I enjoy match-three puzzle games, Bejewelled and Puzzle Quest stand out, but even today you will find me collecting heroes on Legendary (mobile), so when I saw Metropolis : Lux Obscura approaching release, the match-three action seemed just as enticing as the near soft-porn action shown in the screenshots.
Starting Metropolis, you’ll take control of Jon Lockhart, recently released from prison you return to your home town to find out who framed you for the murder that put you behind bars, using an interactive comic-book as the core storytelling mechanic, and match-3 puzzles to represent fights with other characters you’ll meet seductive strippers, deadly mob bosses and many in between.
Controls are really simple with the A button making selections for locations and conversations and the match three puzzles, allow any icon to be moved to any space in a horizontal or vertical line, the icons you match represent an attack and dependent on your skills each attack will deal a set amount of damage to your opponent, the basic concept is to deplete their health before they manage to knock yours out, but sometimes there’s a spanner in the works when fighting two or three enemies at once.
There are health packs to help heal and rage icons which will add a multiplier to all outgoing damage, so while it’s not the deepest experience it does add a degree of tactics when approaching the later levels. It all works well, however you’ll want to stick to using the awkward D-pad as the analogue stick often left my cursor jumping across the board proving infuriating and buggy in an otherwise well-done combat system.
The storyline starts off pretty straight forward, but soon enough your thrown into a web of deadly deals and seduction, your ex-wife isn’t keeping the best company, but she’ll still happily shake her tush for you. A trip to the local strip-club will highlight how brazen Metropolis is with its content as women’s boobs and bums are jiggling around all over the place, it mostly ties into the storyline, but I couldn’t help feeling like it was all a little forced, for me seduction isn’t just taking a guy out the back for a quicky, it’s much more the build up, but Metropolis seems to concentrate solely on a quick bang for your bucks rather than any real meaningful adventure.
This applies equally to the story and the ladies in the game, it’s all over a little too quickly and while I really felt like the story was starting to develop into more than just a sex fuelled narrative, my character was dead and the game ended abruptly with ending 4/4…
Replaying the latter stages and making a few different decisions I soon encountered a second ending which was a little more entertaining but equally as abrupt, but all of this took place in little more than an hour and rest solely on the location I opted to visit next as opposed to deep meaningful conversation.
As you’ll tell from the carefully selected screenshots, there’s plenty to look at, while intriguing it’s not always the best, but I did enjoy the comic-noir style, the presentation and the overall looks of the game, I felt the core battle system could have been a little more appealing as there’s little information on each icon and added depth could have been an easy addition if certain enemies took more damage from set-attacks, the resulting ‘perk’ from each victory was a great touch affording you with an enhanced attack or ability going forward.
The audio of Metropolis is a big step in the right direction, with pretty high-quality and believable voice acting throughout, there was only one character that left me wondering if he was a legitimate voice actor or some developer who wanted to be famous, but the vast majority of the time the dialogue is delivered to a high standard.
I’m sure the regular sight of boobs and bums will please gamers who are possibly too young to play the game, but at 37 years old, I’ve seen it all before and often in a much more tasteful way, it’s not bad, but as mentioned previously it just feels a little forced and it’s quite clear that the scantily clad women are being called upon to boost sales far more than the quality of the storyline or the match 3 puzzles.
Metropolis : Lux Obscura might in some foreign langue mean deluxe obscurity (I just made that up and I’m happy with it) Yet it fits the game perfectly, it’s obscure, but a high-standard of obscurity and while the level of skin on offer will please some (and put off others) it tries to remain in-line with the storyline and such never quite managed to feel as trashy as some of the women.
At little more than £6, it’s difficult to criticise the short length of the game, but most people will spend less than 3-4 hours with Metropolis and there’s just not the longevity or puzzle quality to keep them coming back after that.