Adverse Review

Mirror’s Edge gave players a chance to experience the magic of freerunning and parkour. Indie developer Loneminded gives players a chance to rediscover that magic in Adverse. They have created a beautiful world in which players can run and fight to the end. Here’s our Adverse review.

Story

After hostile artificial intelligence has spread across the globe, the player must journey through a world of corruption. Although that may sound very interesting, players will only experience this story when reading the synopsis on the Xbox store. While players will see aspects of the corruption while playing, there aren’t any significant story beats throughout the game. There’s also no dialogue, meaning there is very little opportunity for the player to explore the story. At first glance, some may see that as a major downside to Adverse. However, Loneminded pours all their effort into it’s gameplay and world design.

Gameplay

Loneminded mixes the style of parkour from Mirrors Edge and the combat of Lara Croft’s bow from Tomb Raider. As players run through the courses, they’ll be faced with several platforming challenges and floating robots. Adverse had me hopping from floating platform to moving cars, whilst shooting flying robots in a thrilling rush to the end. Every time I fell into the abyss, the game started me back at the beginning of the level. At first, it seems very punishing. However, it forces the player to find the places to slow down and methodically chart their path. 

When it comes to your abilities, Loneminded provides players with four different skills to help traverse the world of corruption. Players dive into the world armed only with a bow as a weapon and the ability to jump. Thankfully the bow gives you a few bonuses, other than being able to send arrows through your enemies. It bestows the player with the ability to do a double jump, a slide boost, and a teleport dash.

While the controls are very straight forward and simplistic, they can be hard to learn and master. When I hopped into the first level, I found that the default sensitivity made it impossible to play the game. Once I found the right settings for me, the controls and level design blend perfectly. This creates an incredibly high octane, enjoyable experience.

Level Design

Each of the eight worlds that players will travel across has a unique style. From colorful woodlands to a stormy lighthouse, Loneminded take the aesthetic of Superhot and add a splash of extra colors and fewer polygonal edges. I found myself entranced with the world, despite it not being filled to the brim with lots of smaller details to catch your eye. It gives the feeling that everything that is there has a purpose and is meant to catch your eye.

Despite having a beautiful world that relies on its simplicity, the music that is meant to complement the world falls terribly short. The music is very simplistic in the first world, that Loneminded has named Pure, and the simplicity does lend itself to accent the world design. Unfortunately, the soundtrack doesn’t stretch much further than that, and across the eight worlds you’ll hear that same track repeatedly.

At first, it may not seem like something you would notice. However, using the same music track throughout the game detracts from it’s beauty. It matches the first world so well, but over time it hinders the immersion you feel. With forty levels across eight worlds for players to travel across, it seems like a large misstep to have only one music track for each and every level.

Leaderboards and Multiplayer

While Adverse doesn’t have any form of multiplayer, Loneminded has developed a “multi-layered scoring system” for players to learn and master as they strive to be at the top of the leaderboards. Unfortunately, after nearly three hours of gameplay and having beaten the game, I have little to no understanding of how the scoring system works as a whole. When the game explains scoring, the crux of the explanation is that you need to go fast and shoot things from far away to get the highest score.

Adverse Review Verdict

As a whole, Adverse is a very fun little indie game which displays plenty of potential for Loneminded. It has engaging, high-octane gameplay that makes you feel like an assassin running around shooting robots. With a variety of landscapes and a diversity of obstacles, Adverse is a must-play for anyone who loves platforming and Mirror’s Edge alike.

Adverse releases on January 22nd for $5.99 on the Microsoft Store.

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