The Persistence Lives On

Testing Your Persistence

The Persistence is a sci-fi survival horror game that originally launched exclusively on PS4. Although it initially was for PlayStation VR only, it was later expanded to consoles and PC in 2020. It is now available on the latest consoles in 2021. You embody a “printed” clone of security officer Zimri Elder and are tasked with navigating through a broken spaceship to restore its functionality and return to Earth.

One roadblock, though, is that the cloning machine that created you has been creating mutated clones as well. This leads you to perform two main goals. Firstly, repair the ship while trying to make sense of its ever-changing node rooms. Secondly, kill or avoid a variety of deadly mutants. All of which easily can kill you.

The Persistence Lives On
image credit: Firesprite

Clone Fighting

The Harvester will start as your go-to weapon. Though not a great melee weapon, the Harvester can be used to stealthily sneak up behind aberrations. You’ll then extract their stem cells (which can be used to upgrade future clones in recovery). You’ll also start with the ability to teleport short distances to move past blocked areas and a super sense that allows you to see enemies through the walls. These powers are granted through the manipulation of dark matter that your suit holds. Stem cells, FAB chips and Erebus tokens will help upgrade and unlock weapons and modifiers that will gradually make you stronger throughout the game.

You’ll also be able to unlock new clone bodies (found in various hidden and challenging rooms) that grant specific perks. Engineers discover loot schematics easier, and a scientist can allow you to gain more stem cells while using the Harvester.

There is a wide array of additional weaponry that you can unlock. The Reaper is a spinning blade that you can use to teleport through enemies, killing them in one hit. There’s also the IV serum that can convert mutants into loyal servants that will do your bidding. There are many more options for an intricate gameplay experience that toy with physics and unique damage modifiers.

A Welcome Rerelease

The graphics in the Persistence aren’t anything special. Where the game shines is the lighting and sound design. These play a huge role in what makes it a terrifying game. The release on new consoles has updated all of those effects. Particle lighting and 4K 60 fps Performance mode creates an even scarier atmosphere aboard the . Even though it launched on PSVR, don’t expect it to be a laid-back adventure without the VR headset.

The additional features of haptic controller feedback and trigger functionality further draws you into the game. You’ll feel the difference in each weapon you hold and also the feeling of melee encounters. The variety of enemies keeps you on your toes and always engaged, though the rooms become slightly more boring towards the end of the game due to the open nature of them forcing you to fight more often. The story is also somewhat anticlimactic with an abrupt underwhelming ending. Regardless of those flaws, the overall experience will have fans of the horror genre pleased with their purchase.

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Written by Trevor Forrest