Liberated Nintendo Switch review: Big Brother is watching

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.

Liberated’s visual style goes a long way — even on the Switch.

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.

However, sometimes glitches just get in the way.

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.

RATING: 7.5/10

If you can get over some glitch issues and the Quick Time Events, Liberated fits right in with your Switch library.

Interview: Liberated will take you on a unique journey

This coming week, Liberated will arrive on Nintendo Switch and PC. It tells a unique story, especially for these times, and really puts players into a mysterious tale of attempting to overcome an extreme society.

To get a better idea of what to expect from the game, we spoke with the head of business development at Walkabout Games, Piotr Gnyp, to get a better idea of what to expect. Needless to say, fans of adventure games are in for a real treat.

What Liberated is all about

What’s the best description for Liberated? Comic book meets Flashback with a little black and white noir or…?

Piotr: We had this particular vision in mind and did whatever it took to make it happen, but if we were to draw similarities, we’d say: it’s Mr. Robot meets Inside in Comix Zone. Our short description is “action-adventure game about rebellion in a cyberpunk world.”

Liberated’s comic book style really suits it well.

Who’s the lead character in the game?

Each issue has its own protagonist. We want to show you the story from the game from different perspectives, so you can, in the end, choose who was right and who was wrong. You start as Barry – an apt hacker who keeps a low profile but nonetheless gets tagged by the system. As you’ll later find out, he has a little secret…

Digging a Bit Deeper

Liberated is more than about platforming and shooting, there are some deeper aspects here.

We have several mechanics in the game, so besides jumping and shooting you will also sometimes have to sneak or solve puzzles. There’s also the story, which was the starting point for us. We wanted to tell a meaningful, but a still fun and engaging tale about a new surveillance-driven reality, set in a world that is eerily similar to our own.

How long would you say the takes get through to beat? Is there a New Game Plus or unlockable goods?

The game will be around six hours long. We have some story branching, so you can see different paths on the second playthrough. 

Where will Liberated go next?

Will the game come to other platforms besides Switch and PC?

Right now we are talking only about the Switch version. But stay tuned, more announcements are coming. 

With enemy forces out there, you will need to watch your step.

Finally, can you see the game continuing with new chapters or spinoffs? Or one game at a time?

It is a comic book series formula. The game launches with a complete story divided into four issues, but we have a whole new world to explore there. Making additional chapters after the launch would be a logical step for us. 

 Liberated releases on June 2nd. You can learn more about the Nintendo Switch version here.