Nobody Saves The World review

nobody-saves-the-world

Nobody Saves The World is a new action RPG, which feels similar to old school top-down Legend of Zelda games from days gone by and the game has layers of satisfying progression. It’s early in 2022, but this is a game to get excited about with a combination of satisfying combat, a whole host of characters to embody, to take down the corruption and save the world.

This is a new game from Drinkbox Studios, creators of the Guacamelee series, and other fantastic games. If you’ve played games from Drinkbox then you’ll be familiar with their animation and humor, and Nobody Saves the World has all that and much more. Whereas Guacemelee was a take on the Metroidvania genre, Nobody Saves The World is much more top-down action RPG, and once again they have demonstrated their understanding of tight controls and very satisfying game mechanics. This game dishes out the dopamine hits at a serious pace, and just when you think it’s time to take a break, you are pulled back in.

We start out the game as Nobody, this is a stick man style character, thin, removed of any remarkable features, looking like a thin ghost. The previous hero, a mighty mage has gone missing, and you take up the mantle to save the lands. Nobody has shape-shifting abilities thanks to a nifty magic wand found in the cell you find yourself in.

It’s not long before you start to progress, and uncover the brilliance of Nobody Saves the World, by transforming yourself into a Rat. By becoming smaller, you can fit through tight gaps, and therefore reach a new part of the map. The rat also has the ability to inflict Dark damage onto opponents, which is another smart feature Drinkbox has implemented. All well as the shape-shifting abilities you also have elemental attacks (light or dark, sharp or blunt), meaning switching back and forward between characters at pace is the way to take on heavily guarded rooms. But that comes in time, you start out slow, learn to level up with your rat, and escape your cell.

Once you make it out of the short tutorial zone, then you quickly open up new forms including the Guard and the Ranger. The Guard swings a sword to good effect and the Ranger has a bow and arrow for good range attacks. Each character has a different weapon and damage type plus an attacking style. The rat is small, but his bites sting for sure. The Guard’s sword attacks are great for dealing with crowds, and the Ranger is great at distance. It’s not long before you open up more characters including The Body Builder, Egg, Dragon, Mermaid, and the loveable Horse who is susceptible to falling in love. The Horse is particularly entertaining, as he moves fast and his attacks really pack a punch, given it’s a Horse Kick. Although you do find yourself having to move back into combat which can be quite funny.

Nobody Saves The World is very focused on combat, and much like many of the other features in the game, this is satisfying. There are plenty of enemies and different types trying to get you, you have your horde enemies who try to overwhelm you, enemies attacking at range, and also Wizard Cats who send in scratching spells. The combat is simple to pick up and understand, many enemies can be beaten with standard weapon attacks, but some are protected by an element, meaning you have to hit them with the right element to open up the damage otherwise they are immune. This teaches the player to switch between forms quickly. My natural instinct was to stick with one type of player, I found myself gravitating towards the Guard, but you quickly learn you need a variety of elements to progress, and you do have more fun learning about the other characters and their different styles. If I didn’t have this motivation to switch things up, then I probably wouldn’t have tried out all the characters I did.

Combos are an important factor in combat too, which means you may have to strike an enemy with an element a few times to build up the elemental meter and then unleash a swift attack for maximum efficiency. The combat is pretty deep further you go into the game, which adds another layer of enjoyment to the game.

Complementing the combat is a rewarding leveling up system or systems that are working together. As soon as you unlock a character you’ll have a quest, and this might have a fairly simple objective like ‘Use Bite to Kill 10 Enemies’ (an example for the Rat). On completing these quests, you’ll get three more, and also a reward, which goes into your bank, which is used later on to open up doors when you have enough in your bank. Quests are varied and plentiful, plus progression is always on screen always giving you something to do. Given you have multiple characters, then you’ll have multiple branching quests too, making sure you are always busy. You may have to run through a Dungeon a couple of times to complete objectives, but given the combat and exploration is fun, it’s really no problem.

We have quests that give us items to help us progress and unlock the road ahead, but each character also has a rating. Every character starts off as an F, and you work your way up to S tier ratings for each character. When we first start out we only have a single move, but that opens up as we play as we get more moves that can be assigned to 3 action buttons. Eventually, you get the option to unlock and swap abilities between characters, meaning you can craft a good build with a single character, or set of characters you like. It’s a really neat system, it looks simple on the surface to the player, but underneath must be super complex. Congrats have to go to the team for the onboarding process in the game and how Drinkbox teaches us to play, as in the first few hours of the game I didn’t feel overwhelmed, or confused about how to control my party of players. Once you get it down, you’ll be switching up characters quickly, dishing out various damage types, and having tens of enemies at your mercy.

There are dungeons and castles in the game too which are procedurally generated meaning you won’t get the same experience twice. As well as the layout of the dungeons, enemies are switched up too, which offers up some nice variety and replayability. Dungeons are fun, although they can get a little tricky quite quickly, as you tend to get overrun with enemies and mobbed in the early game when you haven’t got the skills or abilities you have later. Dungeons reminded me of Diablo or Lost Ark, you enter an area, kill a bunch of enemies and move to the next to do the same again, with a big boss at the end. There are some occasional puzzles along the way, but the main focus is on the combat.

Between dungeons, you have a rich overworld filled with forests and towns, and a supporting cast of weird and wonderful characters. There’s the Horse to fall in love with and the Slug who’s lost his wife, plus the randy shop maiden who looks like a lizard. It’s got Drinkbox’s personality written all over it, and the slick animation combined with the humor only adds to the rich world we inhabit.

Nobody Saves The World has been a big surprise. It’s very good, and it’s so early in the year. We shouldn’t be surprised that Drinkbox comes out with a banger of a title that feels polished, plus could compete with the best of them in the action RPG genre. Drinkbox has proved once again they understand progression mechanics and understand how to dish out the entertainment. The game looks great, it’s smooth, the combat is fun and the progression is exciting. It’s only available on PC and Xbox at the moment, but it’s well worth seeking out, especially if you are a fan of top-down RPGs. This is an early gem in 2022, and definitely one I’d like to recommend.

Developer: Drinkbox Studios
Publisher: Drinkbox Studios
Platforms: Xbox, PC (Played on PC Game Pass)
Release Date: 18th January 2021

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