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The Mobius Machine Review: A Solid Yet Familiar Metroidvania Experience

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In an era where the Metroidvania genre seems to have swung heavily towards sword-swinging and platform-leaping escapades, “The Mobius Machine” is a bit of a breath of fresh, albeit recycled, air for those yearning for the nostalgia of laser-blasting their way through alien adversaries. This game, with its unabashed nod to the Metroid side of its ancestry, drops players into the boots of an astronaut protagonist whose reality suddenly mirrors the nightmare of being stranded on an alien planet. From the get-go, the setup is simple yet effective—wake up, shoot up, and gear up to survive an extraterrestrial wilderness.

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The game’s opening acts as a comforting handshake to veterans of the genre, offering the quintessential Metroidvania experience—explore, encounter, evolve. Armed initially with nothing more than a laser gun, players are thrust into an alien world with the straightforward mission of survival and escape, facilitated by an ever-expanding arsenal and a suite of mobility-enhancing upgrades. From shotguns and sniper rifles to climbing picks to scale cliffs or parachutes to glide, each new gadget or ability found feels like a key unlocking a previously inaccessible section of the game’s sprawling, mysterious world.

However, “The Mobius Machine’s” map mechanics lean into a more exploratory and less hand-holding approach, requiring players to find map rooms to chart their surroundings. This could have been an intriguing twist on navigation, yet it more often feels like an unnecessary hindrance, leaving players to aimlessly wander the alien terrain. Worse, none of the collectibles are highlighted in any meanfully way on the map, so you’ll need to drop your own pins and hope you remember what it was. The game’s structure sometimes feels at odds with itself, promoting exploration while offering little in the way of rewards for those who venture off the beaten path. Discoveries range from game-changing upgrades to disappointing dead ends, with too many of the latter dampening the thrill of exploration. There’s nothing worse than finding part of a gun or upgrade, but needing three of them to do anything with it.

The incorporation of a Soulslike death penalty, where dying means leaving behind valuable resources, introduces an element of risk that will undoubtedly polarize players. Difficulty levels do help here, but coupled with sparse save points and enemies capable of rapid devastation, the game can oscillate between thrilling and frustrating. That said, losing resources is rarely a problem. We found ourselves flush the whole game, with nothing to spend them on.

Despite these gripes, “The Mobius Machine” manages to carve out a space for itself in the crowded Metroidvania landscape. The game’s 3D character models and environmental design are quite stunning and help breath life into its alien world, creating a setting that is as engaging to navigate as it is to behold. It’s a game that, while stumbling in places with its execution, still captures the essence of what makes the genre enduringly popular: the joy of discovery, the satisfaction of overcoming daunting challenges, and the allure of the unknown.

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Ultimately, “The Mobius Machine” is a commendable endeavor that marries the tried-and-true formula of its predecessors with its own unique flavor. While it may not revolutionize the genre, it offers enough to keep both newcomers and seasoned veterans engaged, if not wholly satisfied. In the grand scheme of things, it’s a solid addition to the Metroidvania pantheon.

RATING: 3.0 out of 5.0

The Morbius Machine is available on March 1st for PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series S/X.  A press key was received from the publisher.

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  • Luis

    Wish I could watch these movies everyone else gets to see but I'm too busy playing games 24/7. Thanks Dad for the trust fund!

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2 Responses

  1. Risen says:

    The Mobius Machine is a solid game with a lot of familiar elements from other Metroidvania titles. It’s fun to explore and the mechanics work well, but it doesn’t really bring anything new to the table. Still, it’s a good pick if you’re a fan of the genre.

  2. friday fox says:

    The Mobius Machine is a solid game with a lot of familiar elements from other Metroidvania titles. It doesn’t break new ground, but it’s still a fun and engaging experience if you enjoy the genre.

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