What started as a prologue before moving onto a fully fledged release on PC last year, 41 Hours now makes its physics bending journey to consoles at a wallet friendly price of just £15.99. A worthy endeavour to take on? Lets find out.
41 Hours sees you taking up a slider-esque dimension hopped journey as Ethan the workaholic scientist in his continuing journey to find his long lost wife. The story takes place over 41 Hours and counts down as you progress to a singular point at the end, with some twists & turns along the way to keep Ethan on his toes.
For me the story was relatively interesting, I’m pretty much a sucker for sci-fi that features things like parallel dimensions and wormholes. Its presented in a well-voiced comic book style too instead of using cinematics which is a nice change of pace. The game is packing in almost a dozen chapters for around 20 hours of gameplay which is surprisingly meaty for an FPS.
Presentation of the game is where it’s mixed bag nature starts to creep in. You’ll be exploring some fairly large areas at times that can look great, such as dense forestry, but can also look drab with areas packing similar looking assets and weak textures. Character models range from pretty good to basic too, oddly enough your companion doesn’t look as detailed as some enemies, but the game does have variety here and can pack the screen with foes. Things can look pretty cool though when the game needs to slow time or showcase a wormhole.
Luckily there wasn’t really any issues with performance, or if there was then VRR was picking up any drops, as the game seemed smooth enough to play. Other aspects of the PS5 like the DualSense didn’t seem to be used much, if at all, and loading was quick enough without being as snappy as other games.
41 Hours mainly plays out as an FPS with the occasional puzzle to deal with that makes use of the games sci-fi leanings. Most times you’ll be mindlessly clearing an area of enemies, but every now and again your companion will need to be used to clear obstacles. These can be as simple as bypassing a forcefield or gate with a wormhole or having to use telekinesis to build bridges and ramps. There’s also a rudimentary RPG system in place, that while not really fleshed out, does allow you to upgrade some gear etc.
To be honest though, the gameplay overall is fairly average, but could have been much better. This is mainly down to the gunplay itself which can feel woeful at times. Aiming always feels a little off, so you’ll be strafing mostly or using the ability that slows time in most encounters. Add to that the simple wave like AI and their ability to seemingly hit a strand of hair at a few hundred yards, leaves gameplay feeling underwhelming. Its at its worst when you’ll be surrounded by spawning squads of enemies, with bots etc mixed in so you gotta change ammo constantly, while trying to keep you & your companion alive. Mostly this is down to hits to your character seeming like an uppercut every time, but your weapons seem to lack any punch.
41Hours has some genuinely interesting story moments for me and good use of its sci-fi leanings when it comes to gameplay puzzles, but it begins to fall apart once the shooting starts. Gunplay lacks punch and the AI doesn’t help things either, the abilities such as slowing time are pretty cool, but it was more the story that kept me going and not the gameplay. To be honest it kind of feels like an early access game, which unfortunately it isn’t, but you may still glean some enjoyment from the game if you can overlook enough given its £15.99 price.
Good story & premise, mixed bag presentation, and underwhelming gameplay make for an interesting thesis with a not so good conclusion.