I stumbled across Metaverse Keeper in the hope to experience something unique and I was not disappointed. While there may be many more games in it’s genre, Metaverse Keeper has enough of its own feel and creativity to keep you coming back for more. Even experienced gamers like myself will find a challenging experience that will give you the drive of re-attempting a failed mission “just one more go” which will turn into about ten more go’s. It’s a game that brings its own style and flavour which help it to stand out in a crowded yet thriving Indie scene without being held back by other games in the same genre. I recently played the Metaverse Keeper Demo for the first time and can tell you it is as fun as it is frustrating in a sense that it makes you want to be better at the game. After you witness how bad I am at the game on my first playthrough, you will understand the level of frustration I am referring to and will hopefully want to try the demo out for yourselves.
So Metaverse Keeper is a top-down, 2D dungeon crawler with roguelike elements where you will be roaming around randomly generated dungeons encountering tricky enemies along the way. I played through the demo using an Xbox One controller and couldn’t imagine playing the game without one, controlling your character with all the buttons on the controller seems a perfect fit for the game and was obviously developed with gamepad support in mind. So I would highly recommend using one if you want to get the most out of Metaverse Keeper. You start off with a quick tutorial which attempts to get you used to the controls and feel of the game, but even the tutorial proved too much of a challenge for me and I ended up dying! After the tutorial is over you will be teleported to the hub of the game where you can swap out characters and shop for upgrades etc before you start a mission. The real adventure begins when you start a mission, you will notice that you will have a weapon along with other items and abilities shown on the bottom left of the screen with your mini map on the bottom right of the screen.
What I found interesting was the fact that every time I restarted the mission (after dying repeatedly) was that it gave me a different weapon meaning that not only are the dungeons randomly generated but so are your weapons and items. While I understand that this seems to be a strong trait of Metaverse Keeper keeping the feel fresh every time you start a mission, it’s a little annoying if you had previously gotten used to a weapon and wanted to keep it only to find you have now lost it after restarting the mission. The feel of each weapon is different, you will not only get a normal attack by pressing X but you will also get a special attack by pressing Y which can alter your play style depending on what weapon you currently have. For example, if you have the blaster gun, using its special attack will shoot three concurrent blasts out together while if you have the crowbar, the special attack will have you do a jump back enabling you to dodge enemy attacks. I wasn’t very good using the crowbar as it meant getting up close to the enemies but it felt fun chaining in your special dodge after a few hits, the gun is a safer bet for noobs like myself. My favourite weapon of choice had to be the whip, it felt as satisfying as the crowbar but allowed you to keep a safer distance while making me feel like I was Indiana Jones.
Of course, your main weapon is not all you have at your disposal, you also have bombs which help you break down barriers halting your progress and deal area damage as well as other items you can pick up along the way which you can swap out on the fly. In each mission you will encounter a shop which will allow you to purchase weapons and upgrades to help you on your way and believe me, you will need all the help you can get! Not only that, you will pick up power enhancement tools called “chips” which you will need to use to upgrade weapons in order to survive the ever growing challenge the further you get in the game. Each mission ends with a boss battle and the one in the demo had me frustrated to the core! Not that that is a knock at the game itself, but you have to restart the mission from the beginning every time you die and of course starts you with a new weapon. There may be a way of keeping hold of your weapon if you die but I never found out how if it is possible. The boss will hit you with some kind of confusion attack which will mess the mapping of your movement up so walking right on the controller will actually move your character left etc. He will also spawn smaller enemies which build up fast if you don’t take them down quick enough, a real challenge for only the first mission of the game.
Metaverse Keeper is very enjoyable as a single player experience but its strongest trait will no doubt be its co op mode which can be played either locally or online. While I have not yet tried this mode out for myself, I can imagine how enjoyable it will feel taking down an epic boss with a friend and also getting the help from them that you need! The game will be released on PC and Mac with no word on a console release yet but I’m sure more details on that front as well as a release window will come soon enough. In the meantime, I advise all of you to play the demo in order to get an idea of the sort of challenges to expect from Metaverse Keepers full release. I will be trying my luck with the demo again both in single player and co op mode not only because I’m a glutton for punishment but because I now feel the need to get better at games like this!
Let me know what you think of Metaverse Keeper in the comment section below, I would love to hear your thoughts!
Witten by Sammy J on 9th February 2019