Rezzed Digital is in full swing, so hopefully you’ve already got one eye on the event’s very fine website, and you may even have checked out some of the streams and talks. In any case, you can watch them all right here on RPS as they go live!
But what is Rezzed, without a delicious spread of indie games to go with all of that? Our fabulous VidBuds are busy laying out just such a charcuterie board as we speak, filling the RPS YouTube channel with taster videos for some cool and noteworthy indies. It’s this years digital version of Indies Uncovered, and one game in the pack I’d particularly like to highlight is Liberated. It’s a sort of stealth action thriller, set in the pages of a comic book.
By that I don’t mean that the characters all know they’re in a comic, like a herd of little Deadpools (Deadpii?), but that the game is framed as you playing and reading through a comic. Sort of. It’s probably easier to understand if you watch VidBud Matthew’s video:
I actually played Liberated
aeons ago at Gamescom last year, and the comic thing works really well. It blurs the line between cutscene and playable segment in a really cool way, and I was a big fan of the conceit. At the time I found the action and shooting awkward compared with the relatively smooth platforming. But judging by Matthew’s performance, either I was abjectly shit, or the game has really improved the way it handles fights. Either option is infinitely possible.
The story revolves around a kind of dystopian police state of the kind that’s so close to the direction real life is pointed in that it doesn’t really feel like satire. Cameras are constantly scanning citizens to check their movements, and people get awarded points based on how good a citizen they are (didn’t go to the patriotic parade today? That’s a points loss, buddy). The game follows a covert group of rebels/saboteurs, so there’s plenty of sneaking, shooting and chasing from the side-on, 2D perspective of comic panels. It’s cool! And you can catch some time during Q2 this year on Steam.