THE MULLER-POWELL PRINCIPLE
The Muller-Powell Principle features the story of Harry Herman, a scientist working at Delta Laboratories where he conducts research about interdimensional traveling. Although Harry's work is meant to benefit the whole humanity, a terrible incident occurs during his experiments, leading to unexpected consequences. Harry wakes up in the year 2032, in a parallel dimension, and must travel through various dimensions to uncover his past and find his way back to his original universe. Of course, the story takes a lot from Half-life and Portal with a bit of SOMA, but the result is definitely unoriginal and if you’ve played the above games, you can get quickly bored due to the conventional type of narrative. Overall, this a story-driven game and across different puzzles you will be often watching multiple cinematic cutscenes that will briefly pause the action.
Gameplay-wise, The Muller-Powell Principle is loaded with platforming puzzles, often based on physics interactions and the use of futuristic tools. You will be removing boxes that are blocking doors, climbing through ventilations, carrying battery generators or interacting with computer screens. Shortly after the prologue, Harry will also get a portable energy manipulator (better known as photon gun), which is a device capable of absorbing different types of energy and that becomes fundamental for solving puzzles. You can use it to absorb various forms of energy from the environment, including light, heat, and radiation. For example, you can use this energy to melt glass by absorbing heat from a fire, blind security cameras by absorbing light from a lamp, or even freeze objects in place by draining different force fields. Puzzles are often easy to solve, except for a few occasions when the solution doesn’t make much sense, but you will accept it because it kinda works with the game’s logic. You can get suggestions via radio, but they can also be confusing at times. For example, one character told me to absorb the light in the next room, but when the audio played I was already in the “next room”, so I wasted some time pointing my gun on every light source in any room before realizing it was the lamp in the same room I was standing before. It’s as if whoever recorded the audio conversations didn’t sync them with the gameplay speed and this was never properly playtested. It should also be mentioned that the game currently doesn’t support controllers, in case you want to play more comfortably on a couch and TV screen.
Anyway, after progressing with the story, you will unlock the photon gun’s full potential and be able to create rifts in space-time, which you can use to travel between different dimensions and worlds. It won’t be a walk in the park though. Mysterious immortal presences will constantly chase you, turning the game into a survival horror experience. Enemies can also appear in the middle of puzzles, ruining whatever you are doing and forcing you to run away (but there isn’t really a run button, so good luck with that). The chasing sequences are super janky and unforgiving since you don’t have enough options to slow down enemies. When you die, you will restart from the latest checkpoint (there is no manual saving), which means you will have to play again through cinematic cutscenes and puzzles, until you eventually get tired of it. I love survival horror games, but I think this game would have been way better without its half-baked horror mechanics. At least puzzles are decent enough and make you want to continue playing the game, also thanks to the variety of environments.
Character voice overs will remind you that this is, in fact, an indie game. There is a lot of talking that feels pretty much lifeless; regardless of the situation, characters behave in the least reasonable way and they also make some lame jokes. At default audio settings, the voice level sounds inferior to the music, so characters’ words don’t come out very loud and clear (at least you can still read subtitles). It doesn’t help that characters’ animations are bad either. You can clearly see that a few minutes into the game, when a bunch of soldiers is robot-walking towards you or even when enemies are chasing you. Again, this is unfortunately common with many low-budget productions, but I’d say that there is a lot of room for improvement.
Graphics look really nice and environments feel greatly polished, especially the scientific lab which is filled with furniture, notes and small details that make it believable. The optimization is good too, the game runs flawlessly even at max settings and the system requirements aren’t really demanding for today standards.
Although nothing original, The Muller-Powell Principle is a decent game that stands up for its focus on story and the beautiful graphics. Just don’t go in expecting clever and satisfying puzzles like in Portal or The Talos Principle. Also, keep in mind that there are many horror elements that can possibly ruin the overall experience. These sections probably need more patches to become less frustrating for those who just want to enjoy puzzles and focus on
Review written by Sonic Punk for Zeepond.com
Positives+ Beautiful graphics and environments
+ Greatly optimized
Negatives- Unoriginal story
- Repetitive, janky and frustrating horror mechanics
- Low-quality character animations
- Lifeless and subpar voice acting
- No controller support at this moment
As Harry, traverse through various parallel worlds to unravel the mystery behind your past and find your way back home in the sci-fi puzzle horror game The Muller-Powell Principle.
Share this review!
Zeepond Rating: 6/10
Game CategoriesAll Game Reviews (1331)
Hardware Reviews (0)
Alpha Games (2)
Board Games (3)
First Person (19)
First Person Shooter (30)
Massive Multiplayer Online (4)
Pixel Graphics (20)
Role Playing Game (59)
Third Person (10)
Utility software (1)
Virtual Reality (22)