17/06/2020

๐Ÿ“• Liberated | Review | Nintendo Switch | "A well-told story with a rough edge" ๐Ÿ“• @Walkabout_Games #IndieGames #GameDev

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Liberated is an exciting and surprisingly involving tale with a shifting narrative that is unfortunately marred by technical issues.

Told – very effectively – via the medium of a digital, 4-issue comic book, Liberated is a game that really connects with the player through the narrative.

The desaturated imagery, in an almost cold-blue monochromatic style, drives home the storytelling.
Each issue tells the over-arching tale from differing perspectives. In the first issue, you play a young man on the run from an all-powerful, shady government that has a cast-iron eye on the movements of every citizen in the city.

Not spending enough, online enough, frightened enough or visible enough and you’ll be taken off the streets for ‘re-educating’. Whilst this tale has been told before, the way in which motives and ideals switch and become more three-dimensional - depending on who you are currently playing as – adds depth and emotional involvement.

It’s a very good thing that the tale is so well-told in quite an accessible and direct way because there are unfortunately other parts of the game that conspire to drag it down.
The gameplay in Liberated is acted out via 2.5D shooting and platforming segments which are nicely portrayed as moving videos in the ongoing comic book that is being read through.

There are also some nice hacking puzzles involving completing circuits and the like, which add a nice level of variety to the proceedings. Whilst the gameplay is solid, if unremarkable – flick a switch here, shoot some bad guys, push that box there etc. - the technical aspects can sometimes overrun the fun and tone of the game.

On multiple occasions, my character would feel unresponsive and visual glitches such as floating weapons would occur.

The frame-rate is pretty unreliable and make certain platforming and shooting elements more of a chore than a challenge as well as the loading times feeling random (on several occasions, I thought the game had crashed when it was actually loading in the background) and this all lowers the level of enjoyment which is a shame because the setting and initial visual presentation of the game is so great, not to mention the audio which consists of doom-laden ambience and satisfying gunshot sound effects, all good stuff.
All of the issues that affect Liberated feel like they can be patched out and I really hope they are because there’s a really solid game here that’s fractured by technical issues.

Liberated is the first game that I’ve played by developer Atomic Wolf and they clearly have a firm grasp of storytelling and strong visuals.

I’d love to see the world expanded upon but a smoother experience would add so much to the game and elevate it to a really gripping indie title.

If you like dystopian fiction and action, Liberated is definitely worth a purchase, the gameplay may not grab you but the story will.
๐Ÿ’ง❄️ RATING: MELTING ❄️๐Ÿ’ง

Ratings Explained
ICE COOL (Great Game Recommended)
MELTING (Recommended with reservations, one to consider if you are a fan of the genre)
MELTED (Not A Recommended Purchase)

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