Randall Review -- Skinny Jeans and Telekinesis
The game takes place in a future where life just plain sucks thanks to a totalitarian government and a very not nice police force in control. Oh, and scientists regularly experiment on the populace. Talk about a dreary dystopia.
In the midst of all this weirdness is our titular hero, Randall. He wakes up with amnesia and is clueless about the world at large. Our skinny-jean armed hero knows a few things, however. The world isn't right and he's taking matters into his own hands, I mean, fists.
What Randall offers at its core is a fun beat 'em up. You literally can punch and kick your way through all opposition. The game starts simple enough where you're just brawling with the authorities. You can pull off fun combos and have some maneuverability in battle as well.
Randall, however, is more than just a street fighter. As the game progresses in its exploratory fashion, you'll find an assortment of powers. So aside from punching your way through everything, our hero will have options available. Telekinesis is the weapon in Randall's arsenal. They also allow you to tackle the environmental hazards to progress onward.
Often times, it feels like too many games hold our hands. I believe it's better to wander around and learn where you can and can't go. The game offers the kind of fun where you can just get lost. Sure there's an overarching plot of why the world sucks and the hero's memory is missing. But the world itself invokes exploration with no directions.
A Charming Hero
Randall has a charm to it that isn't available in most games. Due to his mental state, he often has conversations with himself. Sure at first glance that's troublesome, but it's presented with a dose of humor.
His psyche pokes fun at his circumstances, his clothing choices, and so forth. The clever writing is one of my favorite features of the game. Often times dystopian titles feel highly doom and gloom with little room for much else. Here, however, you're punching crooked authorities in the face along with your mind's running commentary.
So, can we talk about the soundtrack? It's a mix of various genres and is pretty fun. During fights, you'll hear thumping house or EDM which gets louder depending on the situation. As you traverse the City of Nook you'll hear ambient, haunting electronica. Certain areas of the city have their own unique sound, and when serious scenes and events take place the music shifts to be more grandiose as well.
Randall didn't just miss leg day...
Now the title isn't without its shortcomings, and an example of this is found during battle. At times, things get dicey when you're fighting multiple enemies. Crowd controlling isn't easy and it certainly isn't fool-proof. It's far too easy for an enemy to smack you in the back while you're attacking a different enemy. An unchecked foe can stop you if you're not focused on attacking many of them at a time. At times, it's frustrating to lose due to numbers alone. Randall is a one man army after all.
The other issue involves the controls. For the most part, the controls are fine but at times they don't feel as responsive as they should. This was pretty noticeable during the platforming sequences within the game. Randall didn't seem to move as precisely as I needed him to. Not game breaking but apparent.
So this Randall...
Randall is a fun beat'em up, no question. But it's also very much a Metroidvania and has its fair share of humor. It may not be the best on the market, but you can easily spend a weekend with this and enjoy the time. It is a fun outing for We Are The Force. Honestly, I look forward to more from them.
Review code provided by the publisher.