Revolution can be a messy business. Places, people, and lives are destroyed before new world orders are put into place. In the gaming world, it seems like I’m starting a revolution in every game I’ve played. Whether it’s Far Cry 6 or Just Cause or Assassin’s Creed, many games pit you against an evil regime that needs changing. In Liberated: Enhanced Edition we get the opportunity to drop into the shoes of both the revolutionist and the establishment, questioning which side you are on. But is there something else playing both sides against each other?

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The story of Liberated is set in a not-so-distant future, one full of dark moody streets and a dystopian hackers’ paradise. It reminds somewhat of the film Sin City, not just due to the reasons above but also because the whole thing is presented as a comic book. 

In Liberated: Enhanced Edition you get to take on many different characters in these tales, but all their stories are linked and interweave neatly with each other. You start with a young hacker called Barry Edwards who is on the run because of his lifestyle and the secrets that he has uncovered. He comes across a group called The Liberated who are freedom fighters who want to release the world from its dependence on social media and surveillance systems. This group is considered to be a terrorist cel by the establishment and police are trying to hunt them down. When a school is destroyed by an attack in which The Liberated is accused,  we switch to a character who is a hard-boiled detective hunting them down. Soon we realise things aren’t what they seem and there are darker forces at play, pulling the puppet strings.

The writing and story of Liberated are both very good, even though it plays on some very familiar notes from other stories set in cyberpunk worlds. The narrative and dialogue have a great sense of atmosphere and location, with some nicely drawn characters that are enjoyable to spend some time with. 

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The gameplay consists of the world being played through comic book frames. It works in the context of a 2.5D platformer and you are generally running through the levels and have a task to do; which can be as simple as trying to escape a building or find a console to download some data. There is some platforming to be had where you are climbing ladders or jumping across ledges and you’ll also need to spend time operating switches in order to open doorways and trigger exits. You can throw in some swimming too and some good old hanging on ledges. It’s all standard fare for any gamer, yet sometimes the jumping isn’t as accurate as I would have liked and it can get a bit annoying. 

You will also be involved in a lot of combat. You have the choice to go stealthy and hide around corners waiting for the guards or enemies to come past so you can easily slip past or strangle them. Or you go full Rambo and shoot them before they shoot you. The controls have the right stick aiming and then shooting attached to the triggers and this is a pleasing system which works well, depending on the difficulty level you choose from the beginning.

Visually the game is a stunner – you are watching the cutscenes play through the panels of the comic strip before – seamlessly – the action gameplay sequences play out in a frame; go down a level or through a doorway and you move into the next frame. Each of the five main chapters of the story are presented as the issue of the comic book, with a front cover and title that you can peruse. It’s all so stylish with a lovingly drawn monochrome style with good lighting and brilliantly designed characters. Comic book text describes the action and it’s a delight to see a headshot confirmed with a gunshot. 

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The soundtrack is exactly what you expect from a game of this type; one with a mixture of moody synths and almost jazzy beats. It all works wonderfully and the voice acting in the cutscenes help bring the characters and the world alive. 

You’ll really enjoy Liberated: Enhanced Edition as you play through the three or four hour running time. It’s an amazingly stylish and beautiful production, well created with Sin City vibes. The way it is set out via comic book frames that blend into a sort of 2.5D platformer/shooter is glorious and it’s also worth mentioning that there are a couple of bonus chapters to play around with in the Enhanced Edition. 

Play through Liberated: Enhanced Edition and you’ll leave hoping that the developers follow up with more from this world soon.  

Liberated: Enhanced Edition is on the Xbox Store

Revolution can be a messy business. Places, people, and lives are destroyed before new world orders are put into place. In the gaming world, it seems like I'm starting a revolution in every game I've played. Whether it's Far Cry 6 or Just Cause or Assassin’s Creed, many games pit you against an evil regime that needs changing. In Liberated: Enhanced Edition we get the opportunity to drop into the shoes of both the revolutionist and the establishment, questioning which side you are on. But is there something else playing both sides against each other? The story of Liberated is…

Pros:

  • Stylish graphics
  • Comic Book frames
  • Good story and writing
  • Action

Cons:

  • Some of the platforming is aggravating

Info:

  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game go to - Walkabout Games
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS4, PS5
  • Version reviewed - Xbox Series X
  • Release date - 20 Apr 2022
  • Launch price from - £16.74
TXH Score

4/5

Pros:

  • Stylish graphics
  • Comic Book frames
  • Good story and writing
  • Action

Cons:

  • Some of the platforming is aggravating

Info:

  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game go to - Walkabout Games
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS4, PS5
  • Version reviewed - Xbox Series X
  • Release date - 20 Apr 2022
  • Launch price from - £16.74

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