Even in moments of unsettling calm, you know it won’t last long.
Things are never quite as they seem in the pixelated action-adventure title Resolutiion. The world is colourful, yet dark and mysterious. Broken, but also real and whole. There are enemies around every corner threatening to take you down. That’s not even the worst of what you’ll have to deal with.
Wholly intriguing and interesting, Resolutiion doesn’t guide the player in the right direction; you’ll have to uncover the path forward by yourself. This doesn’t always go as planned, but you’ll discover along the way that nothing ever really does.
“Wholly intriguing and interesting”
In Resolutiion, you play as an old killer tasked with transporting a curious AI through waves of powerful enemies that want nothing more than to take you both down. Your past is a mystery, but as you continue with your journey you’re forced to remember things you’d rather forget. Gather weapons, fight people and monsters, and put together the past and the future in a world so full of damage and destruction it’s never clear whether or not you’ll really be able to escape.
At first, Resolutiion can be rather overwhelming. Set in a vast and looming world, it’s hard to tell exactly what you’re meant to be doing or what’s going on; even who you are or where you are. So many questions, and it takes a long time for those questions to be answered. Once you discover your AI companion, that becomes your motivation and the thing that pushes you forward. But it’s still hard to say what your main goal is overall. So you’ll do the only thing that the game allows: you fight.
“Methodical and rhythmic, Resolutiion’s combat is satisfying in all the best ways”
Methodical and rhythmic, Resolutiion’s combat is satisfying in all the best ways. Players will need to bob and weave in between enemies quickly while keeping up what little health they have. In between dodges, you’ll strike at the enemy so as not to allow yourself to get hit. Enemies will be easy enough to overcome in the early game, but as you progress the challenge grows greater. Expect to be dealing with multiple enemies swarming you while also dodging projectiles. You’ll also encounter larger enemies – including a giant cat – a half hour or so into the game. The cat is better left to its own devices because it’ll take you down in only a few hits of its adorable, giant claws. Players will have to ascertain for themselves who to fight and who to run away from; one wrong move in Resolutiion and you could be starting over from your last checkpoint.
As you progress through the game you’ll gather strange and fantastical weapons to take down powerful enemies. Each weapon has its own unique properties that make it incredibly useful as the enemies that you encounter get stronger. One of the first weapons that you’ll unlock is a gun that shoots out three projectiles at once; very helpful when you’re facing multiple enemies. It can be a little difficult to tell where you’re aiming at times, and your character can’t move while you’re aiming, so you’ll leave yourself open to attacks – but the ability to damage multiple enemies at once is invaluable. Guns combined with your character’s normal attack can do some devastating damage.
Resolutiion’s pixel art world is absolutely breathtaking. Reminiscent of games like Hyper Light Drifter, each scene that players encounter feels alive. Every frame tells a story and, in Resolutiion, that story is time and destruction. It’s wonderfully satisfying to interact with the background and destroy structures as you pass through. Unfortunately, some of the game’s areas are very dark. Playing the game in handheld mode on Switch can make it very difficult to see, unless you’re in a darkened room with the console’s brightness set to max. On more than one occasion I found myself completely missing where I was meant to be headed because I couldn’t clearly see the entrance to the next area.
“As unforgiving as it is, Resolutiion is beautiful, fun and intriguing”
If you’re used to games clearly guiding you from one area to the next, Resolutiion may not be for you; there’s none of that – you’re completely on your own. But that’s part of what makes it brilliant. The world is overwhelming and confusing, but not knowing what waits around the next corner puts you right in the protagonist’s shoes. It encourages players to approach situations in their own way and discover for themselves how the game works and how to defeat it. The satisfaction of overcoming a challenge is so much greater when you’ve tackled it completely by yourself.
This title isn’t for the new gamer. It’s for someone with experience and knowledge; someone who is willing to put in work to reach the conclusion. If you’re looking for an easy game where you can simply hack and slash your way to victory, Resolutiion isn’t for you. But if you’re up for a challenging adventure to call your own, this could be it. As unforgiving as it is, Resolutiion is beautiful, fun and intriguing – and getting to grips with its mesmerising world is a reward in itself.