Our Rating: 7/10
The crew of the faulty ship The Persistence is lost in space, near a black hole, with the entire crew dead. This is the first scenario we encounter in Firesprite’s game, which has been updated several times. First on PSVR in 2018, and then last year with a non-virtual reality version for those without these devices.
The work did not end there; The Persistence Enhanced is now available, which has been optimized for the new generation. Those who already own the game can rest assured that a free upgrade is sufficient and that they can upgrade.
For those who haven’t played it, it’s a roguelike, first-person shooter, science fiction game with a sense of dread. Every time we die, it alters some of the paths we thought we knew. The main goal of the game is to get our spaceship back into Earth’s orbit. This requires repairing the damage and eliminating the hostile strange figures that have invaded The Persistence.
A roguelike experience
A clone is our protagonist. We discover our bodies on the ground in one of the first scenes and question our existence. This had to be one of the ways the game had to provide us with a roguelike experience. When we die, we are “restored” with new DNA that we can collect. It gives us new characteristics that help us find materials more easily, among other things.
This means that each time we resurrect, we are a clone of another clone, and so on. Each with a unique DNA sequence. This is one of those roguelikes where we reborn stronger because we keep all of our previous upgrades and still have the option to evolve, whether in terms of skills or weapon manufacturing. They won’t always return to the beginning, after all.
So far, there has been no difference between this new version and the previous one. However, it’s time to delve deeper into The Persistence Enhanced, starting with the combat. The fundamentals of the game remain the same.
We can silently approach and attack our enemies, shoot from afar, or engage in hand-to-hand combat. These seem to me to be still very optimized for virtual reality and a little outside of it. We have a shield and can punch in fights. The goal is to defend ourselves when they attack and then punch the enemy at the appropriate time. You’re signing your death warrant if you miss that deadline.
On PlayStation 5
The factor DualSense of PS5 is the most significant change in this version. Weapons have weights, emit sounds, and the game even uses haptic feedback to let us feel the weight of the weapon we’re using. Triggers are also used to perform the usual tricks of getting tighter or lighter, which immerses players even further.
This approach to enemies, however, has some flaws in my opinion. We don’t always hit the enemy when we shoot or capture DNA. Even in the most stealthy approach, where the button appears on the image above the hostile when it is pressed, the hit is executed, but the problem is that sometimes the image appears to be hitting no one.
The game’s visuals improve as well, and it can now run in 4K at 60 frames per second in performance mode, or in quality mode at 4K and 30 frames per second, as in other games. There is a visual improvement in the graphics here, thanks to the use of new generation consoles for lighting, shadows, and other details.
When you combine all of this with the sounds, it’s easy to see where the danger is coming from, though there were times when I heard too much and couldn’t tell where to look. As we’ve come to expect from the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S, reloads are lightning-fast.
Firesprite’s work and dedication to their game should be commended, as they have never abandoned the game’s community and are constantly introducing new ways to play that are better suited to current situations. Anyone who enjoyed the original game will enjoy The Persistence Enhanced, which is a gimmick for newcomers.
When we’re talking about the same game with some tweaks, however, there are no miracles. Those who disliked it previously will have no desire to purchase it now because it retains many of the flaws of previous editions.
Navigating the ship becomes tedious, the problem of rooms changing every time we die allows us to “cheat” until we find a more accessible path, and the lack of exploration reduces the appeal of the game. Some errors prevented me from continuing to play and forced me to turn the game off and on, which always taints the experience, even though I believe that an update would be sufficient to fix these bugs.
The Persistence Enhanced version of the game, which first began dealing cards on PSVR, is the most improved. It jumped to consoles without virtual reality and now gives us the next-generation spaceship with DualSense, which gives us a better image, new sounds, and a more complete immersion.
Despite the improvements, the game maintains a lot of its roots and doesn’t solve the problems of the previous editions. It’s a double-ended stick, where on one side those who already like it will like it more, and those who don’t will pass by the Persistence route.