Resolutiion Review: Allegoravania
Kalvin Martinez / Jul 16th, 2020 No Comments
One of the most beautiful things about video games as a medium is discovery. Whether that be finding a hidden path, easter egg, or what makes the mechanics tick, that sense of discovery is so rewarding. As video games became more modern, some of that has been lost. A recent trend has been to bring that mystery back.
Resolutiion is shrouded in mystery with arduous gameplay and rewarding exploration.
Out the gate, Resolution lets players know what they’re in for. It peculiarly begins with children playing soccer in a dilapidated park before transitioning into a desolate and harsh sci-fi world. As the setting changes, one of the children transforms into a dark helmeted figure. This curious being moves like a hunter stalking prey with the ability to slash with both hands as if they were claws.
Stepping into the world of Resolutiion it is hard to find your bearings. It is dizzying and disorienting without any idea of what is or isn’t friendly. What becomes quickly apparent everything is hostile and trying to kill you. As you attempt to survive the onslaught, your main goal is to find some answers.
Answers aren’t easy to come by. Fortunately, you discover a guide, ALIBII, who wants to help you find them. Under the tutelage of ALIBII, you learn you’ve forgotten yourself and memories important to you. It is your job to explore the vast and inequitable landscape and recover that which you lost.
Having a purpose doesn’t make things less mysterious. If anything the mystery becomes greater. In order to recover yourself, you need to go to every corner of this world. However, that is far from easy.
Each new locale is populated with increasingly dangerous creatures, and roadblocks are set up to block your path forward. Curious like everything else is why there are blocks preventing your progression. What seems like a hack-n-slash is subterfuge for what is a Metroidvania as you’ll need to find new tools and upgrades to upend roadblocks and continue forward.
The misdirect helps elevate Resolutiion from a solid hack-n-slash to a game you can’t put down. While figuring out how to move forward can be frustrating, it is so rewarding once you find the key to continue onward. Smartly the narrative ties into the design in multiple ways.
When you realize the story is an allegory for the protagonist, and these blocks are their repressed memories. Opening them up and facing these memories are the only way for them to make progress to smaller exploration goals and the larger mission to figure out what is happening. Additionally, finding the keys and tools to progress requires you to face deadly and powerful “bosses” that must be defeated before you can move forward.
Speaking of “bosses,” they are a highlight. It is where the game’s combat comes alive. At its core, the combat is extremely simple: mash attack, perform a varying series of combos to whittle down and then kill an enemy. Combat gains shades of depth when you find new tools like the ability to dodge, shoot a powerful scatter shot, etc.
The “boss” fights are where you need to be creative, crafty, and reactive to overcome the danger and the challenge. Besides the accomplishment of flexing your skills, defeating a “boss” nets you a useful item or an important story beat. It means that these fights serve a purpose deeply tied to the gameplay design and narrative.
Resolutiion challenges players to discover. Nothing is easily gained or given, but if you’re willing to put in the work you can uncover its secrets. It rewards you for persevering against its trials by revealing its mysteries, and it is satisfying.
Resolutiion was reviewed on Nintendo Switch with a code provided by the publisher.
tags: Deck13 , Nintendo Switch , Resolutiion , Resolutiion review , review