Journey to the Savage Planet is the Comedy Metroid I Never Knew I Wanted

The video game hype cycle is kind of a crazy thing, isn’t it? Every single day, there are trailers, announcements, reveals and interviews being published about the deluge of upcoming games. There’s so much that I find it kind of incredible that anything manages to stand out, and it’s even crazier that anyone can keep track of any of it. I don’t know about you, but I even have trouble remembering the release dates for games that I’m really excited about! It’s really a shame too, because lots of absolute gems get buried under it all, gems like Journey to the Savage Planet.

Video from YouTube channel: 505 Games

I actually was rather excited for Journey to the Savage Planet in the months leading up its initial release. I watched the trailers, discussed it with friends, and I’m pretty sure I wrote articles covering some of the announcements on another site I write for. It was looking very much like a fun, more comedy-oriented take on the Metroid Prime formula, though I didn’t fully realize that at the time. Yet, release day came and went and I just never got around to picking it up…at least not until just the other day (a full three years later!).

Where other games take a bit of time to get off the ground, Journey to the Savage Planet jumps into the fun immediately! Everything about the universe is cartoonishly funny, yet still has a “wait, what?” layer of darkness that elevates it further. Everything looks cheerful and bright, but all it takes is thinking for a bit about what kind of world would spawn these kinds of things.

There’s a “food substitute” called “Grob” that looks absolutely disgusting yet is marketed as a tasty alternative to whatever people normally eat. Your food is (apparently) regularly injected with “happy” drugs, and your mission is seemingly part of a desperate attempt to find a new, suitable world for humanity. It’s all played for laughs (very successfully I might add), but this universe is absolutely not in a good place.

As for the gameplay itself, Journey to the Savage Planet leans much more heavily into the exploration and discovery aspects of games like Metroid Prime than it does combat. Certainly you have a gun and there are enemies to confront (sometimes), but most creatures aren’t threats and are there more for you to catalog than they are to challenge you with combat. Actually, this world mostly comes off as a verdant paradise of a place that you’re presence is disrupting. It’s very much a “are we the baddies” kind of situation. All that said, it exploration in this game is a ton of fun, because it’s absolutely jampacked with stuff to find!

There are caves, crevices, mountains, portals, puzzle locks and more to delve into, and it’s all super condensed! You can spend a good hour in just one small part of the map constantly finding new things! Even better you can do all this in co-op! It’s not the standard, “stick by your partner at all times” co-op either, but entirely free instead!

You and your buddy can be in entirely different parts of the world pursuing different objectives, and the game is fine with it! Resources are still shared and so are upgrades! You can do things on your own or join up to figure out something particularly tricky! All the while the game is throwing goofy commentary and crazy, in-universe ads at you too. It’s just a blast! Really, I sort of wish that I’d found it sooner, but I’m glad I’m getting to enjoy it now. If you haven’t had the pleasure yet, why not take a moment and check it out? You’re sure to love it if you enjoy exploration and comedy!

Have you tried Journey to the Savage Planet yet? What do you think of it? Does it remind you of any other games?

Image from Journey to the Savage Planet E3 2019 trailer