Port roundup: Last Days of Lazarus, Miles Morales, Intrepid Izzy & Finding the Soul Orb

We once again dive into a couple of games that recently premiered on new platforms. Here’s a look at ports for Last Days of Lazarus, Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Intrepid Izzy and Finding the Soul Orb.

Last Days of Lazarus review (PS5)

Released earlier on PC and then ported to consoles on Xbox Series S/X, Last Days of Lazarus has finally come to the PlayStation 5. This indie horror/thriller with some excellent visuals was developed by Darkania Works and GrimTalin is being released physically through Perp Games as well.

When you consider that Lazarus is the protagonist of the game, you already know that this isn’t going to be a happy tale. The story is set in Eastern Europe during the winter, and for a very topical angle you can see holiday decorations up. It’s not a cheerful time for you though, as your sister Lyudmila reaches out to you to let you know your mother has committed suicide. It prompts you to return home, but before long this leads you on a path where you uncover some very dark sides to your family’s history over the course of a story that wraps up in under five hours.

lazarus2

As an indie title with a shorter running time, Last Days of Lazarus has relatively few environments to explore, but they’re gorgeously realized. From the apartment building in which you’ll spend the bulk of your time to the outdoors of forests and graveyards, the level of detail in such a small production is impressive. You need to have somewhat of a strong stomach when things turn a little more gruesome, but considering its asking price this is one of the most visually polished horror titles out there this year.

The story is interesting as well, and even includes political and spiritual aspects. In between jump scares and the occasional (mostly well-designed) puzzle, it’s a tense and atmosphere rich journey into darkness. What ultimately holds it back is the subpar voice acting that can feel like lines are being read outside of the context of the scene, but that’s not enough to ruin the experience – for an indie horror/thriller, this is a solid example coming out of the indie scene.

Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales review (PC)

Even after a few examples, it still feels surprising when a PlayStation exclusive lands on the PC, and Sony has recently ported over Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales. Less surprisingly, considering, the recent ports that came before, is that it’s a stellar port that performs great. Nixxes has done a wonderful job bringing this to PCs, and even to the Steam Deck.

And that’s no small feat, as Miles Morales was, as you might remember, a launch title for the PlayStation 5 – a ‘next gen’ showcase, if you will. And while you can tweak the experience to run at lower fidelity on less powerful systems, most of the bells and whistles are here, and the port makes great use of PC-exclusive features as well – like the ability to hook up three monitors for a 48:9 aspect ratio.

miles

PS5-features like DualSense support and raytracing also make it here, although you’ll need to ramp things down a little when playing on a Steam Deck, where you can still hit 40 frames per second but you’ll need to play at the default settings rather than the higher quality ones. Because of the smaller screen, you’ll hardly notice, and it’s a fantastic handheld experience. The only thing that gives the PS5 version an edge? Even on a powerful desktop PC, it’s not free of load times like the PS5 version was.

Intrepid Izzy review (PS4)

Originally developed by Senile Team and released for PC back in 2020, Intrepid Izzy was recently ported over to consoles thanks to Ratalaika Games. An action platformer at heart, Izzy borrows heavily from the 16-bit sources of inspiration the developers had, as you explore four different locations – all of which are takes on familiar concept: the names Aztec Greece, Chocolate Mine, Haunted Forest and East Pole giving you a decent idea of what to expect.

But despite that original spin, Intrepid Izzy instantly looks familiar. Protagonist Izzy and her long purple hair bear more than a passing resemblance to WayForward’s Shantae, who is already a well-established character in more or less the same genre. Sure, this one plays a little different, but we found it hard not to regularly compare Intrepid Izzy to what should be a completely unrelated game.

izzy

In Intrepid Izzy, the four locations mentioned earlier all have a gem that you need to claim in order to defeat an evil genie, and in between the action platforming you can visit with people across town in order to learn more and buy upgrades. The most noteworthy upgrades are the suits that grant you special powers that are unique to the suit (like being able to glide), but others will grant you access to in-game secrets by opening up doors.

Over the course of its six hour runtime you won’t see too much that you haven’t seen before, but Intrepid Izzy is mechanically sound and well designed. With its upgrade system there’s a decent amount of diversity to the gameplay as well, so if you’re looking to add an action platformer to your collection this would be a solid choice.

Finding the Soul Orb review (PS5)

Eastasiasoft continues its relationship with developer Tonguç Bodur by bringing Finding the Soul Orb over to consoles, close to three years after it premiered on PC. And as with previous titles from the same developer, Finding the Soul Orb comes with gorgeously realized environments that you traverse mostly in a walking simulator-type fashion.

This time Bodur ventures slightly outside of his normal comfort zone though, because in addition to the kind of puzzles we were already familiar with there’s also a bit of combat in the game (by way of crossbow). In a story that partly revolves around werewolves, it’s at least narratively a good fit. Protagonist Alexander finds himself in a kingdom that has a bit of a werewolf problem now that the magical Soul Orb has gone missing, and it’s up to you to retrieve it as you’re the one that it talks to in your dreams.

soul

The actual story progresses in a linear fashion over the course of a dozen chapters. Puzzles get in your way, but most are fairly easy and some require the use of the crossbow that you find early on, for instance by shooting faraway switches. This works well, and feels satisfying too – more so than the combat, which is rather clunky by comparison and a lot more slow-paced than in the average first person action game.

The main attraction here is the gorgeous audiovisual storytelling that’s a bit of a Tonguç Bodur staple at this point, with well designed visuals and an atmospheric soundtrack. The gameplay is largely forgettable, but it’s a journey worth taking at the asking price.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: