Liberated is literally a comic book game but not in the typical cape-wearing Marvel or DC movie sense. Instead, this downloadable title has a lot more in common with V For Vendetta as you play as Neo-like character who joins a group of liberators trying to free the world from the government’s spying eyes. Although the gameplay is a sidescrolling platformer like classic Prince of Persia with a gun, the story and set pieces are told through pages of a comic. The presentation definitely stands out.
Liberated is developed and published by the teams at Walkabout Games, Atomic Wolf, and PixelHeart.
Taking place on flipping comic book pages isn’t the only reason why Liberated has higher presentation values. The entire game takes place in hand drawn black and white inked panels featuring smooth animation and weather effects. It is reminiscent of the original Max Payne complete with comic book onomatopoeia action bubbles. This noir style carries the game and wouldn’t be the same without this stylized form of visuals.
The Flashback style of gameplay also feels right as it allows for quick but accurate gun battles, minor puzzle solving, light platforming, and scarce backtracking. It moves at a good pace and only takes a few hours to finish, ending before it over stays its welcome. There are times the player is presented with QTEs but provides the player ample time to press the designated button so they don’t really get in the way or become annoying. Occasionally, the player will be faced with a choice, needing to select one of two options to proceed. Although they result in the same ending, it is a nice deception that the player has more control over what is happening, especially when presented with a limited timer.
Honestly, the gameplay has been done before and serves its purpose but it is the story that will hold your attention. Although slightly predictable, the narrative is refreshing in the crowded “go save that, or go kill that thing” gaming environment we live in today. It is a little jarring that a computer nerd is so quick to kill police officers with a brutal choke hold or gunshot to the face, especially when they are just doing their job, but this is a comic book game after all.
Also available on PC. There is almost a free demo on the eShop if you wanted to try before you buy.
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