Loot Run is set in a mostly old-school style fantasy realm called Anora. Players take on the role of Malek, a war veteran who has retired to settle into a life of peace with his wife. One day, however, his wife has disappeared and evil forces are once again descending on the land. Forced to take up his sword once more, Malak must embark on a journey throughout the land to rescue the kingdom and woman he loves. This is a storytelling topic that has been covered many times before, and it’s difficult to get truly invested in what is going on throughout the game. The majority of characters, as well as their models, adopts the typical cool and masculine, tough-guy appearance. This relatively clichéd take on character development also takes a large toll on the manner of which the story is told and the atmosphere of the game, especially since a large portion of the game is dedicated to reading the dialogue of individual characters as they make conversation. There are several moments throughout the game where the story manages to build considerably, with the appearance of particularly fearsome creatures, antagonists, and characters, but none of these are strong enough to make the game more immersive as a whole.
Loot Run takes players through a number of different landscapes, ranging from green farmlands, vast deserts, and dark cities. The number of different places placed throughout the game, helps to provide a positive sense of variety to the world the game is set in, and while they can begin to grow old, especially the bland desert regions, and the style of the gameplay, they all feel suitable to the light-hearted nature of the land and they give the impression that the central hero is, in fact, traversing several landscapes, instead of just a single area, with the same kind of foliage, animals, and buildings.
Combat is the centrepiece of Loot Run’s gameplay and focuses entirely on button-mashing, and using different techniques to fight enemies. The player has access to five combat panels, each of which performs a variety of separate actions that could either damage, deflect, or stun. Timing actions correctly could also create special attacks which inflict additional damage on every enemy. Additional abilities can also be unlocked as players progress through the game and unlock special keys, which can be used to purchase these skills and to upgrade the abilities the player already possesses. It’s occasionally fun to experiment with the different skills, but the overall combat quickly becomes monotonous. The visual feedback and sound effects for each ability and the swish of the weapon are weak, and never give players a satisfying feeling while slicing through enemies.
While playing the game, players are also given a number of side quests to complete, which are actually a series of activities to accomplish during combat instead. Many of these boil down to jumping over obstacles a set number of times and performing a particular skill on a foe. For each quest completed, players are rewarded with a key, which could be used to unlock further abilities, upgrades, and additional costumes provided in the game’s menu. While they do look relatively simple at first and may usually take away some of the excitement of travelling off the path to go on a traditional side quest, the various tasks that need to be completed could be relatively challenging, since they sometimes rely on players getting their moves right, and since new abilities can be unlocked, players may find themselves satisfied with what they have accomplished. It should also be said that the nature of Loot Run’s gameplay may not be exactly inviting towards additional, full-scale activities, and players may, most likely, prefer to stick to the central storyline.
From its name, the game places a huge emphasis on loot drops and building stats to improve the player’s skills against enemies. When an enemy is killed it drops a chest, which drops a random type of equipment, such as body armour, utilities, and weapons. One chest, for example, could hold a pair of boots, which increase the player’s speed and defence. Others, ranging from helmets, gloves, and chest armour, could improve levels of the same attributes, but also for health and overall defence. These chests, however, could also contain an item that is less valuable than the equipment the player already possesses, meaning that it’s most likely that chests may not always contain items that players will find useful.
Loot Run provides all the elements that fans of role-playing games should appreciate. The game contains a great amount of customisation, and the gameplay does show some bright spots, as you select between all the different moves you can use to decimate enemies. The game’s difficulty does an admirable job of encouraging players to concentrate on how to use their move sets against enemies of varying skill types and abilities. But despite some of these positive notes, the game doesn’t provide enough intrigue or depth to keep players invested till the end. The lacklustre development of the world and characters, the poor graphics, and the overall, poorly executed combat system, quickly loses much of its steam after a while, even with the various skills provided. The developers do show some promise with developing compelling role-playing games, but much improvement will be needed for future titles.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to email@example.com.
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