Resolutiion, an absolutely beautiful fast-paced action-adventure from Monolith of Minds and Deck 13 is out now.
Striking artwork, questions that you constantly want answered and action awaiting around every corner. Resolutiion shows a very fractured and broken future, it's dark and unsettling and nothing really makes any sense. Not that it actually needs to, I often found myself just walking around to take in the environment.
There's definitely a sense of overwhelming loss here, both from the world and the player. You're slowly and loosely guided along with most of it left to you to figure out. Some kind of devastating war in the past still lingers in the minds of those you meet. You're some kind of old augmented killer, more robot than person now, escorting a curious AI that reached out to you. Nothing is as it seems.
When it comes to the combat, Resolutiion is quite brutal. It's fast, you don't often get a lot of time to react, especially with so many different types of enemies. This is backed up by some pretty mental boss fights too. Never really unfair though. Challenging? Yes. However, they always follow a pattern you can learn and overcome through a bit of patience, good timing and a well placed aim. What does make it more difficult though is the aiming system, as you cannot move while aiming, and since a fair amount of enemies jump and dash towards you—timing becomes critical. Not only that, your stamina bar is also your energy for your weapons making everything you do require thought in your battles.
The attention to detail in Resolutiion is in some ways a little crazy, not just with the environments either, which really are incredible the way it mixes together nature, technology and destruction all in one. While making you constantly come up with questions about the world. All the slightly different behaviours for each encounter made it so entertaining. It also made me feel a little bad about running around killing everything, initially anyway. Some of the enemies give up when they're about to be defeated, some will fall over yet still be clearly alive in some way with blinking eyes before you cut them in half. Then there's this one below which just stops and throws its hands up at you. There's a lot of clever details like that.
For the true adventurer, there's plenty of secrets to be found. Permanent upgrades, people who explain a tiny bit more about you, what's going on, the history and so on. You get tools to help find these secrets, like an ability that can seemingly reconstruct the world around you. As you shine it on places, they get put back together temporarily. Once you get that, you end up with even more questions about the world. In that way, it's very much put together like a metroidvania. A big connected world you get to explore bit by bit. There's no fast travel, instead it relies on good old fashioned Mark I brain power to remember where locations are that you want to go. A few shortcuts dotted around do make it easier though. As you do find the tools, suddenly more path options open up to you and you get to explore more it all feels so thoroughly satisfying.
The main issue that I can see, is the direction and how you're left up to your own devices to figure out where you want to go. There's no spoon-feeding, other than placing markers on your map. Actually getting to them is a whole different story. It is also a hack and slash but it's very much an exploration game that requires you put some thought into what you're doing, otherwise you will find yourself running without a purpose for hours.
For all of the above and to even get through the base game, you need to remember that the map really is your friend. There was a time where I spent an hour backtracking because I had missed a path in a room. If I had checked the map a bit more, it would have caused a little less frustration. The exploration is a lot of where your time in the game ends up. Searching for paths and ways forwards.
While you can play through with either keyboard controls or gamepad, I highly recommend a gamepad for this one it just feels many times better with it, especially aiming with a ranged weapon.
Screenshot heaven too, I found myself just taking shot after shot to remember. Here's a few I picked for you (click to open gallery):
Not only is a treat for your eyes, it's also an absolute feast for your ears. Headphones on, volume up and get immersed. The "badassemotional cyberpunk Soundtrack" as they call it, certainly was fitting for the setting. At times peaceful, calming and others hyping you up. The futuristic elevator music made me chuckle too, nice touch.
Recommended? Absolutely. Obvious comparisons to Hyper Light Drifter aside with a clear inspiration, Resolutiion sits firm as one of the most intriguing experiences I've had all year. I felt myself completely sucked into it. Even if it was confusing in parts and tough as nails in others, the mysterious setting and the exceptional artwork is totally worth a run through.