Nobody Saves the World, the tried and true of a quick-change adventure

Nobody Saves the World, the tried and true of a quick-change adventure

Nobody Saves the World

Among the most interesting initiatives associated with The Game Awards 2021 is a good wave of demos launched on Xbox specifically for this occasion. Among these we tried Nobody Saves the World, which presents itself as one of the most interesting indie projects of the next period.

The game does not yet have a precise release date but should arrive in early 2022 directly on Xbox Game Pass at launch and, from what can be seen from this trial version, it appears to be in an advanced state of development as it already appears extremely clean and finished. The developers, on the other hand, are not really newbies: although they have remained firmly anchored to the typically indie production style, DrinkBox Studios are responsible for very significant and well-known games in this area, such as the two Guacamelee that are still remembered among the best metroidvania based on platform action.

In this case, the team embarked on a bizarre Zelda-style adventure which, however, has many RPG characteristics, based on a rather original gameplay mechanic: the possibility of transform the protagonist into various creatures, thus allowing for different approaches and even different playstyles. Basically, it always remains a sort of action adventure with RPG elements seen from above, but Nobody Saves the World takes on somewhat different shades based on the shape assumed by the protagonist, in this sense also taking up characteristics from the metroidvania since the basic transformism allows to open new roads and reach points on the map only possible by changing the appearance and abilities of the main character.

Let's go then to see why this title, still in a non-definitive form, can be a special watch in the thick of 2022.

The story of Nobody

Nobody Saves the World, an image showing some bizarre characters Clearly making fun of the clichés of the genre, the story of Nobody Saves the World starts with a stranger character who wakes up in the bed of a shabby shack, obviously suffering from total amnesia. As we wander around the surrounding village, we learn that the Kingdom is threatened by mysterious invading monsters and that the great protector of the area, the Wizard Nostramagus, has disappeared without a trace. This is what the first NPCs tell us not without pointing out to the protagonist that, amnesia is fine, but at least a pair of pants could put them on, just to make it clear what the general tone of the game is.

Our unknown hero, who remains known simply as "Nobody" (this explains the meaning of the title), within the first few minutes finds himself first mistaken for an intern of the great magician, then for a suspect in the kidnapping of the latter and finally launched without too many regards into a fetid cell.

The escape from the prison represents the first of the many missions to be faced and occurs only after the completion of some simple subquests and the unlocking of the first transformation , which allows us to become a mouse. We therefore start from a first experiment to understand the functioning of the shape mutations and of the whole gameplay: the mouse in question is able to cross extremely narrow passages and attack by biting, which allows him to face the first dungeon up to its boss. final, then being able to escape outside and start the real adventure. The demo then extends to part of the surrounding village and leads up to the Castle, in a couple of hours of play that allow you to understand the gameplay of Nobody Saves the World and why it is a very interesting game, given that it is difficult not to get caught up in its mechanisms immediately.

Gameplay between action, adventure and RPG

Nobody Saves the World presents very varied transformations for the protagonist The declinations of the RPG are now many and, on closer inspection, this mixture of action, adventure and RPG is not absolutely original in itself, but the composite formula of its gameplay, characterized largely by the presence of transformations, is still endowed with a strong identity able to emerge already from first few minutes. While following standard dynamics regarding combat and the construction of dungeons and settings - but always enlivened by a notable background humor, between dialogues and designs of enemies and characters - the fact of having to deal with a "transformist" protagonist determines a continuous variation of the style of play.

Going from the main version - basically helpless - to the mouse, the ranger to the guard, the horse or the snail, just to mention just a few of these possible transfigurations, we have access to completely different sets of skills, which open new potential in combat, but also in terms of moving around the map. In the more advanced stages of the demo, inside the castle, another fundamental element of the combat system also appears: some enemies can initially be scratched only with a particular type of attack, which corresponds to some types of forms of the protagonist. Quickly using a radial interface, we then find ourselves having to switch more and more quickly between one form and another to be able to face the most demanding fights.

The other main feature, which emerges from the first minutes, is the constant progression of the protagonist: beyond the simple classic leveling of RPGs, Nobody Saves the World keeps track of a considerable amount of actions performed.

Nobody Saves the World: an image of the main map By pressing the left dorsal button we can quickly keep an eye on the various objectives to be completed (kill a number of enemies using a certain move, use a particular number of times skills, for example), which provide an impetus to use as much as possible the wide range of special moves and techniques available. Beyond defeating the enemies, it also becomes fundamental how they are defeated and everything contributes to a constant evolution of Nobody, through a complex skill tree that progressively unlocks new adoptable forms with relative active and passive powers to be reached based on the use of the various transformations.

Online multiplayer is still to be evaluated. to which we will have to return in the future.

A brilliant game

Nobody Saves the World also stands out for its constant humor, as a parody of the fantasy DrinkBox has already accustomed us to a very characteristic graphic style and curated: Nobody Saves the World is not as particular as Guacamelee, as it incorporates much more previously exploited stylistic elements such as fantasy instead of the splendid mix of folklore me ssicano and madness that characterized the previous titles, but still manages to stand out in this respect too. If nothing else, it does not fall into the usual abused pixel art, choosing instead a clear and very defined stroke, continuing in this sense in the wake already started by previous productions. The reference to Zelda and the classic JRPG emerges in the canon adopted as a typical frame and settings, but at the same time creates a contrast thanks to the introduction of distorted and grotesque elements.

To this is added the caricatural design of the protagonist, of NPCs and enemies, which prevent you from taking everything that happens on the screen seriously even in the midst of the most dramatic or agitated situations, making everything extremely fun. From a technical point of view, Nobody Saves the World already appears excellently finished, with an excellent graphic rendering and without particular uncertainties of performance detected or bugs, at least in the Xbox Series X version, but it is clear that this will be evaluated later when we will in front of its full extension.

The audio accompaniment is also remarkable, with catchy music and sound effects that are perfectly themed with the general humor that characterizes the whole experience.

The few hours made available by the demo Nobody Saves the World scrolls by quickly and pleasantly, leaving us wanting to go back and wait for the full version. The touch of Drinkbox can be seen in the considerable attention paid to the graphics but also in the well thought out gameplay, able to emerge among the many competitors in the action RPG field with apparently small but well thought out ideas such as the transformations and the layered and constant progression of the hero. As far as we have seen, there is only hope for a more satisfying sense of challenge, given that the balance seems rather set downwards and above all in a level design more built on the possibility of adopting certain forms to access various areas, given that that for now the choice of transformation seems rather linear and guided. In any case, the premises are excellent.


A crazy parody of fantasy and action adventure RPG fun and enthralling The mechanics of transformations enrich an otherwise classic gameplay The constant progression provides a good stimulus DOUBT Seems a little simple, in terms of overall balance We would like to see a map and dungeon design even more focused on the possibilities offered by transformations Have you noticed any errors?

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