These days, it’s a little tough to see where our government is going. Not to get all political here, but needless to say, it’s scary times right now. That’s kind of why games like Liberated stand out. Sure, it’s in a far distant future with far more controlling rules at stake, but you can feel the desperation of the characters that you are in charge of.
For a few hours, the game presents a unique side-scrolling adventure, backed by a beautiful (if imperfect) black and white comic book style that brings out the best of classic noir. It does have its setbacks, but those of you interested in an engrossing thrill ride – especially with themes that resonate with some of what’s happening today – may be interested in giving this a go.
In the Not-Too-Distant Future?
In the future, an event takes place that forces the government to keep a closer eye on people. But it’s not just a matter of surveillance, as balancing also comes into play. For instance, if someone’s spending a little more money than they actually make, they’re put into question.
That’s where the game’s first character, Barry, fits in. As the story goes on, we see other perspectives as well, but it’s interesting how everything unfolds with comic book panels and scenes that piece everything together. It’ll draw people more into it, compared to the usual side-scrolling adventures we see these days.
The game reminded me of an awful lot of U.S. Gold’s classic Flashback. There are high stakes that force you to act quickly. However, your characters have more tools of the trade, including a drone that occasionally comes in handy for plotting ahead. The action’s also very well-paced, though the game does slog across a Quick-Time Event sequence every once in a while. It’s not like they suck, but, honestly, we would’ve preferred straightforward action.
The stealth sequences are done very well, too, but they can be a bit difficult for those that aren’t prepared for a challenge. But the more you play Liberated, the better idea of what kind of experience you’re in for. This is one that definitely teaches you a thing or two as you go along.
A Solid Presentation Marred By Technical Issues
When I played Liberated on Steam a little while back, I was mesmerized by how beautiful it was, especially when it came to how seamlessly comic panels blended with the action. Most of that came over to the Switch as well, but there are some technical hiccups.
For instance, a few bugs enter the picture, as if the game came out with some untested things. That’s not to say it’s broken, but they’re easy to notice in both handheld and docked mode.
That aside, however, the game’s still a beaut to look at, with its mesmerizing black-and-white style and stunning animations. You’ll be right at home if you can get over the technical hitches.
That, and the audio is good as well. The music, when it kicks in, is atmospheric enough; and the sound effects fit right in with the visuals. It’s not a tour-de-force that will make you put on a headset, but it fits with the theme of the game.
Is It Worth Liberating On Your Switch?
Liberated does have its setbacks, namely with the lame QTE’s and the visual problems. But at its core, its adventure is still very worthwhile, thanks to a timely story and gameplay that combines the better parts of action and stealth. And there’s something to be said about its comic book noir style, which you just don’t see in games anymore. If you can look past its imperfections, you’ll find a troublesome future that’s worth embracing. I just hope they patch up some of the problems sooner rather than later.
If you can get over some glitch issues and the Quick Time Events, Liberated fits right in with your Switch library.