Review: Metropolis: Lux Obscura (PS4/Vita)

 

Hooooooo boy. If a mature game that successfully mashes up Sin City and Puzzle Quest seems as if it’ll be right up your dark, rainy alley, have I got something for you, pal. Sometimes You has ported Ktulhu Solutions’ previously PC-only (and very NSFW) game Metropolis: Lux Obscura over to consoles (it’s coming April 4) and if you’re in the mood for a totally lewd and somewhat amusing in terms of its wall to wall profanity game experience, go whip out that wallet and pony up that dough. Leave the kids out of this one, please, as it’s absolutely not for them. Unless, of course you want them quoting the racier lines from this at family gatherings or in places where someone might keel over in a dead faint from the ear-searing dialog.

While it’s a bit on the short side, you get four endings and the game excels at paying somewhat intentionally cheesy homage to Frank Miller’s graphic novels (although the art here is a lot less impressive) with that reliance on shock value profanity and a few topless and/or scantily clad females as well as some more salacious content that may make your eyes pop a few times before all is said and done. Amusingly enough, as raw as this game is, PC version owners can get a patch that turns that version into a er, how shall I put it… “somewhat Stormier” experience. And nope, you won’t see that patch coming at all to the PS4 or Vita (or Nintendo Switch, for that matter).

 

Basically, you’re a guy named Lockhart and after a short prison stretch, you’re out and looking for work. Roped into a pizza shop owning crime lord’s schemes, you end up needing to Match-3 your way out of trouble as the game progresses. Random puzzle generation means things will go easy or rough as hell on you. The game’s short tutorial nets you an easy win at the start, but you’re told outright there’s no hand-holding at all after that. This leads to some punishing battles where you’ll lose over and over until the game rolls up a board you can win with. At a few points in the story, you’re able to choose what Lockhart does, which can be rewarding or punishing based on the choice made. There aren’t enough of these moments, but as the game auto-saves progress and overwrites your previous save, it’s probably a good thing to go through this a few times if you’re going for all the Trophies.

The deck is pretty stacked against Lockhart after that first easy fight, as enemies will have much more hit points than he does, or he’ll need to deal with multiple foes one after the other (surprise!). As Elvis impersonator/mugger, a few car-boosting thieves, a drug dealer, pissed off bouncer and more battles await. The game can be beat in about two hours if luck goes your way, but it’s very replayable thanks in part to the different endings and random skill up system. Defeating baddies gives you a point to spend on one skill from four that appear on screen post-battle. You get a different mix of skills as the game progresses, but going with decreasing damage from enemies and increasing health kit healing and/or increasing Lockhart’s hit strength are probably the best of the lot should they turn up.

 

 

While it’s somewhat surprising a game this incessantly crude got onto consoles, it’s a good thing in its own Bizarro World way. There’s some enjoyment to be had with this pseudo-noir’s nastiness and while Mickey Spillane won’t be popping up out of the grave to wag a finger at this, it’ll certainly find an audience even though some will whine that it’s “censored” despite the content being too hot to handle as is for more prudish gamers. So, yes, it’s a recommendation for this game even though it could have used a free play mode and perhaps a longer story that fleshed out a few more bits. That said, you’ll see some fleshy bits and get whatever cheap thrills from them if that’s your thing. Knock yourselves out, if that’s how you roll.

Score: C+ (75%)

-GW

(Review code provided by the publisher)

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