Nobody Saves The World Review (PC)

Nobody Saves The World Review: This Game Won’t Stay A Nobody

 

Nobody Saves the World

Nobody Saves The World takes the best parts of a lot of different genres and games and stuffs them into one strange casserole of a title. At times it feels like these elements shouldn’t work together. Still, somehow a Zelda style overworld mixes successfully with roguelike dungeons and transformation powers which give you a ton of options to approach each encounter.

 

Stop The Calamity

 

Nobody Saves the World

You start Nobody Saves the World as the titular nobody. Using a well-mined storytelling trope, you start the game without a memory, waking up alone in a strange room. Not only are you naked and without a memory, you’re a strange white creature, possibly human, but looking a lot different from any other humans. Villagers, initially put off by your appearance, recommend you speak with the great wizard Nostromagus who might be able to help you figure out who you are.

He’s not home. The great wizard’s house has been ransacked with only his annoying protégé Randy hanging around inspecting the damage. While initially dismissive of you, that changes a bit when you find the wizard’s wand among the clutter. After a brief confrontation, Randy’s at least temporarily out of the picture, and you start out on your quest to find Nostromagus, figure out who you are, and stop the Calamity that almost destroyed the world years ago from returning.

 

Find Your True Form

 

Nobody Saves the World

The wand you walk away with allows your nobody to turn into a wide variety of other forms. Early examples of this are a ranger who shoots arrows, a rat who can fit into tight spaces, and a guard who is good in close quarters combat. Over time you’ll get more varied forms like a magician who can summon animal familiars, a horse who moves faster, a mermaid who can swim, and a mysterious egg.

While even movement is different from each form to the next, their abilities go far beyond that. Each form has its own moves for use in combat and a passive special ability that might restore health, or mana which you use for your more powerful special abilities, or do a variety of other cool things. Even better, as the game progresses, you gain the ability to mix and match these. Each form has a base passive ability, but other moves and extra passives can be swapped in and out, allowing you to create a form that works best for you.

 

Gather the Crystals

 

Nobody Saves the World

Your quest starts out sending you to a very specific dungeon, and it keeps a focus on finding specific artifacts, but you’ll be doing much more than just hunting those down. The world of Nobody Saves the World is huge, and while a generous checkpoint system and frequent fast travel locations help with getting around, there’s still a lot to do. Tons of technically optional dungeons and side quests are around every corner. While no specific ones of these are required, you’ll need to do some of them.

Those big story-based dungeons are locked and can only be opened by earning tokens from completed quests. That said, you aren’t trapped in playing a specific way. There’s a huge variety of quest options, with my available ones quickly growing to not fit on one screen. Each transformation has their own specific quests tied to using their moves, or later to using specific moves from other forms on them, helping show off some useful synergies. You also have quests you can purchase, which give bonus experience, and side quests assigned by characters throughout the world. Some of these are silly, like turning into your horse form and racing, while others can be quite touching even while being silly, like helping a pair of brothers cursed to become fish.

 

Leave the Rest to Chance

 

Nobody Saves the World

Once you venture into dungeons, you’ll find randomly generated lairs filled with enemies to defeat. While not as interestingly designed as the overworld, these still manage to be compelling to explore, filled with twists and turns, and with treasure and other things to find even when you take a wrong turn. Some are only a single story while others go on until you start to think that this latest one has to be the last floor. Each one ends with a boss fight, which usually comes with waves of other foes. Picking the right form for the job is essential to surviving.

Combat varies wildly from one form to the next, but for the most part, it’s satisfying. Finding the form that works for your situation will be important, and in many scenarios, you’ll even want to switch rapidly between a couple of them. Early on, I spent a lot of time as the guard, fighting up close with my sword. Later I became quite a fan of the magician who could summon his animal helpers and pick and choose his moments to dig into the fight. The horse, and a few other forms eventually drew me to them as well. You’ll want to be careful not to over-rely on one form, though. Switching between them regularly and completing quests with as many as possible is one of the best ways to make the progress you need.

 

Growth Comes From Within

 

Nobody Saves the World

While growing your characters is important, you’ll have to actually improve as a player as well because, after a certain point, the game scales things. Dungeons often show a recommended level, and early on, a few will seem far out of reach. After getting past the recommended level, though, it will start to grow so that things remain at least somewhat a challenge. Upgrading still can help you with new moves, making your existing abilities more powerful, and providing more health, but you’ll have to get better still. It’s not a game you can entirely brute force your way through.

While combat was consistently fun and I loved exploring this world, what kept drawing me back in was its personality. From the charming art style, to solid music, to a story and characters which isn’t always laugh-out-loud funny but which consistently put a smile on my face. Any game that lets me choose between a turtle, a robot, and a monk is off to a great start. Not to mention that I was always excited for my next chance to show up Randy.

 

Conclusion

 

It’s rare that we get a game as strong as Nobody Saves the World so early in the year. With excellent combat, a huge overworld to explore, and a ton of personality, I don’t have a lot negative to say about it. Those who enjoy games like Hades and The Binding of Isaac have found their next fix. Even if you’re not generally a big fan of roguelikes, the game’s more linear overworld and forgiving checkpoints offer an inviting path to entry.


Final Verdict: 4.5/5

Available on:  PC (Reviewed), Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One; Publisher:  DrinkBox Studios; Developer: DrinkBox Studios; Players: 2; Released: January 18th, 2022; ESRB: T for Teen; MSRP: $24.99

Full disclosure: This review is based on a copy of Nobody Saves The World provided by the publisher.

Andrew Thornton
Andrew has been writing about video games for nearly twenty years, contributing to publications such as DarkStation, Games Are Fun, and the E-mpire Ltd. network. He enjoys most genres but is always pulled back to classic RPG's, with his favorite games ever including Suikoden II, Panzer Dragoon Saga, and Phantasy Star IV. Don't worry though, he thinks new games are cool too, with more recent favorites like Hades, Rocket League, and Splatoon 2 stealing hundreds of hours of his life. When he isn't playing games he's often watching classic movies, catching a basketball game, or reading the first twenty pages of a book before getting busy and forgetting about it.

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