It has been a long time since I have fallen in love with a game so quickly. Weakless is a stunning puzzle-adventure game from Punk Notion that takes you on an ever-scenic journey; naturally making you appreciate the power in your senses.
In a carefree village, Weakless will see you take on the roles of two peculiar Weavelings – one being deaf and the other, blind. Their lifepaths brought them together and a heartfelt friendship took root. Weakless starts off calm with some simple exploration that also serves as a tutorial, until a sudden and unexpected event occurs that literally drops them into a new adventure. On your quest to get to the heart of this anomaly (when you play Weakless, you’ll realize that this is an actual pun), Deaf and Blind work together to solve creative puzzles along the way.
There are no spoken words throughout the course of Weakless, and on the surface, it may appear as though there is no story. However, as one you progress through the game you realize that every puzzle, sound, painting, character interaction and environmental element is a story on its own. It’s as if you’re unravelling the tale you unexpectedly found yourself in, bit by bit. This, in its own way, serves as a delicate reminder of how unpredictable and interesting life actually is. There is a beautiful atmosphere created in the non-verbal expression of friendship with Weakless.
One of the many countless things that I fell in love with Weakless for, was the gameplay. The puzzles strike the perfect balance between complexity and solvability, as well as the need for use of both characters. For example, Deaf’s eyesight will help you see the details in the world but when faced with darkness, Blind’s “insight” is what helps you see. This relationship is so organically produced that it becomes almost instinctive to know which strength you’ll require to solve the puzzles. The controls and camera sensitivity were smooth and allowed for a streamlined experience. To be honest, I only ever experienced four glitches throughout the entire game. I appreciated that the checkpoints were never too far apart, so if for some reason you need to reload, you’re not starting Weakless all over again.
In order to truly capture the dynamic between Deaf and Blind, the team at Punk Notion ensured that the game was an experience about their strengths and not what they lacked. With Deaf, you get to see a vivid and stunning world filled with peculiar plants, paintings and creatures. With Blind, on the other hand, you get to see through the world and hear sounds, play instruments and solve unique sound puzzles as well. One of my favourite moments was a scene where Deaf and Blind were part of what seemed to be a praise ceremony. Blind played his instrument, while Deaf followed the movements of the other creatures to dance too – they easily are a part of each other’s worlds. The world in Weakless is one of charming details and features. The colours and lighting set the mood for every stage you will encounter, while the sounds do the same. Another artistic element in Weakless is Deaf’s journal. In it, any rock paintings, posters and even instruments played by Blind, are all recorded by Deaf for you to look back on. There are quite a few of these “entries” to be collected throughout the game and appease your curious side.
I loved the game more once I finished it, because I now see the depth and thought that went into the title – Weakless. Never at any point do you see Deaf as a character who can’t hear, nor Blind as one who can’t see. Instead, every puzzle requires the utilization of what they can do. That in itself, makes you Weakless in your quest. It was a subtle yet powerful reminder that we all possess qualities that matter and together, we can become Weakless as we make up for the things we lack in each other. A title you can play and relish over and over again. Dare I say that Weakless was flawless? Yes. Yes, I do dare.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Microsoft Xbox One code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to email@example.com.
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Gameplay - 10/10
Graphics - 10/10
Sound - 10/10
Replay Value - 10/10
A truly memorable title with so much heart, Weakless may easily find its way into your all-time favourites list.
- Beautiful aesthetic.
- Great use of sound and visuals to highlight each character’s strengths.
- Well-balanced puzzles.
- Too short.