Close to perfection
Primordia succeeds in setting up what could have been one of the best adventure games in recent memory, but a few problems hold it back from that status.The game opens quietly, in a barren desert which houses only the remains of a lost civilization. The few characters you meet early in the game all suggest that there is something greater beyond the dunes. When you get there, to the second of two hub levels, that is where the story, characters and gameplay all begin to shine. Small details are bountiful and add depth and originality to the game's world. Primordia treats everything like a mystery, and assumes you are smart enough to piece the backstory and setting together. The degree of subtlety in Primordia makes every new discovery of a character's background or story events feel exciting and memorable. You begin to note things that seem odd or out of place and they are explained in a way that makes logical sense. Early in the game, it works very well. Every new location adds to your understanding of the world and the robots who inhabit it in some meaningful way, but towards the end, the game begins to rely on what seemed like small, superfluous details as solutions to puzzles. However, the game does integrate options to use alternative methods to solve many of the puzzles which effect the story and how characters think of you in subtle ways.
Your main companion, Crispin has a lot to say and he is genuinely clever and humorous in a way that works well with the serious nature of the player character, Horatio. All of the characters in Primordia are well written and voiced, Logan Cunningham, of Bastion Narrator fame does a great job as the main character of the game. The game also looks wonderful and surreal. Each location is filled with small details and everything that should stand out does.
Overall, Primordia is a game that takes on big ideas and deals with them in a mature way, it says things about government, religion and everything inbetween but allows you to draw your own conclusions and make decisions that are more than just a moral choice and that integrate themselves so far into the game mechanics that it never feels like a moral choice. It's story ambitions are fully met, and Wormwood succeeded in creating a world that is a treat to explore and discover in all aspects. The puzzles are mostly decent, and the number of bad puzzles only about half of the number of outstanding and unique puzzles. I'd recommend it to any adventure game fan.