It is not exactly the easiest task to put out successful games throughout a studio’s history, but to do that for almost every single one of its creations thus far, Toronto’s DrinkBox Studios is on quite a roll. Having given players the pleasure of Guacamelee (2013) and its sequel (2018), and the impressive Severed (2016), the team is preparing for an action roleplaying title unlike any other with the upcoming Nobody Saves The World, and it is crystal clear they are set for immense success again.
With an ancient Calamity reawakening and plunging the world into the darkness, heroes are nowhere to be found and the role of saviour falls to the players, a literal Nobody that is blessed with the unique ability to transform. By changing yourself into a Slug, Ghost, Monk, Robot, and more, players can take advantage of all sorts of abilities and characteristics to save the world before it is too late.
Straight from the off, that trademark charm and creativity many have come to expect from DrinkBox comes to the fore. This world is vibrant and chocked full of unique designs for different areas, enemy creatures are grotesque and dangerous, and the non-playable characters are a hoot to talk to and interact with. Randy the Rad is a particular favourite as the comic relief, and even the solemn Nobody has plenty of sharp comments to make, and without spoiling the story, everything comes full circle in a satisfying world.
The writing in Nobody Saves The World is always going to tickle, and you will have plenty of opportunities to enjoy that as the game sends you on your merry way around the world trying to complete unconventional and oftentimes hilarious quests and vanquishing Calamity’s minions.
Exploring the various biomes will uncover secrets to find and dungeons to overcome, but it is going to be tough if that responsibility fell to a nobody. Thankfully, with a magical wand, would-be heroes will start their journey to unlocking over 15 distinct Forms, each with unique gameplay mechanics and over 80 abilities that can be mixed and matched to create the ultimate hero.
The gameplay loop in Nobody Saves The World is designed to keep players wanting more, and it works a treat as every form has several quests that need to be completed to become more familiar with said form. It could be using your signature attack a number of times, or increasing in complexity by requiring overlapping skills from other Forms.
By putting in the work to upgrade yourself from a lowly F rank to an S rank, more abilities get unlocked while others become available to upgrade. Not only that, the more familiar you are with the various Forms, it can open up the path to more advanced ones with even more tricks awaiting, with the Rat form leading to both the Knight and Ranger Forms as an example.
As players venture across the land helping out townsfolk or the other more prominent figures, like the Thieves Guild or the League of Wizards, it all becomes an utterly enjoyable, non-stop marathon to master all of these Forms. It most certainly helps that the combat in Nobody Saves The World is quite brilliant from start to finish.
Enemies can come in all shapes and sizes, posing both ranged and melee threats, and hiding devious surprises in some cases. You might think a battle is over only for a hulking beast to divide into smaller counterparts as they expire, forcing you to always be on the move and dealing damage.
Being a Bodybuilder tanking damage and using giant barbells to dominate can be helpful in more open areas, while being a sneaky Rogue and backstabbing enemies for bonus damage might be the better options next time around.
The game also throws in certain wards that prevent damage to these foes, requiring you to dive into your collection of Forms and abilities to deal either Sharp, Blunt, Dark, or Light damage to break this impenetrable shield. Juggling between each skill while trying to survive can be a thrill, and even if you perish, your progress towards Form quests still remains.
Outside of battle, exploration is more than just filling in the squares, with secrets like mana fairies awaiting the intrepid explorer. Transform into a Mermaid to swim across the water, or a Slug to fit into tighter spaces, if there is an area that looks interesting, it is almost always worth investigating. That flexibility in choice is always fun and entertaining, and DrinkBox hands the keys over to players quite willingly and competently.
Plenty of these encounters will take place in the overworld, but the evolving dungeons are also a highlight in Nobody Saves The World. These procedurally generated gauntlets vary in complexity and difficulty, and can come with their own set of modifiers to spice things up even more.
It is this intoxicating blend of gameplay mechanics that form the bulk of fun in the game, making no two encounters quite the same. You will learn to get better with a form, unlocking improved abilities, before switching bodies and doing it over again, and repeat the cycle as more demanding quests come your way, all while making progress towards the goal of becoming powerful enough to stop the Calamity.
Every significant activity completed not only can help you rank up your Forms, but also contributes to an overall level that can strengthen your other stats like health or melee damage. Collecting money allows you to purchase useful items like upgrade tokens or never-ending quests that aid in levelling up, and you will also need to accumulate vital keys that will open up vital dungeons for story progression.
If being a Horse and firing a rapid flurry of arrows is your most favourite thing in the world, that joy can also be shared with a friend for online co-op. While we were unable to test this out, the game has been designed for co-op partners to enjoy the entire game together, as well as a New Game+ for those that cannot get enough and want a tougher challenge.
The platforming prowess of DrinkBox Studios may not be on show here in Nobody Saves The World, but it is evident just how adept the team is in bringing together creative concepts and executing them beautifully in a cohesive package. Being able to deliver on the action RPG front while throwing in the twist of transformation is nothing less than masterstroke, and players can expect to enjoy every single minute throughout the 18-20 hours required to save the world.
With a killer soundtrack, side-splitting writing, and pure, amazing gameplay, Nobody Saves The World is already a big contender for one of the best games of 2022.
GEEK REVIEW SCORE
It could have been a messy affair, but Nobody Saves The World delivers strongly on all fronts, cementing DrinkBox Studios as creators that put out magic with their every touch.
Gameplay - 10/10
Story - 8.5/10
Presentation - 9.5/10
Value - 9/10