While the original release of Insurmountable presented an enjoyable mountain climbing experience, the new 2.0 update has created a complete experience. Developed by ByteRockers’ Games and published by Daedalic Entertainment, Insurmountable 2.0 is available now on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S|X, Nintendo Switch, and PC.
Insurmountable is, at its core, a game about climbing mountains. There are three main mountains the player is tasked with climbing, with countless dangers littering the path to the summits. There are also three playable climbers, each with very different backgrounds. Players must figure out how to battle both the elements and unpredictable events to finish their climbs and progress the story. The characters of Insurmountable are stuck in a time loop caused by the research station that is used as the main base for the game.
Besides getting to the top of the mountains, the goal is to unravel the mystery behind the time loop and free themselves from it. The original release had different smaller stories with each mountain, so seeing a continuous story that encompasses the entire game is already quite an upgrade. I found myself drawn to the mystery, and the drive to solve the mystery was genuine. The research facility used as the main base camp helps tie the story together, creating a hub between climbs that allows players to manage and upgrade their gear in a way that fits within the confines of the story. The base camp could have easily been a menu with no contribution to the story, but the fact that it matters adds quite a bit to the immersion I felt throughout my time with Insurmountable.
The story and setting of Insurmountable are quite nice, but the gameplay is the real highlight. Players climb the mountain simply by clicking on various panels to navigate the procedurally generated mountains. Choosing the climb up too high too quickly can deplete the player’s energy dangerously fast, so the direction you decide to go is vital. You also need to sleep at night, and choosing to stay out in the elements versus finding a cave to sleep in was a debate I found myself constantly having. Your choices help unlock new missions based on the area explored, an elegant mechanic that makes choices truly matter. There are pros and cons to every choice, and the variety helps add to the replayability as well.
While climbing, there are four main stats that you have to be extremely conscious of. Health, energy, body temperature, and oxygen are vital to completing the climb. Items brought along with the player can help keep those vitals in check, and more items can be found in random locations along the way as long as players are willing to risk exploring. I’m glad there are just four stats to keep track of because it can be pretty challenging to keep all of them adequately managed. It is the perfect balance of difficulty that makes the climbs challenging without ever feeling completely impossible.
Visually, Insurmountable is absolutely stunning. Watching my character brave the mountains from a bird’s-eye view is incredibly satisfying and watching the environment change depending on the weather or height was fascinating. The music also adds to the ambiance of the climbs, and, despite the dangers my character was in, I felt surprisingly relaxed while playing.
Insurmountable is an absolute blast to play, and the 2.0 update guarantees I will be coming back to play quite often. Whether you want to play for 20 minutes or 2 hours, Insurmountable is able to provide the perfect combination of entertainment and challenge.
Insurmountable is available now on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S|X, Nintendo Switch, and PC.
- Rating - 9/109/10
Whether you want to play for 20 minutes or 2 hours, Insurmountable is able to provide the perfect combination of entertainment and challenge.