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Stela’s analysis, a fleeting adventure in the footsteps of Limbo and Inside

Written by Kamran Haider

The steles are monolithic monuments that include commemorative inscriptions. In a sense, Stela could be considered something similar: a video game made as a commemoration of great references of the genre of cinematographic 2.5D, short-term adventures with a high immersion capacity. We tell you in Stela’s analysis.

The steles are monolithic monuments that include commemorative inscriptions. In a sense, Stela could be considered something similar: a video game made as a commemoration of great references of the genre of cinematographic 2.5D, short-term adventures with a high immersion capacity. We tell you in Stela’s analysis.

When it comes to 2.5D film adventures there are at least two video games that created a school: Limbo and Inside. They are fleeting experiences, barely three hours long, which nevertheless leaves a strong ground due to their high capacity for the setting. Some jump and challenge here; some puzzle or enemy to flee from there. They are guided experiences, but still very absorbent. So much, that you will probably finish them in one sitting, as could happen in notable cases such as the award-winning Journey or the most recent GRAY.

Stela does not really propose anything really new to the landscape, but merely imitates what is already known, which is not little, nor precisely bad. SkyBox Lab developers define it as “a cinematic and atmospheric platform game,” and that is precisely what it is. In the two hours that lasts, he presents the journey of a young woman who flees into an ancient world in decline. Tight jumps, the occasional puzzle, and threats in the form of gigantic beasts pose the main dangers of an adventure neither too long nor too challenging.

It’s a trip , just that. The follow-up is based on a continuous lateral scroll that takes us from a decrepit forest to an icy place, passing through half through collapsed populations and the occasional cave. The parade of situations is interesting, and although in the end everything is limited to an escape (without more), the experience is consistent with their intentions. A small project, without the draft of the aforementioned referents, but that knows how to convey visual and sound beauty at every step we take. And that ultimately counts.

Stela, the escape

There is not much to explain about Stela’s operation. Everything is about directing our protagonist, jumping, activating mechanisms or dragging some elements of the stage. The most complicated thing is to know how and with what you should interact in certain situations because otherwise, everything is very contemplative. And it is not bad. It seems to me that one of the highlights of the SkyBox Labs video game is how well it sets each situation, both through the graphics and through the great soundtrack.

The chiaroscuro technique that Limbo popularized is here manifested. Take the chest of this visual resource and exploit it without contemplation, by means of the accompaniment of a very well measured chromatism, generating a variety of scenarios depending on the color chosen for each situation. The muted tones abound in order to show the decline of the world we explore, but there are also flashes of beauty, many, in an attempt to show that dreary landscapes can be enchanting.escape

He knows how to convey visual and sound beauty at every step we take.

Music accompanies according to the moment, putting emotion to extreme situations, and reassuring when the scene is calmer. It is a very calculated cinematic rhythm, with its introduction, development, and conclusion. Like a movie, but with interaction. Perhaps the game is more concerned with imitating than proposing something really new, but it cannot be denied that the feat is noteworthy, despite not having a strong precision in the controls, nor a great inventiveness at the time of pose challenges

Although it will be practically impossible for you to finish the game without dying (one of the unlockable achievements), it cannot be said that Stela is a complicated game. Rather, those mistakes you will make will help you not to finish the game in less than 90 minutes (another of the achievements). I lived some fleeting situation of blockage, but little more … Once I even thought that it was not my fault, but of a somewhat unfortunate design decision, an aspect that explains that you should not expect too much from the proposal, which in addition to known, not It is leading within this particular subgenre.

Even so, I wouldn’t tell you to miss the opportunity to try it. Although Stela follows in the wake of other games, her proposal is brief but of quality, with a strong emphasis on the setting, giving us a couple of satisfactory hours in front of the screen. He has lacked the risk to contribute something to this type of game, but no one should reproach him that his approach is deficient or of little interest.

Recommended: Analysis of John Wick Hex, a Keanu Reeves more biased but equally ruthless

Conclusion:

Stela follows the path set by other games in the genre of cinematic platforms with a high emphasis on the setting. A very short adventure – of just two hours – that nevertheless manages to surprise by a beautiful artistic section in some prints and a soundtrack that fits our progression with enough talent. Its gameplay sins of simple and not very challenging, but if you know what you’re coming to, you’ll have a good time guiding the flight of a woman in a mysterious world of decay.

  • Very careful artistic representation, especially by the chiaroscuro
  • Musically it is accompanied with enough success to each situation
  • Some playable situations and puzzles can be interesting
  • It is a somewhat fleeting adventure, with no time to develop practically
  • Something irregular in playable design, with little challenge and sometimes inaccurate control
  • Follow the trail of other similar productions too much, without contributing new things

About the author

Kamran Haider

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