A man who is killed by his own brother and resurrected by the Norns, the weavers of fate, is the key to stopping the Ragnarok. Once again, a game rescues the Nordic Eddas for an action game, but, as we will see in Fimbul’s analysis, the execution is not very solid.
The other day in the life The Messenger said that the game was a master in maintaining the player’s attention thanks to its variety. There was not an hour in the Sabotage game in which we did not reinvent ourselves and that is important in a time when we are bombarded with constant proposals that, sometimes, do not really propose anything new. If you look in Fimbul what is its essence, what relevance does it have for the video game both in its form and in what it wants to tell us, the truth is that you will not see much that you have not seen a thousand times and better done?
Maybe that’s the reason why the game hides in its particular artistic style of vignettes to tell the story. A stylistic resource that always gives good results to independent studies to be able to advance a plot without the need of complex cinematic sequences. Those of Fimbul is correct, but what he tells us lacks the ability to go further in the narrative, telling us the eternal conflict of Nordic mythology between the giants of Jotun and Midgard before the imminent arrival of Ragnarok. A confusing story, not because of what counts, but because of the way in which it is told, which in its development releases characters and situations in which it does not have much interest in deepening.
The same happens in combat, that beyond certain mechanical combos that I will explain next, has a development in its slow action, which transmits little to the command and ends up bored by its monotony.
It deepens little in its mechanics and shows enough design problems
We have a light attack (although in Spanish the game calls it Attack of Light, that is another one), a heavy one, the option to block, roll and use three types of weapons and a shield. All interactions with enemies in the fighting lack what is necessary to create a good fight. The actions do not feel convincing. The sound effects do not accompany. The animations are coarse, slow and lack the ability to transmit a strong response to the player. But it is that Fimbul is, in short, an amateur game, created by a studio with talent but that is learning the basics of the creation of a video game and that still has a lot to master.
Fimbul, a slow giantThere is some light at the end of the tunnel. The system of combos that the game uses keeps the essence of a good combat design through a mechanic that always has to be taken into account. They are not combos per se but allude to several blows often. Each of them provides a point. At 5 points, you can make a special attack. At 10, an execution. At 20, an attack in the area. And another one that we will not say, that arrives in the last bars of the adventure. The point is that, if we receive damage, we lose points, and this balance is achieved is a good idea for a game of these characteristics that, well developed, could have put the work in reference.
As it comes to us, it is an undeveloped idea that barely sustains the work itself and that takes refuge in an excessive amount of waves of repetitive enemies that the game throws you in the face without rest, before a camera that never finishes finding its site. He is so aware of this, deep down, that he tries to alternate these action sequences with elements of stealth in a flashback where we have to go unnoticed by the watchful eye of the Jotun giants, while we escape. Nothing too difficult or too original. Again, Fimbul seems to deny himself the opportunity to go beyond the presentation of his own mechanics to deepen them and challenge the player.
The only time you can feel a certain challenge, taking a couple of encounters with some trolls, is in the final stages of the adventure. By the pure amount of enemies, you have to measure each confrontation, while combats with bosses are accumulated. But the real final boss at the moment is the frame rate, which on a PlayStation 4 Pro is completely laughable. We talk about moments when the game is directly uncontrollable.
There are four moments where we can make decisions in the game, all referred to if we kill or not kill an enemy. Neither is anything relevant, beyond that on the occasions when I saved the enemy in question has served to achieve some help in the final battle. But for that battle, the game has already lost you on the way.
Throughout the work, there is hardly any music. Only a kind of environmental tonadilla that repeats without ceasing during practically the whole game. There are hardly changes in it, not even though you pause the game. The sound effects of the game are so sparse and they are so low that the only thing that accompanies you is that murmur of sound during the whole adventure. This sonic oversight says a lot about what Fimbul is in general terms. An introductory work of a study that is experiencing and that perhaps in the future, if they focus on developing and delving into the good design ideas that they are able to imagine, achieve better results than with this Fimbul. I have no doubt that you will have learned a lot from this Ragnarok.
Fimbul barely meets the objectives that are expected in an action game. Its system is slow, little stimulating and not lacking enough technical and design failures along the way. Even so, it manages to create an interesting system of combos, but the final result is far from being an experience that attracts the players. You can see the inexperience of the study, which has yet to refine and refine its ideas.
- The combos system is interesting
- Technical, camera and performance failures everywhere
- Slow, with a lack of pace and attraction in their fight
- Topical and uninteresting history
- Constant repetition of enemies without many strategies