Haven Review – Test

Lovely SciFi Action RPG in test – Haven Pc Review

Haven Pc Review
Lovely action RPG in test, not only for couples
Haven Pc Review
Lovely action RPG in test, not only for couples

Haven is a heavily story-based action-adventure game with light JRPG and survival elements in a very unique fantasy science fiction world. It is released for PC, Playstation PS4 and PS5, Xbox, and also for Nintendo Switch. In Haven, the lovers Yu and Kay are stranded on the planet Source after fleeing from the dictatorship of their home country. In the SciFi Space Action RPG, we steer the two through a fragmented world that is infested with strange pollution called rust. My Haven Review (PC, English – German) – Indie Games 2020/2021


German Version

This article is available here as text, but also as a YouTube video (German voice-over, many subtitles). This way you can choose how you would like to enjoy it most.

Haven Review Video:

German Voice-Over, many subtitles

Haven Review – Intro

Hi there, this is the Zap. In this Haven Review, you will get all information about the new SciFi Space Anime Action-RPG. I’ll tell you how it plays, what’s in it and if I had fun with it. In the end, there is also a rating by me, but most of all I want to give you as many details as possible, so you can decide for yourself if the game could be fun for you or not.

I got a free test sample from the developers, but this should not have any influence on my rating. I always test all games with the thought in mind, how would I feel if I paid the full price.

Haven – Background

Haven Pc Review
 Background - Hintergrund
Haven Pc Review
Background – Hintergrund

Haven was released on December 3rd, 2020, and was developed and self-published by the 2-person team The Game Bakers from France. The studio has previously released the titles Combo Crew on Mobile, as well as Furi and Squids Odyssey. Furi got 91% positive ratings on Steam, but Squids has flown so low under the radar that it didn’t even get the 10 ratings necessary to show an average. But at Haven, this number is already far exceeded.

The game currently costs $24.99 (or €) and is therefore rather in the medium price range. It is available for PC on Steam and GOG, but also for Playstation PS5, XBox Series X and One, and also in the Xbox Gamepass. In early 2021 it was also released for Nintendo Switch. So let’s have a look if it is worth the price, if and if so, for whom it is worth it and for which type of player maybe not.

As additional information to the review, Haven can be enjoyed as a single player but also as a co-op multiplayer game. The game uses the ingenious Steam function “Remote Play Together”. So you can invite every Steam friend to play without them having to buy the game. I played the game together with my wife and I also recommend playing it in multiplayer if possible.

Haven Review – Game Type

Haven Pc Test
Game Type - Spieltyp
Haven Pc Test
Game Type – Spieltyp

Haven is a very heavily story-based action adventure with light role-playing and survival elements in a very own fantasy science fiction world. We have to sleep and eat, need remedies to regenerate our life energy after fights, and for both, we have to collect herbs, mushrooms, and berries.

The battles take place in a very interesting action mode, which requires special tactics for certain types of enemies and at the same time unlocks combo abilities in 2-player mode if you coordinate your attacks well. This is even absolutely necessary in some boss fights to have any chance at all.

The map is divided into islands, which are floating fragments of a broken planet in space. These can be traveled over so-called flow-bridges and the game offers its content in smaller pieces, which can be easily divided and consumed. Then these plots are cleaned of pollution called rust and the flora and fauna of the islands must also be cleaned and soothed. For the animals, this is done through fights, but in the end, no opponents are killed, instead, the defeated animals are calmed down and can even be petted most of the time afterward.

And these game features are interwoven with an extensive story, which is mainly about the two main characters Yu and Kay. But little by little we explore the world and its secrets. In doing so, we also uncover what happened on the planet Source, how the explosion and fragmentation occurred, what the rust is all about, and much more.

Haven Gameplay – Characters

Haven Pc Review
Characters - Charaktere
Haven Pc Review
Characters – Charaktere

In Haven, we play the likable lovers Yu and Kay. Both escaped a kind of dictatorship and went to a faraway, fragmented planet. Here your spaceship is damaged in an earthquake. And so they set out to find spare parts for their spaceship and to explore the planet shards.

Both of them have very strong personalities. They are sometimes silly, sometimes serious. They flirt a lot, sometimes they are even slightly erotic. Not everything is bright sunshine, often there are also mutual teasing, up to solid quarrels, as real couples live through it just from time to time.

And on a large number of occasions, they have very intensive conversations in which we as players often have the option to select certain answers. I can’t say yet how this influences the course of the story, because you would have to play through the game several times. But I think the big story will remain unchanged, at most smaller flirtations or disputes will probably arise or be decided in this way.

Haven – Crafting and Gathering

Haven Pc Review
 Crafting and Gathering - Crafting und Sammeln
Haven Pc Review
Crafting and Gathering

Since the animals cause us a lot of damage in the fights, we urgently need to produce remedies and food. But also for the repair of the spaceship and the refurbishment of found equipment we need all kinds of material. Besides the ominous rust particles we collect when cleaning the islands, there is a larger number of plants, mushrooms, and herbs.

From these ingredients, we can cook different meals, which then, depending on their ingredients, also fill up differently from our food bar. And in the same way, there are different medicines, which sometimes heal more and sometimes less, depending on the recipe used.

We can only produce remedies in our spaceship, our home base so to speak. We can cook there or at certain resting places that can be discovered on the islands.

Gameplay – World

Haven Review
World - Welt
Haven Review
World

As already mentioned, our couple is stranded on a fragmented planet. Here we explore unknown plants and a lot of different animals, which are often aggressive or cautious towards us at first.

Especially since almost all islands are affected by a pollution called rust, which obviously also affects the animals’ minds. So we have to free both the islands and the animals from this dirt.

Another important part of the world is the “flow”. This is a bluish substance that provides energy to our heroes, but probably also flows out from this planet’s core. From it, flow threads are formed, on which we can travel faster by gliding along with them, which also replenishes our batteries. Sometimes we can also pass through the air to places that would not be accessible without flow.

Yu and Kay explore the islands, the flow and also the rust, the animals and plants, and how everything is connected. But I do not want to spoil that here. In doing so, they unlock more and more flow-bridges that connect the island splinters, and little by little we uncover a network of islands that is much more complex than at least I expected at the beginning.

Gameplay – Story

Haven Gameplay
Story - Geschichte
Haven Gameplay
Story

In the world of Haven, there is a very strict society. It is governed by an administrator who intervenes strongly in the lives of the people and makes decisions for them. Among other things, Yu and Kay, who were in love with each other, were supposed to marry different partners, and this was probably the main reason for their escape and restart in another planetary system.

Little by little, in conversations between the two, one learns more and more about the former world and why they rebel against the oppression there. At the same time, they explore this new, unknown world. Two completely separate stories that run parallel. At least until they find remnants of their oppressor culture on the new planet. From then on it becomes more and more exciting and dangerous for our two heroes.

What’s up with the ominous rust? Will the love of the two for each other be enough to weld them together for the difficulties ahead? Will the administrator track them down, and if so, will they escape? Will they be able to repair your spaceship and fly to other planets? What is hidden in the mysterious ruins?

This story has some very romantic moments. These are often extra entertaining when you play as a couple because they hold a mirror up to couples in a very sensitive way. Several times Haven goes into detail about what it is like when two people are lonely together. This is why Haven is especially recommendable when you have a fellow player with whom you are in a relationship. But I think these parts are also emotionally interesting for singles.

Beyond that, Haven also shows major social problems, such as dictatorship, personal development, ecological problems, animal welfare, and much more. It offers some moments of strong tension as well as relaxed, calm moments and a lot of potential for twists and turns and twisted events.

Haven Gameplay – Multiplayer

Haven Test
Co-op Multiplayer - Koop Multiplayer
Haven Test
Co-op Multiplayer

Although you can play Haven absolutely solo, I would strongly recommend playing the game with a friend, or ideally, if available, with your life partner. I would even go so far as to say that playing solo loses some of the depth and fun of the game. So persuading your partner or ask a special friend to play Haven with you, it’s worth it.

The team play is very deeply anchored in the game and the game does not have a main-character directly, but both characters are equally in the foreground as a team. And this pattern runs through the entire game.

When traveling around, you can change the leading figure at any time at the touch of a button and thus permanently take turns. The game also often reminds you of when a character is leading for a longer period of time.

In Crafting, each process is divided into two parallel steps, in the form that each player must put his or her own ingredients into the recipe. Here the game offers very unusual, but refreshingly different ways of operation that take into account the two-player game. And I suppose when you play the game solo, some of it seems a bit cumbersome.

The team play becomes especially important in the fights. Here there are team combos that can be triggered with exact timing and for heavier opponents even absolutely necessary. Gradually, these combos of blocking and attack or simultaneous attacks and synchronous triggering of skills are becoming more and more important in the game.

All these features also work as single players, but for my taste, they look much better and more entertaining when you really play in a team. But since the game supports Steams “Remote Play Together” over the network or you can play together on one computer, the game also makes it very easy to find a player.

Haven Gameplay Screenshots – Ingame

Tech, Graphics, Sound

Haven Pc Test
Tech, Graphics, Sound, Music, Engine, Sfx, Gfx
Technik, Grafik, Sound, Musik, Engine, Sfx, Gfx
Haven Pc Test
Tech, Graphics, Sound, Music, Engine, Sfx, Gfx

Haven was developed with the Unity Engine. This usually provides a stable base, and it is also not different here. The performance is consistently very good with a mid-range graphics card. And I didn’t or didn’t have to discover any crashes or real bugs at all.

The graphics are a mix of 2D graphic elements as an overlay and a 3D world, which can look really nice and is animated very fluid. Since you often have to make fast and precisely controlled flight movements when you are loaded with the flow, this is also very important for the gameplay. But here everything fits, everything is “in flow”.

Overall the game tries to keep a consistent anime style, which I like, even though I’m not even a particular anime fan. I think that this can be a big plus for real fans without actively discouraging non-anime fans.

As a positive thing, I noticed that the game offers extensive option menus, in which you can adjust many technical preferences, operating options like keyboard or gamepad, sound, and graphic details more precisely. Especially nice is also that the difficulty level is not only adjustable with easy, medium, difficult, but you can also adjust for example in more detail how hard the fights are, how difficult the gliding on the flow is or how precise the team combos have to be.

The music is upper middle class. There are some nice songs that play in the background without ever annoying me. The game has a huge amount of dialogues, which are completely set to English with consistently high quality.

There are subtitles and InGame texts in 9 different languages. These texts, at least as far as English and German are concerned, are also very high quality. During my 25 hours of testing, I consciously didn’t notice any spelling mistakes or weird translations, although I paid attention to them.

As a small point of criticism, I noticed that in rare cases the characters in the 3D world look a little too drawn. Especially in the scenes in the spaceship, there are sometimes frayed edges and blurred graphics. Here you can see a bit too clearly that a lot of the figures were drawn by hand and then converted into a 3D model.

However, overall I can only say that with Haven, The Game Bakers have done an excellent technical job.

Haven Test – Opinion and Conclusion

Haven Review
Opinion and Conclusion - Meinung und Fazit
Haven Review
Opinion and Conclusion

Of course, not everything is perfect in Haven. There are extensive options menus that allow you to make a lot of settings. You can reassign most of the keys on the keyboard, but of all things, the keys for the second player are not included, and these are at least a bit unfavorable on the German keyboard. This makes for a more difficult start and finger acrobatics for the 2nd player.

In the beginning, the characters often make remarks about the way you move. So if you walk too often, they will point out that you can also hover. And if you don’t drift often enough while hovering, numerous lines of dialogue are triggered, pointing out that you are drifting. And unfortunately, this happens a bit too often, which is a bit annoying in the beginning. But at least after some time, it subsides again.

The fact that Haven uses the “Remote Play together” function is just great. If you are new to the Steam feature, this allows you to play together with any Steam friend in certain games that support it. You can simply “invite” the other person into your game and they can play together with you.

The image of the game is streamed to the other computer and mouse operation and keyboard input are simply accepted by both computers in parallel. This works technically excellent and is fun to play.

And the trick is, the second person does not need to buy the game, which otherwise often requires hours of convincing the other person to buy it. With Remote Play together this is completely unnecessary, just invite them and play. And on top of that, it is cheaper, because you only have to pay once.

Together the game is much more fun and, if you play it as an actual couple, that’s the icing on the cake. Because of the deep insights into the relationship between the two, it sometimes seems a bit like a romance novel on the side. But at the same time, it offers absolutely enough action and mysterious exploration.

I think the balance is maintained here so that it doesn’t get too emotionally upsetting even for players who don’t have a relationship at the moment but would like to have one. But it could probably arouse or strengthen the desire for a relationship for singles and for couples it could also hold up a mirror more often and let them experience familiar situations from a different point of view.

What I also liked was the idea of dividing the world into numerous islands. This makes sense not only from a historical point of view but also for the way you consume the game. This division gives the game a little bit of an episode feel. This is reinforced by the fact that the game only saves when you travel from one island to another. But you almost always have the freedom to go back to the last island to save if you can’t play through an island in one piece.

Haven Review – Rating

All in all, Haven has been a lot of fun. I especially liked the combat and exploration sections, but the story and presentation also made me feel very comfortable in the game. For the price of $24.99 (or €), you get at least 20-25 hours of fun. Probably for many it will be even more time. And in multiplayer this will be even more effective, especially since you only have to buy the game once, thanks to Remote Play Together.

As a basis for Haven, I would like to give an 85% rating for a well-rounded and solidly functioning overall package. For minimal errors and 2-3 missing options, I would like to subtract 3% from this score, which can be increased again with future patches. This rating refers to the single-player experience. If you play in a co-op, Haven gets a bonus of 5% and if the other player is your actual partner, an additional 2% is added for extended gaming fun.

This brings me to a final score for solo players of 82%. For co-op players the rating rises to 87% and if you play the game as a couple even to 89%. And on top of that, there is a potential of up to 3 % through improvements in possible patches.

Haven Pc Review
Rating with numbers 82-87-89%
Wertung mit Zahlen 82-87-89%
Haven Pc Review
Rating with numbers 82-87-89%

Haven

Zap from ZapZockt.de

Haven Review - Test | Game Reviews
Lovely SciFi Action RPG in the test – Haven Pc Review SciFi Action RPG in the test – Haven Pc Review
Haven is a strongly story-based action-adventure game with light JRPG and survival elements in a very own fantasy science fiction world. It will be released in 2020 for PC, PS5, Xbox, and in 2021 also for Switch. In Haven, the lovers Yu and Kay are stranded on the planet Source after fleeing from the dictatorship of their home country. In the SciFi Space Action RPG, we steer the two through a fragmented world that is infested with a strange pollution called rust. My Haven Review (PC, English – German) – Indie Games 2020
Uniqueness
Graphics
Sound
Story
State of the game
Fun and Scope
Multiplayer & Co-op
Price Performance

Rating

All in all, Haven has been a lot of fun. I especially liked the combat and exploration sections, but the story and presentation also made me feel very comfortable in the game. For the price of $24.99 (or €), you get at least 20-25 hours of fun. Probably for many it will be even more time. And in multiplayer this will be even more effective, especially since you only have to buy the game once, thanks to Remote Play Together.
As a basis for Haven, I would like to give an 85% rating for a well-rounded and solidly functioning overall package. For minimal errors and 2-3 missing options, I would like to subtract 3% from this score, which can be increased again with future patches. This rating refers to the single-player experience. If you play in a co-op, Haven gets a bonus of 5% and if the other player is your actual partner, an additional 2% is added for extended gaming fun.
This brings me to a final score for solo players of 82%. For co-op players the rating rises to 87% and if you play the game as a couple even to 89%. And on top of that, there is a potential of up to 3 % through improvements in possible patches.

4.5

Outro

Do you like the very different SciFi setting, the interesting multiplayer implementation and do you love anime anyway? Or are you rather deterred by the comic-like graphics and the couple setting? Please write me your opinion, either in the comments or gladly also on my Discord, which you can find in the description or on my Website https://zapzockt.de. There you can also find more reviews, gaming news, and guides.

If you liked the review, I’d be very happy if you like to visit the ZapZockt YouTube channel with a thumbs up and subscribe as well as sharing with your friends in general. Then I wish you a great day, let it go well. Ciao ciao, your Zap

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Dirk "Zap" von ZapZockt.de, 40+ Gamer, zockt seit 1980 vor allem Strategie Titel, MMOs und Rollenspiele. Schreibt Game Reviews, Gaming News und auch mal über Technik, Hardware und YouTube. Mehr Infos findest Du unter Mehr über Zap lesen ◄----------► Dirk "Zap" from ZapZockt.de, 40+ gamer, has been gaming since 1980, mainly strategy titles, MMOs and RPGs. Writes game reviews, gaming news and also sometimes about technology, hardware and YouTube. Click here, if you want to read more about Zap.

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