utilizing skills from a wide range of different companies. The team describes Vesta as a point in which they decided to craft a project that was one hundred percent their own. The process of development alone speaks volumes regarding their commitment, hiring a professional scriptwriter, a professional comic artists, musicians, and so on and so forth, in an attempt to bolster the overall experience. Vesta is an action puzzle game that sees players combining the strength of two characters to make it through the adventure, the big question is, has all of that hard work paid off?
You play as the titular Vesta, awoken from a slumber and tasked by Bot, a floating monitor, to work your way through the facility to speak to MUM, who will explain why you have been woken as well as why everything is attacking you. Throughout the game more exposition is added as you encounter more droids, read diary entries and get more out of Bot after each boss encounter. It attempts to be a bit too big for its boots however, stringing out exposition for the sake of it, with characters literally asking to tell you what’s happening, only for Bot to interject.
There are attempts at some witty dialogue, some of which sticks, but overall it’s just a backdrop to the gameplay itself, quite easily skipped with no real loss as to what you’re doing or why. After a brief tutorial level, you must traverse the environments collecting 3 pods of energy to open the lift to the next level. The game eases you in quite nicely, and there’s a fairly steady curve of difficulty throughout the game. Energy is collected from both terminals around the levels and defeated enemies. It’s here where the second playable character comes into play. Vesta herself is only able to withstand one hit before falling, so her companion Droid takes care of all offensive/defensive situations.
Initially this only amounts to using the rockets to incapacitate an enemy at which point Vesta can run up and remove their energy, but later on more is made of his ability to block incoming laser fire and move blocks to open paths through the level. There’s a nice interplay of switching between the characters to get through the levels, often requiring splitting up and some rapid switches as both move on moving platforms. The switching can be a bit laggy as you can’t do so whilst the character is performing an action, though this doesn’t tend to affect the puzzle solving, more of a minor niggle really. Each pod of energy you collect is also used to activate doors, lifts and conveyor belts so it’s crucial you collect and use them in the right order.
On more than one occasion in the late game I found myself stuck and unable to proceed forcing a reload to a checkpoint where the characters where then positioned at the correct places, often in a completely different location. It can be quite satisfying to plan out a route and have all the pieces fall into place, which I found mostly to be the case, but it can be equally frustrating to get to end of the level with just 2 pods and no way back other than going through a large chunk of a level again. The camera is fairly restrictive so it’s not always possible to see far enough ahead to plan out your energy usage which creates these situations out of the players control.
Generally though, just following the natural route of the level will do you fine and the few hours of run-time are quite enjoyable. The visuals have a nice chunky look to them, with an art style that would look at home on the Dreamcast-era consoles. They don’t do anything too fancy but it looks and runs well. The music can grate really fast though, fairly inoffensive but it just repeats over and over. Chuck on a podcast or custom playlist and aside from the occasions where a restart is forced, the game is a good way to spend an afternoon if you’re in the mood for a quick and simple puzzle game.
Vesta tends to remain enjoyable throughout the entirety of play, offering up some colorful visuals and decent puzzle design. However, this is hardly a groundbreaking experience, seeing as many aspects of play have already been better achieved elsewhere, time and time again.
This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox One. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version.