Resolutiion – Meat Meets Machine
I consider myself to be a huge fan of strange ideas. If there is a game or movie out there with a strange setting or story, I usually find myself committed to playing or seeing it. There’s just something about a unique world that draws me in and makes me want to learn more. It happened with Death Stranding, and it definitely happened with Avatar: The Last Airbender. So I usually look for unique game settings to interest me. And Resolutiion was one of those.
Resolutiion is a 2D action-adventure game developed by Monolith of Minds and published by Deck 13 and Mayflower Entertainment. It seeks to create a similar feeling as games like Hyper Light Drifter, but with a better story.
The story is an interesting one. You play as a former killer, unnamed, who takes on an AI, needing her to help take down a resistance cell that is attacking the city.
And… that’s really all you get to start off with. Any further and I feel like it would just be too much. It’s best to go into this game as blind as possible.
One thing I want to note is this game has some rather quality writing. This is the kind of writing you don’t see much, where almost every line delivered is great. Every piece of exposition, every line of dialogue, every word written on the wall is something that you wish you came up with. The way everything is presented to you also shows the quality. No long lines of exposition; no lengthy explanations. You learn things at a natural pace, and the way you learn them all make sense.
Resolutiion has the environments to match the insanely good writing. Obviously, the sprite work is very well done. There is no lacking in this department, as every area is painstakingly crafted to be different from the others. And the design of these environments is unique all on its own. Sometimes you’ll be wandering through a forest only traversable via rickety wooden bridges. Other times, you’ll be exploring the deserts where ancient stone carvings are covered in technology. The game is cyberpunk, no doubt about it, and it revels in how freaking cyberpunk it is.
Of course, this can be heard in the music as well. You’ve got your basic synth tracks, definitely music we have heard before if you’re a fan of this setting, and the more unique tracks that stray from synth, but it fits in all the same. However, that doesn’t keep the music from feeling special. Maybe it’s the environments that make it feel different, or it just adds in some different sounds. All I know is that it never tires me, and I enjoy hearing it all the time.
Which is good. You’ll be hearing the music and looking at the environments a lot, since exploring is practically half of the gameplay. I would almost compare the structure of Resolutiion to that of a metroidvania, except not completely 2D. You explore around, find shortcuts, get upgrades, and use both of these to return to older areas to find new things. For a good amount of the game, you will be enjoying the atmosphere the developers have so beautifully crafted.
And you’ll be wanting to explore more of this world, as much as you can. There’s always something unique to find in each area, whether it’s the architecture or the people that inhabit it. As I’ve said, the writing is top notch, where even the smaller characters get their time to shine. Each one gives their bit of life, their bit of history, and that only adds more upon the established world.
While there is a (rather weird) fast travel mechanic later in Resolutiion, I do find myself getting a bit annoyed at having to explore. There’s so much, and getting lost can become easy, especially when some areas don’t allow you to view the map. However, this annoyance comes more into play when the combat starts kicking in.
Braving The New World
Now, this is a fast paced game, requiring lots of running, maneuvering, and attacking. Attacking doesn’t feel bad at all, and it’s animated pretty well, but it also doesn’t have that much of an impact; even though you can kill things pretty easily, the same goes for you too. You have a small amount of health, and not much stamina, which is mostly used for certain upgrades you receive. This game can get difficult, which is why I guess they decided to add in such a generous respawn system.
As you explore, you’ll find markings on the ground, almost similar to a QR code. These are your respawn and healing points. When you die, you return back to the last one you stood over. It’s pretty easy to die, so you’ll learn to sigh in relief every time you see one.
What’s so generous about respawning is that any enemies you kill won’t respawn when you do, unless you die a lot. This isn’t Dark Souls; there are no corpse runs, so dying only means having to get all the way back to where you were last to take out the rest of the enemies, and there’s a nice variety of enemies. You’ll be fighting some weird ass things, my dude. Sand bandits, meat robots, gigantic desert cats. This game will keep you busy with its enemies.
Not to mention the bosses, which, most of the time, feel like regular enemies with a unique moveset. They even die pretty quickly, not requiring many hits before hitting the floor. It felt nice, only needing to get a few hits in on an enemy before taking them down. Virtually everything was equally matched.
However, it’s when you die where some parts begin to feel a bit annoying. While, yes, the respawn points and respawn system encourage you to explore to find shortcuts, it’s the ones where they don’t have any that I get annoyed. Having to run all the way back can get a bit tedious.
As I said before, it’s hard not to die. You don’t have much in the way of dodging projectiles early in the game; you’re just running around. It’s not until later you even get an upgrade that can destroy all projectiles around you. One thing I wish this game had was a dodge, something that had a few I-frames so I could keep the fight going on a bit longer.
A Clean Resolutiion
However, I digress, and although the combat has its parts that irk me, I can’t say it completely ruins the experience. The biggest part of this game is exploring, finding out about the world, and figuring out the past of the killer you inhabit.
Resolutiion is a gorgeous game with a wonderfully curious world that I just want to find out more about. Barely much mar the experience you’ll go through besides some of the more difficult aspects, but once you get past those it’s a joy to play. It may be a bit long, but otherwise you’ll have a pretty nice time.
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Reviewed by Freelance7 on Switch. Game provided by Deck13.