- Oct 25, 2017
Explore the lost ruins of the Nebula, read ancient inscriptions, and uncover a forgotten past in this narrative archaeological science-fiction adventure game from the creators of 80 Days.
Aliya Elasra is an archaeologist, exploring a strange region of space called the Nebula with her robot sidekick Six, hoping to uncover the secrets of the long-forgotten past. When a roboticist from the University of Iox goes missing, Aliya begins a trail of discoveries that will lead to the very edge of her world - and the ancient secret of Heaven's Vault.
Sail an open-world of fast flowing space-rivers, discover lost ruins, explore ancient sites, find artefacts and translate their strange hieroglyphics. Piece together the history of the world and an entire ancient language.
From the creators of massively-branching interactive adventure 80 Days, Heaven's Vault is not your usual linear adventure game. Progress through the game in any order you choose - the game's fully adaptive narrative remembers every choice you make, every discovery and every action you take, influencing what happens next. Meet a diverse cast of characters who remember everything you say, and who's attitude to you will change with how you act. Some are friendly, some are cautious, and some are out to trick you.
Who will you trust? What will you find? What will you learn? What will you risk? What will you lose?
- Totally unique art style, blending beautiful 3D environments and hand-drawn 2D art.
- Learn and translate the ancient language of the Ancients.
- Interact with a large cast of characters who remember everything you say.
- Journey through an open world where every action counts.
- Sail on the rivers of the Nebula - and into its depths.
- Be a thief, an explorer, a detective, a seeker, a saviour, a rogue...
UNIQUE ART STYLE
Hundreds of meticulously hand-drawn frames of 2D art are used within beautiful 3D environments to create detailed worlds and expressive characters.
An entire ancient hieroglyphic language awaits to be deciphered. A puzzle mechanic with a twist: solutions are narratively significant and further the story - but the wrong translation might send you down the wrong track!
The pictorial nature of both Ancient Egyptian and Chinese writing systems inspired the glyphs of Heaven's Vault. Words are formed out of smaller "atoms", as they often are in German.
SAIL THE NEBULA
Jump aboard Aliya's ship, the Nightingale, and sail the rivers of space to discover the secrets of the Nebula. Locate lost moons, and explore freely in a massive world.
OPEN WORLD ADVENTURE
Drifting ruins scattered throughout the Nebula may help Aliya find clues to lost dig sites. Decide which sites are important as you trace the path of civilisation back through the centuries.
Free-roaming, third person exploration of a wide variety of locations: ruined palaces, desert moons, market towns and thriving farming villages.
FORGE YOUR OWN PATH
Locations in Heaven's Vault can be explored in different ways, but whichever way you go, the story is always moving. Whatever may happen, there is no turning back!
A diverse cast of characters remember and react to everything you do. Some are friendly, some are cautious, and some will try to trick you. You have been warned!
WccfftechThere are big decisions to be made here, but, most thrillingly, throughout the course of the adventure I found myself surrounded by the constant fluttering of smaller choices - how much to reveal to an ally, how to respond to my companion's latest micro-aggression, and whether, even, to interpret it as an aggression at all.
...Heaven's Vault is filled with ingenious stuff, whether it's the nearly-invisible shifting of power in a relationship as events unfold or the way that your actions and discoveries slowly fill in a timeline that measures events in minutes but also telescopes outwards to capture years and centuries. This thing is a wonder, a narrative inversion of the tech tree from Civ, almost, in which rather than unlock new abilities you steadily recontextualise your own knowledge.
TechraptorHeaven's Vault does a beautiful job of letting you unlock a language, and thus a dialogue of sorts, with the past, via a wonderfully engaging protagonist.
...Heaven's Vault communicates the beauty of assigning meaning to symbols, and thus the people who wrote them.
Cultured VulturesWhile I may have hated sailing, there’s so much more to Heaven’s Vault than that. This is an absolutely beautiful game that manages to succeed at something genuinely unique and interesting. It also does something many of the best adventure games do. It makes me want to spend more time in its world, as Heaven’s Vault is well worth my time. These are characters I want to talk to, Ancient is a language I want to learn, and Heaven’s Vault is a game I want to replay. Maybe next time I’ll actually figure out how to write the whole review in Ancient.
Powerup GamingAlthough Heaven's Vault boasts no groundbreaking animations, an emphasis on dialogue and language truly makes it stand out as an innovative puzzle game. With characters as colourful as the worlds you visit, you are guaranteed to be swept into an intriguing storyline shaped exclusively by you.
US GamerHeaven’s Vault is a fantastic narrative experience that offers a genuinely mature and intelligent take on science fiction and the interactions between technology and religion. Superbly realised characters, fascinating architecture, and a wonderfully detailed new language to decipher combine to make this a truly original and rewarding game. It’s a shame that the sailing is so repetitive, but Heaven's Vault will reward fans of slower paced and meditative games.
Push SquareHeaven's Vault may have one of the most well-realized video game worlds ever, with your curiosity and personality molding your story through the Nebula. Whether you're fascinated by history or just by a personal sense of duty, there's a lot to love about Heaven's Vault, even if the clunky movement and frustrating sailing sour the overall experience.
PolygonHeaven’s Vault will satisfy budding archaeologists and linguistic fanatics in fits and starts, but the overall experience that brings those mechanics together leaves a lot to be desired. Alongside technical frustrations and tedious movement between locations, this is hardly a game we can recommend with any sort of confidence.
Heaven’s Vault does hold great potential; Inkle’s commitment to delivering an alternative (and more realistic) take on video game archaeology, and to encouraging players to decipher and learn a language, is inventive and mentally stimulating. But holistically, the experience is humdrum; there’s little incentive to keep on unpacking its world if I don’t buy into its fiction. And sadly, I do not. For a game that revolves around the beauty of languages, it’s a disappointment that Heaven’s Vault can’t find the right words to express itself.