Welcome to Metropolis, the city of eternal night and perpetual rain. A place ruled by vice, where the woman are as deadly as they are beautiful and the cops are more than likely to bust heads than to protect and serve. Enter Jon Lockhart. Fresh from his stint in prison and donning his trademark trench coat and baseball cap, he sets out into the city of sin and violence to find out who framed him for his best friend's murder. And when the going gets tough, Lockhart is willing to get down and dirty and fight back the way any real man would: with a match-three battle!
Metropolis: Lux Obscura is a bit of an odd duck. At its core, Metropolis is a fairly simple match-three game with some light RPG mechanics. But what really makes it something special is the fact that it has a mature, non-linear storyline that is soaked in a heady mixture of sex, blood, and gin. The narrative is told in a typical Noire-genre fashion, with the lamentable Jon Lockhart growling out his lines while the scenes play out in a motion comic book fashion. And when I say mature, I mean mature! There is plenty of sex, nudity, swearing, and violence going on. There is plenty of good reasons the game is rated Mature 17+. The story (and the entire game, overall) just absolutely oozes a dark, adult atmosphere. I would put the quality of the story right up there with Frank Miller's Sin City. I would never have dreamed in a million years that I'd be playing a match-three game like this.
It's not exactly your typical match-three gameplay, either. The goal is to reduce your enemy's HP to zero to win. You get a certain amount of turns to match before your enemy attacks, the number of turns you get varies from bad guy to bad guy. There are numerous icons to be found on the playing field, each with their own damage or special attributes. You'll have fists, boots, and tasers, among other icons, to deal damage. Most opponents are weak against specific damages types. Medpack icons restore health, while anger icons fill up your anger meter to give you a bonus damage multiplier. Police badges are the ones to watch out for. Matching them deals damage to Lockhart, so it's best to avoid accidentally lining them up. After every battle, you get a chance to improve your capabilities by choosing a perk from a randomized selection. Most of them are useful, but my personal favorites are Paranoia, which reduces damage received by a percentage, and the perk that increases your fist damage (yeahhh I forgot the name, my bad). You can choose the same perk multiple times for increased benefits.
As I mentioned earlier, Metropolis features a non-linear storyline with four achievable endings. This is accomplished in two ways. First off is via the city map. The city map highlights the available locations that you can currently visit. Sometimes there will be multiple places lit up, each conveniently labeled with the title of the scene contained within. I loved this because it makes it much easier to know what you're looking for when trying to get all the different endings. Choosing where and when you go is important, as it will often lock you out of other story paths. The second thing to watch out for is the choices you make when given. Screwing over an old friend and taking his drugs, for example, may just be the choice that changes Lockhart’s fate.
Even though Metropolis: Lux Obscura has a relatively short runtime (it takes about two hours a playthrough), the story and gameplay are entertaining enough to make you want to do multiple playthroughs to snag all the endings. On top of that, being a match-three game makes it super easy to pick up and play in short bursts when you're on the go. I really have no gripes about this game, besides an annoying glitch that popped up twice and made me reload my file. Metropolis offers a succinct and entertaining film-noire experience with a storyline geared towards adults and considering the price of entry, there is no reason not to pick up this little gem.
*Note: A copy of this game was provided for the purpose of the review.
Final Score: 9/10
Player2Reviews aims to be a reputable second opinion on the gaming industry covering news, reviews, and commentary on all things pop-culture!
All 3DS Batman #BreakdownsAndBrews DLC Giveaways Google Play Hardware IOS/Android Late Night Netflix Let's Play Movies News Nintendo Nintendo Switch Original PC Player2Plays Preview PS4 PS5 PS Vita Review Reviews Steam Submissions #TBTReview Trailers Twitch Unboxing Video Games Xbox Xbox One Xbox Series X/S Youtube