Nobody Saves the World Review

In 2014, Drinkbox Studios released an antics-based platformer called Guacamelee, which quickly gained critical acclaim from critics and players alike. An equally humorous sequel followed in 2018, and fans have been eager to see what the developer has to offer next. Taking a break from platformers, Drinkbox’s latest, Nobody Saves the World, is a dungeon-crawling RPG that delivers some of the humor gamers have come to expect, and slightly reinvents time-honored classic RPG tropes.

When most people think of RPGs, certain elements immediately come to mind, such as magic, armor, swords, goblins, and of course fantasy settings. An RPG that breaks out of this standard formula naturally feels innovative, and in No One Saves the World, that’s true to some extent. However, despite the general consensus that the game is avoiding dusty RPG tropes, it’s not an overarching divide. Even the title of Nobody Saves the World advertises that the game is actually based on one of the most prevalent and overused themes in role-playing games.

The player starts the game as a featureless nobody–no name, no memory, no clothes. Yet out of nowhere, the pale amnesiac acquires a wand and quickly completes a series of quests. his goal? To save the world, of course. A growing dark force known as Calamity has returned to corrupt the land. The superstar magician who was usually called to support disappeared. For some reason, only Nobody was the only backup plan. For now. The story of Nobody Saves the World seems like a cookie-cutter outline because it’s necessary.

nobody  saves  the  world  dialogue Still, no one isn’t forever unknown. Thanks to a wand he borrowed without permission, the game’s hero gains the ability to shapeshift into a variety of useful creatures. This is the selling point of Nobody Saves the World. Different characters or forms each have strengths, weaknesses, and unique abilities. Slugs leave a trail of slime to slow down enemies, Turtles retract into their shells and slam enemies to knock them back, and Rangers use poisoned arrows to deal debilitating damage over time.

Discovering these abilities and learning to use them as needed is part of the fun, and each character’s skills complement each other intuitively. Rats gnaw on enemies to gain mana, then spend mana to devour them, dealing massive damage and restoring health. Also the ability to slow down enemies gives the snail a speed boost, allowing it to pull away from a safe distance and shoot tears from its eyes. At first, it seems like the sheer amount of character options might be limited, forcing players to use forms they don’t like in order to gain a useful skill or two. But once a skill is unlocked, it can be equipped in any form, which opens up interesting avenues for mixing, matching, and building characters to suit your individual playstyle.

Unfortunately, the number of unlockable characters is negative for a different reason. In Nobody Saves the World, experience can only be gained by completing quests, not by killing monsters. However, most of the tasks in the game are repetitive and unfulfilling to-dos. For each new skill each character learns, the player must complete a series of monotonous tasks. For example, the game will ask the player to kill 100 enemies with the turtle’s water spray, then 200, then 25 times with three enemies at once. Most attacks in the game repeat this pattern.

nobody  saves  the  world  characters But it doesn’t even stop there. Because characters can use each other’s abilities, there are also missions to defeat enemies using other characters’ skills. This quickly becomes redundant, and there’s no attempt to hide how recyclable the task is. There is no doubt that even three missions can be done over and over again. Of course, the game also offers more mundane quests, such as fetching potions to cure curses, rescuing knights from dungeons, or collecting chocolates for witches, which provide a welcome and sometimes fun break from the monotony way out.

This repetitiveness even extends to items that can be purchased from suppliers. All for sale are different tiers of the same six items, except for a few bonus skills. There are physical attack and defense upgrades, magic attack and defense upgrades, and constantly updated dungeon keys and skill upgrade tokens. This makes the basic element of the role-playing game–collecting currency by defeating enemies–a bit of a let-down, since it’s just used to buy the same things over and over again.

The dungeons in Nobody Saves the World are procedurally generated. This presumably means that each trip into the depths should at least feel a little like starting a new adventure, but it doesn’t. Playing the same dungeon more than once or twice — required to complete quests, level up, and unlock characters — quickly starts to feel the same. The changes introduced by procedural generation aren’t enough to change the dungeon, and each playthrough feels like the other. The encounter is the same, the overall situation is the same, and the ending is the same. The fact that all dungeons are done the same way makes the ending very recognizable and removes the sense of discovery.

nobody  saves  the  world  quests On the other hand, the dungeons are diverse enough to keep people going. Players will explore a witch’s candy house, climb the Tower of Penitence, investigate UFOs, and venture into the belly of a whale. Stepping into a new dungeon for the first time is always a little exciting, like opening a gift, and many dungeons have special parameters that add to the challenge. For example, in the Catacombs of the Witch Queen, restorative items heal players and enemies. Enemies in the Whale dungeon are retaliated by rockets, while the Big Gnarly dungeon has the dreaded “all damage x9999” proviso.

Another strength of “Nobody Saves the World” is the graphics, which cannot be ignored. The sophisticated, colorful, and detailed art style is very attractive and adds character to the game. The introduction is lighthearted, and like the dungeons, the world’s settings are varied enough to make exploration rewarding.

nobody  saves  the  world  dungeon  atonement Overall, Nobody Saves the World could have been good, but it lacks in some areas. The expected Drinkbox Studios humor isn’t enough to keep people playing to see what happens next, the story is negligible and seems like something thrown in to give the player a half-hearted sense of purpose, and the repetition of quests Sex can get tiresome very quickly. The game’s good points—an appealing art style, varied skills and dungeons, and perhaps multiplayer—may not be enough to keep players interested, either. That being said, the gameplay and presentation of Nobody Saves the World will undoubtedly win over many, and will likely hold the attention of others for quite some time.

Nobody Save the World is available on PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S. Game Rant obtained the Xbox code for this review.

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