Fan of the Netflix series? Season 3 of Stranger Things is already on the platform and, accompanying it, we also have a video game. You can see how it turned out in our analysis of Stranger Things 3: The Game, an eighties title as the TV series.
In the past, opting for an aesthetic style or another was something that was fixed by technology; However, to this day, studies have so many resources that the opposite happens. How your video game looks and sounds are completely determined by the story or the type of playable experience you want to offer. Needless to say, with a TV series like Stranger Things in his hands, and with his decided commitment to the most blatant 80s nostalgia, the aesthetics of a video game based on it was clear: he had to honor classic videogames although, possibly, those that his responsibilities have had in mind are from a time somewhat later than the series itself.
The isometric perspective is there, something that goes back fantastically well to the most veteran who surely still remember graphic engines like the hallucinatory, for the time, Ultimate’s Filmation engine. And also a careful pixelated style that often seems an indissoluble marriage with the playable proposals of this type. This is how an adventure of action and open world is constructed, more curious in terms of its initial conception than in the results offered by its execution, and one that had good facilities for transferring the TV series successfully to video games. In this analysis, I am going to tell you some of the aspects in which this Stranger Things 3 The Game triumphs, but also the elements in which it has not finished rounding off that great starting point that it had in hand.
The World of Reverse is once again the main threat, although everything ends up being much more conventional and less risky than we would have expected. A game that, in short, is interesting almost exclusively for the most diehard fans of the television series.
Stranger Things 3, an Awesome Gang
Aware that, given that it is an action game, they do not have as much time as the TV series to develop the themes, the Stranger Things video game goes straight to the point. A short cinematic presents an experiment as a hook, and then we take control of the first two characters of the group that we control in a story that we can overcome in about 8 hours, which reviews almost all the great moments of season 3 of the series and that, to avoid spoilers, of course, we will not describe. There are up to a dozen controllable heroes, and the game manages well so that, regardless of the argument, you can keep us interested by unlocking them. Each of them has their own abilities, and there is a constant curiosity to know what the next one will bring and what their skills will be.
Using a system with some flashes of Metroidvania, sometimes we will find in a certain place an obstacle that we can only avoid with someone we have not yet released. This is how the classic mechanics of constant advancement and retreat are built, based on maps that are not too imaginative but allow a certain variety and that hide some very simple but always welcome puzzles. There is a forest, there is a shopping center, the city of Hawkins with some houses that can be visited … A dozen locations that we can visit and that, although they do not have anything particularly original or imaginative, help to bring some variety to the stages. Knowing the series and the topics it deals with, for example without going any further the third season, there was room to leave some room for experimentation;
Do your homework to please fans of the Netflix series.
The whole structure of the game is very similar to those of the current open worlds. With trees of main and secondary missions that we can open and fulfill in the order that we want. When the title adheres to what we have seen in the television series, it achieves some good results, nothing memorable but fairly entertaining. But also on other occasions, it tries to extend its duration in a somewhat tedious way with missions of the type of “clean this infestation of rats” that are repeated more times than desirable. One of lime and one of sand in this sense.
A somewhat similar feeling leaves Stranger Things 3: The Game in regards to combat. Having so many different characters, it gives the feeling that it could have gone much farther when it comes to offering variety. Yes, it is true that some are specialized in the melee, others offer alternatives at a distance and, in addition, each of them has a unique special ability. However, all of them are, moreover, quite similar to each other in their way of facing the enemies, and there are only two buttons to carry out the attacks: normal and special, boosting the latter by a cola. The fact that there is no great variety in adversaries, of course, does not help this. I do not speak with that lack of diversity in aesthetic terms, where it is not the thing to shoot rockets either,
Obviously, not everything is negative in the clashes, of course. To put another case, the cooperative is an always interesting option when it comes to injecting fun into that formula of action, and more so when the whole experience seems so strongly thought to encourage collaboration between two people and, in addition, there are so few releases that allow the local game today. today as is the case. If you can play alone? Of course, but you lose part of the magic that the program has and, moreover, you notice more of the playable gaps. Yes, the program is agile enough to allow us to change character quickly between the two that we have in action for each moment and among those waiting “on the bench”, and thus provide us with some agility and ability to react.
The Club of the Twelve
And is that, although all the mechanics are simple, there is a certain satisfaction in jumping from the fighting to the puzzles and exploration. Especially if, as we say, we do it with a friend. In addition, there is an extra mode that is unlocked at the end of the campaign that is really interesting and that is destined to put us to the test. It responds to the descriptive name of Eliminator and has the interesting twist that we have all the characters unlocked from the beginning, yes, but if one of them dies we say goodbye to him forever. Nothing revolutionary, of course, but coupled with the three levels of difficulty that are available from the beginning, offers a certain ability to stretch the duration as much as we wish.
For all these challenging ways you have to make the most of aspects such as exploration. With it, we get money, for example, which is used for some missions and also to acquire things that make our lives easier. On the other hand, there are also endless objects that we can find and that we can use to make different recipes to get more prepared. The mechanics are as simple as you might expect from a game with these characteristics, however, the addition of this kind of thing is always nice to give some depth to the whole, and it is well explained and introduced very progressively to try not to overwhelm anyone.
The style that pays homage to the 16 bits is quite successful.
On the other hand, the style that pays homage to the 16 bits achieved, and aesthetically this Stranger Things 3: The Game is a nice proposal for the eye. The game, however, does not make too many efforts to be particularly realistic in the portraits of characters, but it does enough to make most of them identifiable with simplicity although, really, most of them do not look too much. More achieved are the scenarios that, although they suffer from that variety that we mentioned before, are colorful, sometimes variegated and house some space for exploration. Pity that the isometric perspective plays us some bad passes with curtain walls, which can cause us more of a dislike in the level of higher difficulty.
As for the audio, the soundtrack does a good job. Homenajeando scores that will sound to us of the series, but taking them to his retro land. The effects are fine, although it is striking that there is no type of voice for dialogues that we can only know through text boxes. Obviously, a tribute to the era that has saved many thousands of dollars to those responsible.
There is nothing essentially good or bad in a Stranger Things 3: The Game that does the homework to please fans of the Netflix series, and little else. Of course, there are some salvageable things like your cooperative and its aesthetic, which will delight the nostalgic, which together with a good length can make us spend a pleasant time with him. It is a videogame that does not aspire to more, but neither less.
- The parade of controllable characters and familiar situations will please the fans.
- Each hero has his own abilities, and that always brings a certain freshness.
- All the eighties aroma of the game, from aesthetics to sound.
- A cooperative is an option that is always welcome.
- The mixture of exploration, action, and puzzles is entertaining … a while.
- Numerous and annoying loading times.
- Many of the first missions are boring and routine.
- The isometric perspective sometimes plays some tricks.