Nobody Saves the World is the latest release from Drinkbox Studios, a Canadian-based developer with the previously released hit Guacamelee!. A 2D action adventure with RPG elements, Nobody Saves the World begins with a pale, androgynous, pantsless humanoid aptly called Nobody who wakes up with a raging case of amnesia. The world around Nobody is slowly but surely being overtaken by The Calamity, thus leaving it in desperate need of being saved.
Nobody's quest to remember who they are leads to the discovery of a star wand that enables the little eyeless husk to transform into a plethora of other creatures, all with the same dead stare but each with their own unique talents and quirks. It is ultimately up the player to customize each of Nobody's forms, mixing and matching various abilities between them to come up with the ultimate build with which to save the world.
The game is an excellent showcase of the sort of creativity that thrives in indie games. The concept for the game is simple enough at its roots, an action-adventure RPG in a sprawling world dealing with a disastrous event. However, the ability to customize Nobody means the player gets a degree of control and variety we rarely see in games.
Nobody Saves the World
Bottom line: Nobody Saves the World is a humorous romp through a 2D world where the hero is little more than a pale, pantsless shell that players can magically transform into a colorful cast of characters. RPG elements let players customize the experience even further as they rack up a body count of baddies.
- Beautifully illustrated and colorful world
- Well-written, comedic story
- Unique character-based system
- Approachable RPG
- Repetitive soundbites
- Fast travel system could use some work
Disclaimer: This review was made possible by a review code provided by Drinkbox Studios. The company did not see the contents of the review before publishing.
Nobody Saves the World: What you'll like
The titular character, Nobody, is the perfect blank slate to morph and mold into the ultimate hero. Shifting Nobody through various forms constantly changes the way players interact with the world around them, forcing players to find new ways to approach the challenges presented in the game's various dungeons.
|Category||Nobody Saves the World|
|Title||Nobody Saves the World|
|Xbox version||Xbox Series X|S|
|Play time||40+ hours|
|Xbox Game Pass||Yes|
The map for Nobody Saves the World is a massive, sprawling world complete with several distinct environments to explore that lean heavily into the charming oddities created with the game's story. One moment players may be transformed into a horse while exploring a dungeon inside of an Unidentified Fallen Object after having reunited aliens trying to pass as humans. Next, they might find themselves as a mermaid inside the belly of a dead dragon.
As players unlock new forms for Nobody, they'll be greeted with a series of quests pertaining to that form's abilities. Completing these form-specific quests typically involve taking out a certain amount of baddies using that specific form and ability. While it could seem overwhelming to have so many different forms and options, the quest system does a fantastic job of keeping it all streamlined and easy to follow.
Active quests for your current form are pinned at the top of the ever-growing quest list, and a progress bar is always visible as part of the hud on the left-hand side of the screen. Should you need a reminder of what the requirements of a quest are, you can simply hold LB to expand the pins and see an explainer of what you should be doing.
As quests are completed and XP grows, so does the player's level. Naturally, with so many characters and ability-specific quests, players will inevitably have to revisit previously beaten dungeons to continue their progression. To keep this from feeling repetitive, enemy levels increase along with the players' progress, and the dungeon's floorplan changes each time you traverse your way through it.
Nobody Saves the World: What you won't like
It is no small feat that Nobody Saves the World has as many different characters available to play as it does, each with their own sound profiles. While the "thwack" sound used for the Ranger's bow and arrows feels reasonable to hear upon repeated spamming of the fire button, the Bodybuilder's grunting soundbite when using the bench press ability can wear thin on your nerves after a few minutes. Rather than having the grunt sound repeatedly with every use of the bench press, it could be dialed back to only trigger every fourth or fifth button press instead.
Nobody Saves the World's map and fast travel system could use some minor quality of life tweaks, as well. The world in this game is impressive in its size and variety, and the fast travel is a life saver when you're moving across the map for various dungeons. However, there were plenty of times that I attempted to fast travel from the map without first traveling to a fast travel point. It's a personal preference, but I would like the option to fast travel dynamically from wherever I'm located without making it to a specific point first.
Nobody Saves the World: Should you play it?
Nobody Saves the World is the type of game that just oozes quality and charm. The title is the most ambitious to date from Drinkbox Studios, and is considerably larger than their previous game yet it is overwhelmingly polished. The world that has been created for the player is vibrant, colorful, and adorably weird in a way that just lures you in and makes you forget that you've been hunting mana fairies in crevices as a turtle for four hours. You don't even have to do it alone, as online coop lets you bring a friend along for the wild ride.
Sometimes you just need a game that lets you run amok as a mermaid and hit baddies with your tail or swim around and spray water as a turtle. Its the perfect kind of game to just lose yourself in and explore at your own pace and on your own terms. It may be a little early in the year to throw out loaded terms like "game of the year nominee," but it's certainly reasonable to declare that Nobody Saves the World deserves a spot on everybody's list of must-play Xbox Game Pass games.
Awesome, I was actually just about to buy this game but since it's on Game Pass I don't need to. I loved the comedy in Guacamelee so adding that to my favourite game type is a win win.
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