Liberated Preview – Liberated From Doubts
Comic books are great, so checking out yet another indie game called Liberated was pretty much a must for me at Gamescom. Why? Well, because a polish indie studio tried to recreate the exact feeling of reading one in a video game and it’s beautiful.
Liberated centers around four characters, each living their life in a surveillance state that has it all, from a point system to total surveillance. Divided into four comic volumes, each one tells the story of one of those characters. None of them are special, all everyday people and we’re merely witnessing their struggle of becoming a rebel, a normal citizen or well, just trying to survive.
Like other titles set in a dystopia, Liberated isn’t about any big heroes or how they save this world, it’s just a human story. Liberated just changes the approach to a literal comic book, where you jump to each panel, read the dialogue and continue. However, while this could simply be a slightly different visual novel, the whole thing actually features its whole gameplay in those panels too. Meaning, you have to drive a car, run through subway stations or platform your way out of the hazardous areas from time to time instead of just reading. It’s a unique concept and from what I saw, it doesn’t only happen almost seemlessly but looks quite fantastic.
Liberated’s artstyle is quite unique as it features very melancholic colours mixed with a very rough, dirty comic book style, if that makes sense. On the one hand, it’s used to allow for some neat animations in the panels themselves but also offers a ton of cool setpieces or black and white areas similar to Limbo or Inside without feeling unnatural. On the other hand, it also just looks quite great as art. What surprised me the most though was the general flow of the panels and how everything really felt like a pretty good comic by itself, mainly because the lead artist drew the whole thing on paper first and making sure it feels right in a physical form before digitalizing it.
All in all, Liberated is certainly a unique game and so far, seems like it’s able to deliver on almost everything it promised artistically, now only the gameplay needs to prove itself.
Liberated will release 2019 on PC, PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch