nobody saves the world

Review

Nobody Saves the World Review

January 18, 2022

By: Austin Suther

 
 
More Info About This Game
Developer
Drinkbox Studios
Publisher
Drinkbox Studios
Release Date
January 18,2022 (Calendar)
Genre
Action RPG
Purchase (Some links may be affiliated)

In Nobody Saves the World, you can play as many different things: a spooky necromancer, a powerful robot, or heck, even a monk that throws out fists of fury. like a lot of fun, doesn't it? Me though, I like the goofier options. Who knew that playing as an egg -- yes, just a normal egg -- a rat, or even a horse, would be so much fun, too. Nobody Saves the World is an action RPG by developers DrinkBox Studios. In this very quirky, comical game, you can make that egg or horse as powerful as a dragon that breaths freakin' fire. It's absurd and outrageous, and so much fun.

nobody saves the world
Who knew a zombie would be the world's savior?

Saving the World in the Ironically-named Nobody Saves the World

Nobody Saves the World is a narrative-driven title that allows for plenty of exploration and freedom in a top-down, NES Zelda-like map. You'll wake up as an amnesiac, this pasty white blank slate of a husk that can do nothing but a pitiful slap. After the Calamity is unleashed upon the world and the wizard Nostragamus disappears, things aren't looking great for this wacky fantasy kingdom. Armed with a wand that allows you to change forms, it's up to you to take on droves of enemies and put an end to the Calamity.

 

This is a game with a positively addicting gameplay loop. I'm a bit of a quest addict, so games that give out these tasks like candy really scratch that gameplay itch. Nobody Saves the World is no different, and quests are vital to progression in this ARPG. Quests allow you to upgrade the current forms you've acquired and unlock more on a skill tree so you can continue to do more quests, and more, and more... But these are in fact quite unique and create a compelling gameplay loop!

Quests will compel players to use certain abilities for their forms in specific ways; the mermaid form, for example, has a bubble that can charge up and burst. Hitting multiple enemies with that bubble burst a set number of times will fulfill that quest and allow you to level up the mermaid, unlocking new abilities and opening up the opportunity to unlock more characters to play as along the way. A bit into your adventure you'll also be able to mix and match active abilities from different forms, which will open up even more quests, too. That goofy egg you can play as? It can incubate and heal itself, but if you want a heal of your own on, say, the horse, you can incubate the horse and heal. Scientifically speaking, it checks out, I swear.

 
 
ready or not
Very spoopy ghost.

Each form also has unique passive abilities, and four slots in total. Finding the right type of passive to complement a form's playstyle is essential, and with dozens of ways to build your character, I'm sure there's going to be some insane builds out there as more people get their hands on Nobody Saves the World. Although, at times I wished you could save specific builds to certain forms. Sometimes, quests require you to equip a certain skill and use it on one of these transformations -- and it could be a skill you don't usually use -- but with 15 transformations to choose from, it can be hard to remember your ideal build. I would have liked to see a way to save builds to specific transformations rather than manually changing it each and every time.

These forms as a whole are quite individualized, and I have to hand it to Drinkbox for making such a creative cast of characters and unique abilities. The horse's main ability is a backward kick, so it's a quirky way of playing a character in an ARPG, positioning yourself with your butt facing the enemy so you can hit them. Or the ghost, which has an aura that instills fear and damage on any enemy it touches (fear is a debuff that can cause enemies to flee from you). While you're probably going to favor some forms over the other, the quest system gives players a chance to try them all out and acts as a guide for how you might want to play a form effectively, since some quests require you to play in a specific way.

 
 
nobody saves the world
Some of these dungeons just look so badass.

Spelunking and Exploring in Nobody Saves the World

Like more hardcore ARPGs such as Diablo, the overworld has plenty of dungeons to delve into. These dungeons are a pleasure to experience because while there is a finite number of them, they are randomly generated each and every time. Some dungeons have unique affixes to them that remain constant no matter how many times you run it, though. One I remember and loathe is the outrageous dungeon where any form of damage is multiplied by x999, meaning if you get hit, you're dead. The same rules work for enemies in that dungeon. It's a dungeon called Big Gnarly, and it certainly lives up to its name.

Dungeons also have enemies with wards on them, and these wards require a specific damage type to break. Once a ward is broken, the enemy can be damaged, and with damage types split into four categories, it'll require you to build your characters correctly. These dungeons do, at times, put your skills to the test and allow you to experiment with builds you might not have considered before with wards attached on certain enemies. My only complaint about said dungeons are the boss fights, which are completely uncompelling. These bosses are just enlarged enemies with a large health pool, and some other enemies are thrown into the mix to make it a bit more complicated for players.

However, to be as vague as possible so as not to spoil the story, your main goal is to acquire pieces from these story-based dungeons that, like lesser dungeons, have unique affixes and are filled with enemies that have wards. What's different about these story dungeons is that quests are disabled. In regular dungeons, I found myself constantly trying to complete quests since these areas are filled with so many enemies. By disabling quests in story dungeons, it's a genius way for players to focus on creating the most powerful builds they can without getting bogged down by fulfilling any other objective. Like regular dungeons, though, boss fights are once again lacking in originality, but that's the fault with these more challenging areas.

nobody saves the world boss
Yawn. A boring boss.

While dungeons put your skills to the test, I appreciate the more relaxing activity of exploring the overworld. This large, Zelda-like area is filled with plenty of monsters of its own, but you're not bogged down by affixes or wards. It offers more of a change for players to poke around and find secrets and fulfill quests from NPCs that have goofy stories in their own right. One quest had me develop a cipher for dolphin language, only to find that said dolphins are foul-mouthed, rude, and best left to their own devices.

 
 

The only complaint I can come up with for the overworld (and dungeons) is the way in which level scales in Nobody Saves the World. Fulfilling quests also levels up your character and gives you a boost to generic stats like health for progression purposes. For whatever reason, areas in Nobody Saves the World always seemed two levels or more ahead. I'd arrive at a new section of the map, and it would say it requires level 30 while I was level 28. I'd come back later at a higher level, only to find that it was once again at a higher level than I was. There were other times where this principle didn't hold true, so scaling seems to be inconsistent and should be clearer.

nobody saves the world
Who knew those rabbits were also so deadly?

Nobody Saves the World | Final Thoughts

Indeed, the gameplay in Nobody Saves the World is quite fun, and the loop of acquiring new forms and completing quests is addicting. For as fun as the gameplay is, the art and charm of Nobody Saves the World might just surpass that. It's a wildly vibrant, colorful game with an almost Adult Swim-like aesthetic to its world and characters. It's violent at times, but not egregiously so. It's a bit crude in its humor but there are times where it manages a laugh, too. Truly, I loved exploring every nook and cranny of Nobody Saves the World. The playful soundtrack by Jim Guthrie acts as the perfect complement for Nobody Saves the World's striking art.

There's never a dull moment in Nobody Saves the World. Turn a corner into the unknown and you'll find plenty of new and intriguing details in its world. Collecting all the different transformations and trying them out for myself never bored me, either. Nobody Saves the World isn't a substitute for hardcore ARPGs or hack-and-slashes like Path of Exile -- there's no randomized loot -- but it is the perfect game to sit down, chill, and just have some fun. If this game can make playing as an egg exciting, you know it's a good one.


TechRaptor reviewed Nobody Saves the World on PC using a copy provided by the publisher. It is also available on Xbox One and Series X/S.

Review Summary

Review Summary

8.0
Drinkbox's signatue charm and humor is infused in this non-serious ARPG. With a wonderful art style and fun world to explore, Nobody Saves the World is a fun 20 hour escape.

Pros

  • Satisfying Gameplay Loop with Questing
  • Mix-and-Matching Abilities Makes for Creative Combat
  • Wildly Cool World, Fun to Explore Overworld and Dungeons

Cons

  • Character Builds Should be Savable
  • Boss Fights Aren't Creative
  • Inconsistent Level Scaling