When there are children involved, there is no fear that it will hold. And also the protagonist of No Place for Bravery, the warrior Thorn, is well aware of this. In fact, he will have to embark on a journey to save his missing daughter (or rather, kidnapped), and in the meantime he will discover more about both his past and the world that now surrounds him. How do you say? Is it something you’ve already heard?
Most likely yes. But how do you want to specify Glitch Factorystudy independent Brazilian for which this is the debut title, there is however the intention to offer a different interpretation than usual. Will they be able to propose it? Let’s find out in this version review Pc from No Place for Bravery. Recall that the game, published by Ysbryd Gamesis also available on Switch. Enjoy the reading.
A PAST THAT HAPPENS THE PRESENT
As can be guessed, in No Place for Bravery we will take on the role of Thorn, a retired warrior now owner of a tavern and with a difficult past behind him. In fact, the kidnapping of his daughter Leaf, which took place ten years earlier by the hand of a mysterious sorcerer, weighs heavily on his heart. A hope, that of finding it, never completely extinguished.
And one day he is rekindled thanks to an old comrade of his, who goes to see him and updates him on what is happening in the world. That of Dewr, now collapsing due to the increasingly frequent raids of bloodthirsty monsters. People are now resigned, but not Thorn. Who therefore decides to leave alongside his (acquired) son, in an adventure full of pitfalls …
The intent on the part of Glitch Factory to offer something different is stated. Because although it is an incipit not so original at all, there is an intention to explore important issues. The obligations of parents to their children and the consequences of their actions, strong father figures and so on. Many good narrative intentions, which however fail to materialize. Throughout the game, for example, Thorn will be asked several times to make decisions which, however, will always end up portraying him as a psychopath.
Not exactly the ideal parental figure, who on the proposal of the traveling companions he will meet along his path will even be able to choose to leave his ghosts behind. Thus abandoning the search for his daughter, Leaf. A clumsy attempt to add depth to a narrative which, thanks to the choices that are offered, remains however fallacious. Thorn himself will have the power to react to events in only two ways, overall. Passively or by unleashing a real killing spree.
BEING EVERYTHING AND NOT BEING NOTHING
In terms of gender, No Place for Bravery is proposed as a “action rpg top-down ”, which for some mechanics is inspired by Souls but even more a Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice (here our review). However, as we are about to discover, the reality is somewhat different. First of all, there is very little of the role; no upgrades, but just two new weapons with relative moves to unlock.
Also the scenarios, although very fascinating, follow one another in a linear way, canceling out any exploratory ambitions. Even what should be the main course, that is the combat system, denotes at the base of the somewhat questionable design choices. The reason is soon said. The clashes with the enemies will be frenetic, and in addition to being able to carry out attacks Thorn will be able to defend himself with the shield and to carry out the traditional “parry”.
Especially in Sekiro, a title to which the boys of Glitch Factory they declared that they were firmly inspired, the “sense” of the parry lies in leaving the opponents uncovered, so as to be able to land deadly blows. Too bad that here the monsters will be stunned for just a moment … We can use the opportunity to do some extra damage, but in fact the very mechanics behind the parry will be deprived of its standard meaning.
As if that weren’t enough, she was also transplanted by the Souls the resistance bar (which in Sekiro was missing for a reason), which will empty all too easily by parrying the opponent’s blows. The result is paradoxical, with the two mechanics that on balance will hinder each other. We have often and gladly made parries but then we do not have sufficient stamina to carry out a counterattack. As if that were not enough, guessing the “timing” of the aforementioned will really be a feat.
BEAUTIFUL TO SEE, BUT TO PLAY ..
What was supposed to be the strong point turns out to be the Achilles heel of No Place for Bravery. Where even Thorn himself gives first-hand proof of how frustrating the fight is. The fact that he uses a shield automatically suggests that a one-handed sword is used to attack. However, this is not the case, since our alter-ego will use a two-handed sword to take down enemies. All this translates in a rather singular animation which, in fact, will make it very difficult for us to understand when we are actually protecting ourselves.
Consequently, making the parries correctly will be even more difficult (although, in the end, doing them is very cheap). Another questionable possibility on the part of Thorn is that relating to the execution of the enemies. Once reduced to death, we can perform a bloody execution of our opponent on duty. “We can” however is not the right word, since such executions must necessarily be carried out to truly bring about a killing. All nice except that, in doing them, we will be exposed to other attacks. And you can imagine what what has just been said in a multiple battle implies …
The strength of the title of Glitch Factory it is certainly art design. The pixel art with which Dewr’s scenarios have been created will really leave you speechless. During our journey we will have the opportunity to admire the “decaying” landscapes of the game world from excellent panoramic perspectives. The character design is also captivating, both during exploration and combat as well as in the interludes.
Same thing for the soundtrack, which is up to the occasion by helping to create atmosphere in a world in ruins such as Dewr’s. Too bad that we cannot say the same about the audio sector, where I have frequently noticed the lack of synchronization between sounds and related actions. For example, the sound deriving from a blow received on our shield, which we will hear a moment before actually receiving the blow. This is also a factor that will make it more difficult to perform parries …
No Place for Bravery is the debut title of a debut Brazilian studio, Glitch Factory, who tried to field several ideas with the best of intentions… The result, however, is overall disappointing. And no, at the base there are not so many problems that can be solved with the all too classic post-launch patches. But design choices that to define questionable would be an understatement. A good story and beautiful pixel art accompanied by pleasant music are not enough to counterbalance everything else. It will be for the next one.