Switch version tested
Review code provided
Dead Cells took the gaming community by storm a few years back. The frenetic pacing and tight controls led to a pseudo revival within the action platforming genre often referred to as Metroidvania. Developer Glaive Games took this to heart when deciding to use this formula and add guns into the mix. So is Collapsed a sleeper title you should be aware of? Let’s find out.
Set in the, wait for it, post-apocalyptic world, Collapsed offers no story from the onset. This is done by design as you will stumble across notes, diaries, and memory clusters scattered throughout the world. Why was the world destroyed but more importantly by who, is at the crux of the story that while not new or unique does offer enough motivation to keep pressing onward.
The key to any action platformer is in the control. Thankfully, Collapsed is more than up to the challenge with its buttery smooth controls. Traversing the world is slick and done at a pace you set. Controlling your hunter is responsive and certainly warrants the comparisons to the previously mentioned Dead Cells. Your base firearm and melee can be augmented with up to 3 perks/buffs. This helps make each of the 4 main hunters unique to you. The implementation of a global skill tree also goes a long way towards helping you find the right hunter for you. Any loot salvaged in the world can be brought back to your “hub” where it can be stored for new character builds.
Visually, Collapsed went the hand-drawn look which helps it stand out from the plethora of pixel-based titles that have become commonplace among the indies. The levels are unique biomes but ultimately limited due to its procedurally generated nature. While each area does feel unique the limited set of biomes gives gamers a false sense of having been there before. Thankfully the map is there to help guide you towards areas you have yet to explore. The 4 hunters are well animated if not a touch limited. The same cannot be said for the enemies. Depending on the location you will face off against a few area-specific enemies but will be eliminating the same set of foes throughout your adventures. BOSS BATTLES are, initially, exciting as your underpowered protagonist is no match early on. However, as you progress boss battles lean more towards the bullet sponge side of things. Learning a few attack patterns is necessary but many encounters were handled with just sheer firepower alone.
That firepower is excellently accentuated by the crunchy gunfire and visceral sounding melee combat. The soundtrack is more ambient than front-facing. Nothing here will standout but it perfectly reflects the mystery of this post-apocalyptic world. On the whole everything from the sound side is done well and adds to the enjoyment of the title.
The enjoyment is key. Gaming at its core has to be fun and Collapsed is a bunch of fun. The moment to moment action coupled with some stripped-down exploration is perfectly suited for the Nintendo Switch. The game is not without its flaws including a game-breaking bug that sees you fall through the level geometry forcing a game reset. While not wholly original Collapsed is a solid amalgamation of systems and gameplay that dangles the golden carrot of loot at every chest or enemy encounter.
TBG Score: 8/10
Platform: PC, Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo
Release Date: 29/08/2020
No. of Players: 1
Category: Action, Platformer
Developer: Glaive Games
Download link: eShop