Metropolis: Lux Obscura arrives on the Nintendo Switch today with all the subtlety of Donald Trump at a women’s rights rally, and as you can probably tell – sex, violence and profanity are at the centre of this one. Cover your eyes, Kirby…
Metropolis: Lux Obscura is a motion comic mixed with MATCH3 puzzle fights. It’s a slightly bizarre combination, but that’s not to say it doesn’t work. Let’s start with how it looks, because that’s the first thing that will draw you in. Visually, it’s a knockout for sure. The comic art is up there with some of the best you will have seen, and it’s accompanied by strong voice acting as well. The story itself however slightly pales in comparison. It’s not bad by any means, it’s just ground you would have tread before. You play as Jon Lockhart, a guy who ends up in prison for a crime he didn’t commit, and now that he’s done his time, finding out who framed him is top of his to do list. In order to get to the bottom of things you will enter into fights with pretty much everyone who has ever lived; bouncers, street gangs – even dogs. The only break from fighting is visiting a strip club, swearing at people and having sex.
When a fight breaks out, the MATCH3 puzzles come into play. By matching 3 tiles you can attack, boost your health and so on. You can also chain police badges together, but these are an absolute no-no, as the cops are never on your side here. Typically, you get a turn to inflict damage, then it’s your enemy’s turn. Sometimes you’ll have 3 turns to their 1, but they may have loads more health than you. Thankfully there’s no time limit, so you can take your time deciding the most damaging way to strike next.
The one problem with Metropolis‘ MATCH3 format is that you never truly feel in control of your destiny. There’s a saying in life that says “fail to prepare, prepare to fail”, but you simply can’t prepare here. You can only deal with the hand you’ve been dealt, and you’ll spend a lot of time in Metropolis: Lux Obscura losing. Not because you’re not very good, but because you received an unlucky randomised set of tiles. You just have to keep repeating the fights until eventually you get lucky. It frustratingly takes you away from the story for too long, and by the time you return to the motion comic you’ve forgotten why you cared in the first place. That being said, you will win eventually and you’ll be on your way to one of the game’s four endings. Furthermore, it is undeniably addictive – I couldn’t stop coming back for more. It’s just a shame more skill isn’t involved.
Metropolis: Lux Obscura is sex, drugs and rock n’ roll with the hangover included.
Punk rating: 6.5/10