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Review | Nobody Saves the World

"Top-down action RPGs from indie developers seems to be better than some triple A titles. This title proves it, and I want you all to at least try it for few hours - I challenge you to let go when you do. I couldn't, so I just finished the game in 3 days instead."

by Foggy, 26-06-2022, Edited by: Jim

Nobody Saves the World saved mine too. Don't you just love it when you play a new game and it just clicks with you? That’s exactly what happened here, and I can’t recommend this one more than I will in this review. Ready to save some worlds?

First things first, let’s introduce the stars of this review – Drinkbox Studios. I know them for their Guacamelee titles, and Severed (which is out for quite some years now). I’ve never played anything from their opus (yeah, my bad). While I was doing the “Wanna play” article for FoggyProdocutions, their latest title (Nobody Saves the World) caught my attention. It was cheap on PS Store, so I said “What the hell, let’s try it”. I’m so glad I did! For sure I will go through their other games, but for now, let’s just go back to the beautiful Nobody and his journey.

The story of Nobody is cool enough to put a smile on your face during the game and at the end. It's not something I often experience, but the force is strong within this one!

Nobody Saves the World is an action role-playing dungeon crawling video game. It was released for Microsoft Windows, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S in January 2022, which was followed by ports on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 in April 2022. There is simply no excuse not to play it now that you can get it on all platforms.

Whether you like top-down action games or not – I will just say that this one is worth your time and money. Remember the times where the melodies from the games stuck in your head? When you played out of the pure addiction that a certain game left behind after turning it off? Yes, welcome, this one is exactly that.

You play as Nobody, a persona I will not spoil for you with extra description. The great Calamity roars the lands, and with a help from the magic wand you will try to be the saviour. On your journey you need to collect gem shards to oppose the Calamity with the power of the gem, and the journey is basically exploring the world and its dungeons where you will find these. Your companion, the magic wand, grants power to transform to different creatures, each with different skillsets. Story is simply full of wits and funny dialogues, and the progress is tied to using your transformations to reach new areas. Do not forget to talk to people, they all have something interesting and funny to say (I loved the NPC slime who has visited all the junk festivals so far!).

You want to level up your transformations regularly in order to reach blocked map areas. The variety you get from them is awesome and it gives so much to the gameplay as the core mechanics in the game. Randy the wizzard is really cool guy when you get to know him!

Gameplay is the most addictive I’ve experienced in some time. I guess I need to pay more attention to indie games out there, heh?

As mentioned, your goal is to collect gems which are stored in dungeons. Main story dungeons works as a test for how much you progressed and what you learned so far. Usually side dungeons grants experience to evolve different monsters you transforms into, but main story dungeons locks the progress and just test your skill. That brings me to my biggest (and only) downside of the game – dungeon design.

Dungeon design is very simplistic, it’s all a bunch of hallways with some kind of boss or dozens of creatures at the end. Usually you need to kill enough enemies to progress, find keys, or simply survive until you reach a teleport (teleports are used to quickly reach the boss fight in dungeons if you die – which resets the dungeon). Since the artworks is beautiful, I expected much more from the dungeons. In game where most of your time is exactly in there, more could’ve been done to raise the bar higher.

It’s also quite the disappointment when you don’t have a real challenge with the boss fights – which are lacking anyway. Game with strong and fun boss fights are also where the bar goes up.

That being said I think the rest is simply perfect to what the games represents. Even the bad stuff I mentioned is in the shadow of game’s aces – the gameplay and the music.

Nothing compares to fun gameplay and games you just want to play and play. And Play. Once in my lifetime I want to go to the ScrapFest, maybe they have some metal there! If they ever do a sequel, please do a better dungeon design and include more boss fights.

You start of basic. I thought this was yet another game where I will be bored fast. Boy, I was wrong!

When you start your first dungeon you will learn about transforming into different creatures that you need to use to progress. Rat is the first transformation you get. Using Rat you can poison enemies, or traverse the tight spaces unavailable when playing as others. Rat is also close combat ally, making some enemies tough when they oppose you. Do not worry, levelling your Rat rank (which goes up to rank S) unlocks new active and support skills – both that can be equipped with all creatures in the respective slots. It’s all about the combination. The great thing is that you can use any transformation you like and beat the game that way – that’s the beauty of the customization.

Levelling the transformation is being done by doing the tasks tied to a certain class. Rats needs to poison 20 enemies (buddies), kill 50 enemies etc. Usually the tasks to level up are easy and you do them fast, unlocking other transformation along the way. When you change into some other create you also get a whole different gameplay opportunity, so you can find what you like and use that one if you prefer. You need Mermaids and Turtles to swim across the lakes for example, so don’t think you can avoid progressing all together. I think the beauty is exactly here – in so many gameplay/combats variations which makes the games different on so many levels when it comes to fighting.

Oh yeah, and doing all kind of tasks here grants the stars (used to unlock main story dungeons) and raise the overall level (which then raise HP, attack etc. for all used transformations). Unlocking new skill slots with higher levels opens more combinations. The RPG part of the game is perfectly done. There is just enough progress to fully enjoy what the game offers, without any frustrations along the way.

I hate the horse at first - you have to kick the enemies while facing the backwards. Then you learn the rush skill and you experience the rush of running through a bunch of enemies at once. Then you learn passive skills that you combine from other creatures. Then you set you favorite ones on the quick-access wheel and just change them as you see fit. Ah, the small things...

Maybe I also miss more quests, simply because the ones I did were great. Usually they’re funny and they perfectly blend in the world presented here, so after doing all quests from 3 different fractions I wanted more.

Some quests are more original than the main story dungeons as they require you to overcome a certain challenges. For example, doing a perfect score in archery (tough one) was fun. Maybe if they’ve added more story and plots for the side content, the game would be even better. This way the world is locked only by your progression and based on the terrain skillset from unlocked transformations, which happens fast so you can easily miss out the good stuff.

Tehnicaly the game shines, I had only 1 crash on my PS5 on start after which everything ran perfectly. Fast loading, I love you! Great artwork works well with notes from the soundtrack. Soundtrack is stunning. It’s so good I’m still humming melodies third day in a row.

Ah, mister Nobody! Look how cute (not even a bit)! This little fellow will go places, let me tell you that!

On this 20 hours long journey I found all 20 hours to be equally fun. Maybe the start is a bit slow, but the rest is addictive and it never lets you go. I wish more games work on the fun factor instead of the graphics. A good artwork is good forever.

All being said, Nobody Saves the World is a true gem that needs to be played. It simply shines in its simplicity, yet there is that complexity in the simplicity when it comes to gameplay. It’s just as it should be – a fun game which will take you to some better times. We all love them and we play because we want to experience that, right?

"On of the most fun experiences I had this year - strongly recommend"
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