Check out our review of puzzle platformer Metamorphosis…
Inspired by the works of Kafka, find out why it’s one of the most imaginative games of the year!
Hey how’s it going guys! Welcome to our review of Metamorphosis, available on PC, PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. We’ll tell you everything you need to know before you play, but before I do, make sure to hit subscribe and the notification bell for reviews, interviews, features and more. You’re not going to want to miss it.
In my humble opinion, there aren’t enough video games based on existential fiction. The last example that springs to mind is the 1995 adaptation of Harlan Ellison’s I Have No Mouth, And I Must Scream. Fortunately, Polish developers Ovid Works are aiming to remedy this with their latest title – Metamorphosis. Heavily inspired by Franz Kafka’s novel The Metamorphosis, in this puzzle platformer you play as Gregor, a man who randomly turns into a tiny, grotesque bug.
If that wasn’t bad enough, your best friend Joseph has been arrested for unknown reasons, and you’ll have to journey to an ominous tower to rescue him and hopefully, regain your humanity.
With legendary source material, and a premise this bizarre, it’s hard not to be intrigued. But when it comes down to it, is Metamorphosis any good? Watch on to find out…
Firstly, this is one of the most imaginative game worlds I’ve ever explored. Being a tiny bug, the new sense of scale makes the ordinary seem strange and bizarre. I really enjoyed the way you swap between the real world and the bug world that inhabits cracks in walls and other crevices. In the latter, things might be a little more to your size, but that doesn’t make it any less weird. And the fact you experience it all from the lower first person perspective of a bug makes everything feel super immersive.
This world is complemented by an art style that’s charming, if a little unsettling. I’m not a huge fan of bugs, so having looming over my imprisoned body was enough to make the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. But seriously the hand painted style is great, and seems to be inspired by the Expressionists that were painting the same time Kafka was writing.
And speaking of Kafka, his influence on the existential plotline is very fresh and unique. The story is predominantly told through environmental exposition, such as by reading journal entries and overhearing conversations. And while this technique can be a bit risky in some games, it really worked for me here. Kafka’s writing is about uncovering and interpreting mysteries, and this translates to gaming really well. You’ll find plenty of black humour, as well as more thought provoking themes; It explores what it is to be a man, and the reality of humanity as a whole.
While the themes and world are great, they’d be pretty futile if the game wasn’t fun. Fortunately Metamorphosis excels here too. At its core, it’s a puzzle platformer, and the puzzles are challenging, varied and fun. There are plenty of mechanics at your disposal to tackle environmental obstacles and help you get from point A to point B. For example, your insect feet will cling to most surfaces, short of complete vertical drops. This gives you a range of movement seldom seen in games, and it might take a while to truly grasp how many surfaces you can climb on.
Admittedly, aside from this navigation, there’s not a lot that will surprise seasoned platform players. But everything it does, it does well, and after spending a few hours in this surreal world, you’ll hear no complaints from me.
To wrap up, Metamorphosis is a solid platformer that really shines thanks to it’s world, story and tone. Everything ramps up to a truly satisfying ending, and the journey along the way is an absolute blast. This is one of the most imaginative games of the year, and I’d implore anyone to give it a go.
But what did you think of Metamorphosis? Let us know in the comments below and don’t forget to like, share and subscribe for more videos like this every single week. See you next time!
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