Pneuma: Breath of Life Review
Xbox One | PC
Pneuma: Breath of Life Box Art
System: Xbox One, PC*
Dev: Deco Digital, Bevel Studios
Pub: N/A
Release: February 27, 2015
Players: 1
Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p

As an interactive backdrop, the stunning displays are more than worth an extra pause. Pneuma: Breath of Life is the epitome of serenity, with polished gold plated walls, glistening marble floors, finely hewn stonework, and healthily photosynthesized plants presented as part of each new puzzle location. The reflective quality of every surface, and the lighting effects in general, are masterfully done, bringing a warmth from the sun that can almost be felt through the screen. The specific color palette sees little variance throughout the course of the adventure, though the exquisite design will likely withhold your criticisms. The immersion into this puzzle laden utopia is breached, however, each time you enter a new area. The game renders each new section without load screens as you progress through the chapter, and it takes a few noticeable seconds for all the textures to fully load. With such a silky smooth visual coating as a whole, these brief graphical hiccups are enough to pull you from the illusion.

Pneuma: Breath of Life Screenshot

Peaceful new-age music and ambient natural soundscapes enhance this paradise even further. The game never strays from its gentle rhythm, though when in rooms completely estranged from the sun's rays, a silence and claustrophobic aura permeate the finely crafted architecture. Esteemed voice actor Jay Britton performs the self-socializing monologue admirably. The holistic script is delivered with a clarity that encapsulates you in the protagonist's journey, even without a fluctuating emotional struggle throughout most of the story.

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Pneuma: Breath of Life provides an interesting male lead, a gorgeous backdrop, and unique puzzles solved through the powers of perception. However, it fails to provide a nuanced story, and the one it delivers finishes much too soon. With such a surreal premise, there was an opportunity to take the journey much further and the puzzles much deeper. It's a stunning presentation, but in the end your personal judgment will be based on quality over quantity.

By
Sean Engemann
Contributing Writer
Date: March 4, 2015

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.5
Graphics
Some of the best lighting effects of any game, where every frame would make an exceptional wallpaper. Only the texture loading times pull you back to reality.
3.9
Control
About as simple as a first-person controls can get, though tight and responsive with both movement and the camera.
4.7
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Peaceful ambient music and stellar voice work complement the beauty provided by the visuals.
2.5
Play Value
A brief journey with little reason to replay limits its value, even at its reasonable $20 price tag.
3.9
Overall Rating - Good
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Hatched from the twisted minds at Monolith Productions, Pneuma: Breath of Life is a download-only multiplayer FPS that pits violent vigilantes dressed up like Batman against craven criminals dressed up like the Joker in open warfare on the streets of Gotham City.
  • Gotham City has gone insane! Batman is up to his pointy ears in unwanted "helpers" determined to dish out their own bloodthirsty brand of vigilante justice in his name (and image). Meanwhile, a small army of self-appointed junior Jokerz has turned the streets of Gotham into a barmy battlefield of bullets, bodies, and bear traps.
  • Packing more customization than you can shake a shotgun at, you get to choose the guns, gadgets and even the hairdos that fit your personality and play style. It doesn't matter if you want to be a mighty muscleman on roller skates with a hunting bow or a lithe lassie packing a homebrew rocket launcher and glider wings, Pneuma: Breath of Life does not have rigid character classes and lets you play the way you want.
  • A robust level up system lets you unlock all the items required to make your impostor as crazy as you desire. Whether you prefer to develop your impostor by proving your prowess in solo challenges designed to test your skills and reflexes or by battling your way to the top of the scoreboard in several delightfully over-the-top multiplayer modes, there's a surefire way for you to realize your preposterous potential!

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