Hey all I’m back with another review! This time it’s Unbound: Worlds Apart!
Plot: The plot is fairly simple, it’s a pretty classic take on the standard Hero’s Journey, something tragic occurs for our main character Soli, who looks a lot like Final Fantasy’s Vivi or any of the other Black Mages, except that they’re wearing red robes with a pointed hood rather than a pointed witch’s hat. Anyways so tragedy strikes and Soli sets out, for some inexplicable reason as a child rather than a responsible adult and goes to seek the help of the local wise man, or Guardian as they are called in this setting. Frankly the plot isn’t that great.
Those adults of Soli’s village are all scattered across the three worlds of the game, including his home world, sitting around and doing nothing but waiting to be rescued, and the reasoning behind them sitting there is flimsy at best, especially since they teleport away to go stand on some floating rocks in a “protected” area once you finally get to them. Anyway, let’s move on.
Gameplay: This is both the good and the bad part of the game. Unbound is very much a Metroidvania style game, where the skills and tricks you learn as the game progresses will allow you to backtrack to gain access to previously unreachable areas. But on the flip side is that the “combat” is almost completely one directional, with the only way you as the player getting to do damage to various enemies is to lure them into some traps that may kill those enemies.
Most times you are just stuck using the “Open/Close Portal around Soli” to get around various enemies which is not very fun as a player. Sure it reinforces the platforming and puzzle solving part of the game, but frankly the inability to harm any of the enemies directly with your character is very disappointing, though there is one section of the game that doesn’t stick to this rule, it’s not really combat. More of turning into a boulder to squish certain enemies and that’s about all the combat potential Soli ever really develops across the entire game.
However those enemies, or obstacles like pit traps, can and will one shot kill you causing you to reload at the beginning of whatever platforming section you’re trying to go past or for the early boss fights the very beginning of the fight. Thankfully later bosses aren’t as unforgiving and once you reach certain phases there is a checkpoint, but that is scant relief after spending an hour or two to get there, or facing a particularly annoying platforming section that requires precision timing with no room for mistakes.
Now as to the puzzle and platforming that is so much the focus of this game, it was very good with some caveats. Frankly the inability to make more than a single mistake before being sent back to the beginning of whatever section of the game map I was in was highly frustrating at almost all times. But the capability to use Soli’s ability to make portals to do various things like flip gravity, manipulate time, and change states of matter are great. However, I still wish it wasn’t quite as unforgiving.
Art: The art is great, and frankly it’s the best part of the game. Occasionally though there are performance issues, but they are supposed to be patched out soon according to the contact who gave us our review copy of the game.
Music: The musical score isn’t amazing, but it’s not terrible either. It’s just there. I really can’t call it anything other than okay.
Overall: If you love platforming and puzzle games, and/or enjoy those particular aspects of Metroidvania games you’ll love Unbound, but those who don’t may wish to steer clear of this game. The most combat you get is figuring out how to send enemies own attacks back at their weak spot, or turning into a rock to smash them in one lone section.
For those who like: Platforming, Puzzle Solving, and Great Artwork.
Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above, or Metroidvania games with a distinct lack of combat.