Liberated – Review
Follow Genre: Action-adventure game
Developer: Atomic Wolf
Publisher: L.INC, Walkabout
Platform: Switch
Tested on: Switch

Liberated – Review

Site Score
9.0
Good: Engaging story, Great art
Bad: Gun controls can be frustrating
User Score
10.0
(1 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Video games often get inspired by current events or political themes for their storylines. While escapism has its place in the entertainment industry, there is just as big a market for stories willing to tackle the darker, more realistic themes. It’s doubtful developer Atomic Wolf could have predicted the chaotic events that would come to mark 2020 forever, but Liberated definitely feels right at home in the world we know these days. Police brutality, government surveillance, and drones with guns? It’s time to fight for your virtual freedom!

Story

Liberated is set in the not-so-distant future and tells the story of Barry Edwards, a young man who specializes in encrypting computer data for his clients. In the police state he lives, where constant camera surveillance and an advanced algorithm tracks everybody’s lives, down to their daily spendings and habits, this encrypting business is considered less than legal. Soon the police are knocking on Barry’s door and before he knows it he gets entangled with a resistance group known simply as The Liberated, whose members are trying to topple the corrupt government and bring freedom back to the people. Along the way, we find out more about what circumstances has brought things this far, and how Barry himself is tied into it all.

Graphics

Comic books are extremely trendy right now and Liberated plays with the concept of bringing comics into video games in the best way imaginable. The visuals of the game look and feel as a true comic would, complete with speech bubbles, changing panels, and turning the pages once you’re done with them. This technique makes the cutscenes, presented as a moving graphic novel in a 2D style, blend together almost seamlessly with the gameplay segments, which take on a more 3D look. The difference is minimal and almost unnoticeable at times. The art itself is absolutely gorgeous and the monochrome colors drive home the bleak world this game takes place in and its inspiration in film noir and other such media.

Sound

As amazing as the art of Liberated is, the soundtrack is where this title loses steam. It’s nothing too unbearable, the music is fine and fits the atmosphere, just nothing that will stick in your mind for long after playing. Sometimes it could even get a little repetitive. The sound design is also good, with the effects coming to live in the form as big bold text on the pages, as they do in real comic books. The game has no voice acting.

Gameplay

Liberated is an action-adventure game set in a dystopian world. There is a large focus on story, and there is in fact a reader mode for those who want to experience the game more like an interactive comic book with minimal gameplay elements and auto-aim, which makes things significantly easier. However, those who choose to experience the game normally will not be disappointed, as Liberated puts a lot of effort into making the game run smoothly, transitioning from static panels that tell the story to panels that require player interaction or have small puzzles.

For the most part, you will need to move your character across the screen in a side-scroller fashion. You can run as well as sneak, which makes less noise and is ideal for stealth segments. During these, you can also hide at certain locations and choose to either bypass enemies or use a silent kill to get rid of them permanently. Sometimes you won’t have a choice but to fight, in which case you’ll need to use your gun to dispose of enemies quickly since you don’t have a lot of health. Aiming with the Switch joystick often becomes a pain, however, so these segments weren’t the best, and turning auto-aim on just for these parts isn’t an option. In more action-packed scenes you can also expect quick time events, such as during a chase sequence.

Even the cutscenes require some player interaction. Often you will be prompted to make small choices, for example when picking dialogue or even bigger decisions that can alter the way the story plays out. What you end up with is something between a game and an interactive graphic novel, and while some controls can get frustrating, the overall experience is suitable for different kinds of players. A PC version is slated for release next month as well.

Conclusion

Liberated does something different from many other indie games on the market these days. Its unique play style is already worth the buy, but combine it with stunning art, great flow, and a story that might be almost too relevant, and you got the ideal game to sit down with and get lost in. Maybe just not if you want to get away from current real-world affairs.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Liberated - Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
Jessica
Jessica


Games are my escape and writing is my passion.

No Comments

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.