28th Nov2018

‘Destruction’ Review (Nintendo Switch)

by Britt Roberts

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The last game I played by publisher COSEN was the quirky Taiwanese puzzler Behind the Screen, which was relatively basic in its execution but had enough character to keep my interest up for the duration of the play-through. Destruction however, definitely feels more at home on a mobile device than the Nintendo Switch as its requirement of grinding and simplistic, repetitive action seems more of a time-filler than something to sit down and get your teeth into.

Destruction casts you as a four-man team which acts as sort of global protectorate. Starting off in South America (although you’d never know it from the scenery, which throughout the game feels quite stock and generic), your team works its way through various missions by completing set quests. These vary from carrying a bomb to an enemy base and taking control of flags scattered around a map to simple killing all enemies that you come across. The main problem is that the game feels so barebones in most aspects. It runs smoothly enough but the top-down view and level layout (corridors that lead to large rooms pretty much make up the entire game) quickly feels boring and it’s not helped by the looping rock music which add nothing to the setting or atmosphere of the game.

Each character does have slightly different weaponry and a couple of special abilities, but it all comes down to a numbers game, each weapon feels and fires the same and your approach will be the same regardless of the current mission as Destruction is so formulaic and linear that it doesn’t really open itself up to tactics. You and your squad will push through the level, if one of you dies, you’ll respawn and catch up with the rest of your team (you always respawn at your home base) and it’s pretty easy to never lose a level as, if you get killed you can switch to another character and simply run away from the current battle, wait the allotted ten seconds until you respawn and then switch back to your other character. The only time I really hit a wall with the game was when a mission required me to stay alive for three minutes and each character only had once life, it essentially acts a barrier that forces you to grind back through previous levels, levelling up and upgrading weaponry so that you can absorb enough damage to last the three minutes until you are rescued.

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There are a few localisation issues and typos in the game that aren’t really an issue as the game is easy enough to understand but even the inclusion of a four-player mode (something that can elevate a mediocre game to a party favourite in some cases) can’t really help things here as all that would happen is four people would end up backtracking, replaying levels and grinding in order to proceed through the lacklustre missions on offer.

There is a bit of variety in the quests that make up Destruction but it’s the gameplay that bogs it down, after a few minutes you will have seen all the game has to offer and when upgrades and accessories feel like numbers that need to be bumped up with no satisfaction from item unlocks, it’s difficult to recommend any other aspect. I can imagine this would be a standard, budget mobile action game but on the Switch it feels too light to have any real substance and I’m struggling to think of a demographic that would find the game appealing. Not one I would return to anytime soon, even with friends.

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