Aug 22, 2017 Last Updated 10:50 PM, Aug 23, 2017

Metamorphic Review

Published in Strategy
Read 1282 times
Rate this item
(0 votes)

Puzzle games have always been my kryptonite.

Not that other game styles don’t take skill or effort, but puzzle games draw me in and help me forget my surroundings. Sure, shoot-em-up and action games like GTA V are fantastic for letting off some steam or getting a quick gamer-buzz, but for some reason, if I want to devote some serious time to gaming, it will most certainly be a puzzle game.

Metamorphic right out of the gate will remind you of Portal. The first person view and the block ‘gun’ given to you make you almost feel like you’ve dropped into an expansive player-created mod for Portal. The look and feel, to sum it up frankly, is as though Portal and Minecraft got together and had a weird baby. There’s even a subway tram to take you to the next puzzle at the end of each room, similar to the elevator mechanic in Portal.

Let’s steer away from the similarities, though, and point out the differences, as there are many. First of all, sadly, there is no belligerent AI constantly taunting you. Frankly, though very well produced, I’d have to say Portal would not have been nearly as fun without the storyline and the AI that guided you through it. In this regard, Metamorphic somewhat dropped the ball. You are solving all these puzzles, riding the tram, and experiencing the game in total silence, aside from background sounds. I suppose it’s not so bad for me since I like playing music while I do puzzle games, but some interaction with another character would have been great.

The early puzzles are incredibly simple, and it’s easy to get bored because the difficulty curve has a slow start. Again, if there was something to hook me early on like a voice or even on-screen prompts; perhaps a story as to why I’m trying to escape this endless maze of block rooms and subway tunnels, then it would be easier to get me hooked. Thankfully, I was patient enough to plow through the simple stuff (OK, I was in a meeting and not paying attention) and once things got a bit more difficult, I was very emotionally invested in solving the puzzles.

I have to say that I was tempted a few times to go look up a walkthrough video for some of the harder puzzles, but I was able to somehow (no idea how) restrain myself and didn’t cheat at all. Some of them took a few tries, but overall I think the difficulty scaled appropriately once you got past the super-easy stuff. People not experienced with puzzle solving games, or who lack critical and analytical thinking may get stumped and frustrated once the going gets tough, but then again, I don’t expect people like that to be purchasing puzzle games in the first place!

Frankly, I wish there was more to it than this, but the game isn’t that complicated to explain. Play-wise, to me it’s the equivalent of Portal 1, both in the complexity of puzzles and in length, but not in production quality or storyline. I wish that there was more, but perhaps I’m just spoiled because of Portal 2. Overall, though, the biggest downfall was the fact that it was ultra-quiet, and I expected more content/guidance. Did Portal alter my perceptions of this game? Yes. Did I name drop it enough in this review? Not yet.

I loved the challenge of solving puzzles.

Stacking up blocks was great, but got boring quickly. This is where a story would have helped me stay interested. Plus, why am I riding a subway car from each room to the next? The saving grace came when I got my second gun to shoot different types of blocks (read: another color of portal) which allowed me to build a shape, and then solidify it into one unit.

Overall, I did enjoy the game, though it left me wanting a bit more from it. I suppose if it weren't so painfully similar to Portal, I would let it go, or perhaps not even notice it. However, the similarities between the two games are such that if you’ve played one, you will most certainly get bored with the other. As a standalone, though, trying to forget my past glorious experiences (except when I found out there is no cake… wtf!)

6

The Verdict

Metamorphic has a great foundation for building something engaging and fun. I look forward to the dev coming back to this game and adding some of the sorely missed storyline context, and perhaps even a talking potato.

Dizzyjuice

Most widely known for never suppressing his impulse control disorder, and his stubborn position on the jet fuel vs. steel beams argument, Dizzyjuice is your typical renaissance man. An avid photographer, chef, classically trained musician, meme addict, philanthropist, and IT geek, he spends most of his spare time watching hours upon hours of ‘related videos’ on YouTube, and then purchasing random things to try and recreate them. Most notably, however, is that he hates it when biographies don’t end the way you octopus.

Related items

  • Football Manager 2018 Release Date Announced

    The first details of new features and updates in Football Manager 2018 will be revealed in late September through the Football Manager website and through the official FM social media channels (including Twitter and Facebook).

  • The Long Dark Review

    The Long Dark is imperfect, but it could be one of the best experiences in the survival genre. For the impatient, single-player gamer, The Long Dark holds little promise. However, if you relish the challenge of isolation and the feeling that you’re fighting against an environment that isn’t trying to kill you, but rather just doesn’t care about you, then you must try The Long Dark.

  • Pyre Review

    Gamers will talk about Pyre for a good while. Vivid visuals pair well with energizing audio, and both complement the subtle, mechanical gameplay; Pyre, a stunning package,provides with aplomb a depth of strategy not found in some AAA titles, and couches the experience in an engrossing narrative. Supergiant Games’ strongest showing to date, Pyre is a must play, a delight that can’t be recommended highly enough.

More in this category: Sweatshop Review »

Latest Shows

The Search Inter…

Embark on a journey of discovery and inspiration in The Search - a story-driven puzzle-adventure set in a mysterious world where art comes to life! In an unknown world, you'll sear...

Black the Fall I…

After decades of toil, an old machinist plots his escape from Communism, through manipulation and scheming. Along the road, he befriends the most unlikely creature, an abandoned ro...

Out Soon

PC Gaming Incoming

Total War: WARHA…

Sequel to the award-winning Total War: WARHAMMER, Total War: WARHAMMER II introduces a breathtaking ...

The Inner World …

The flute nose dynasty has been watching over Asposia for centuries on end. In secret, they fill the...

The Long Dark Re…

The Long Dark is imperfect, but it could be one of the best experiences in the survival genre. For the impatient, single-player gamer, The Long Dark holds little promise. However, ...

Pyre Review

Gamers will talk about Pyre for a good while. Vivid visuals pair well with energizing audio, and both complement the subtle, mechanical gameplay; Pyre, a stunning package,provides ...

Total War: WARHA…

Yet another in an already long line of excellent pieces of DLC for what has shaped up to be a living classic in the realm of PC games. If you like the game, you'll almost definitel...

Strategy and Tac…

Strategy and Tactics: Dark Ages by Herosoft is the latest iteration of a risk-style board game that is enhanced by persistent upgrades to generals and leaders and a large variety o...