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Resolutiion | Review, the heart of the machine

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Judit Llordés
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When I told you about Resolution di Monolith of Minds in its preview some time ago, I had expressed a certain curiosity towards the title, presented with a small taste with a peculiar flavor. Merging religiosity, mysticism and a world ravaged by insane technology was no easy task, but the two fierce Germans behind its realization have given everything to be able to bring their extravagant vision to life, now in its final form after years. of development.



Getting a hand on all Resolutiion was a crazy journey exactly as I expected it to be, a psychedelic bitterness trip, which tickles the strings as a player but goes well beyond the playful pretext, hiding an unexpected depth and, when discovered, wonderful. The Monolith of Minds secret is something withheld, so much so that it is difficult to describe in words the world they have been able to imagine. After all, such imaginaries are so rare that it would be a shame to translate them all in wagonloads of letters, in fact they would lose the magic of what they manage to communicate even with just the choice of chrome.

Past lost

Resolutiion starts cryptic and remains cryptic for almost the entire game, testifying to the same desire to give the player the task of testing the world with his own hands. What you need to know is that your hard-to-understand avatar has to lead an AI by name Elsewhere, which is the key to destroying the great technocentric system that governs the entire game world. Right from the start it will be clear to you that there is really nothing recognizable for you, if not the ruins of a humanity now reduced to a memory that is far too distant. What remains is an agglomeration of ideologies, regions and cultures, where technological deities with human features control the ecosystems in which they reign.



As the agent of a chaos aimed at overturning an all too cruel order, you will tread the ground facing all these lords of the circuits, crossing areas that recall some of the best known cultural legacies. The imagery created by Monolith of Minds is as fluid as it is creative, dosing the decadent cyberpunk futurism to perfection. At any moment you may find yourself in forests teeming with animals that have merged into strange constructs, in deserts with offices inhabited by technomancers too frightened by the giant sand cat, or in mountains with iron Torii portals where techno-Shinto monks dig in. land next to industrial complexes and construction machinery. Sure, it fits into what Hyper Light Drifter traced in many places, but from the very first minutes the thematic detachment is clear, so much so that it can be an influential inspiration in the near future as was the title mentioned.

Remaining in the present however, the care with which Monolith of Minds has treated its art direction is off the charts, enough to stick to the screen at every area transition. Every time you cross a threshold of the ten regions available, the desire to explore becomes almost a natural instinct, although most of the time this act does not have significant repercussions on the gameplay side. Rather than equipment or consumables, Resolutiion rewards the curious with pieces of history told by various NPCs, one written better than the other. None of them will ever be direct in his words and most of the time you will have to decipher what you are told, but it is all part of the mystical charm of Resolutiion, which like a religious faith asks you to believe by appealing to your heart rather than ingenuity. .


The only sensible relationship will be the one with the AI ​​Alibii, which will guide you into the secrets of the game world through the field research of what she calls "feelings" or "emotions": elements that go beyond the coldness of cables and virtual fields, forgotten by the whole world and abandoned in the maze of the earth in strings of bizarre code. This explains why you will find animals that speak to you of state structures, of technomancers who have the ability to interact with a computer at the first configuration or of the gurus with the verb in ASCII. There is a need for change, to overturn the dystopian status quo in which the world finds itself, but whether this happens for the better or for worse will be up to you to judge.


Digital echoes

A myriad of tools and weapons will be enslaved for your purpose, in full old-school action-adventure style. Here too, Resolutiion stands out from the crowd thanks to a plethora of absurd ideas that go far beyond the sword-bow dichotomy. You can change reality, bend time, interact with strange beings and solve environmental puzzles in many ways, in short, a world to be shaped as you acquire the various - and many - tools of the trade.

Monolith of Minds has absolutely no economics on the pure action side, changing the gameplay from time to time and giving the player the ability to feel like a multi-functional machine. The spearhead of the gameplay, in addition to its depth, are the "boss fights": very hard fights in which your reflexes will be crucial to avoid death, considering that you will rarely have the opportunity to cure yourself. Cruelty is therefore not just narrative, but we will avoid the classic comparison with souls-like. Fortunately, there is no enemy respawn (it would be useless, there are no levels), so the punishment is mitigated by unique clashes in their proposal.


The problem arises only in navigation of the game world, the only really obvious flaw by Resolutiion. Being quite vast, you will find yourself having to traverse certain areas of the game over and over again without understanding much of which direction you will go, hampered by a beautiful but impractical map design. Not that there is an excess of backtracking, indeed the problem will arise only towards the beginning of the game, but it is still a frustrating aspect that can undermine the enjoyment of the game world. This also affects the check points, in some cases not exactly positioned with brilliance.


Monolith of Minds is forgiven, however, with all the rest of the title, experienced by myself on Nintendo Switch in a format that would seem almost native. Playing Resolutiion on Nintendo Switch, especially in handheld mode, enhances beauty of its minimal pixel art, accentuating the colors and allowing the areas to come to life as miniatures to be appreciated in their composition. Even on larger screens, Resolutiion's aesthetic is jaw-dropping at the detail it's been graced with, appearing like a weird pixel watercolor painting. The joy for the eyes is then accompanied by highly respected electronic compositions, capable of characterizing the sound of each region and, consequently, demonstrating the skill of the artist behind their creation. In short, from an aesthetic point of view I really have nothing to complain about Monolith of Minds, if not the spasmodic desire to see their creativity still at work.

In copertina: The Art of Resolutiion – Cover di Chris Rafferty

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