This is our No Place for Bravery review, which is a top-down 2D action RPG that was developed by Glitch Factory and published by Ysbryd Games. At first glance, it gives off the vibes of two extremely popular titles, Hyper Light Drifter in terms of colorful aesthetics, and Children of Morta in terms of its themes of family.
This game does also envoke themes like those seen in some other titles like God of War, in which you fight with your son against otherworldly forces, and FromSoft titles in terms of the punishing gameplay. I understand that this is giving mixed messages right at the very start, but let’s dive into the review to find out more about it.
Story And Setting
The game starts in a medieval countryside-like region, and the story does a decent enough job to set up the basic premise. It’s not what you would call good, but it’s serviceable enough as it is. The narrative tries to tell the story of a grizzled warrior roaming a broken world in search of his long-lost daughter.
You take on the role of this warrior, named Thorn, who is prepared to leave everything behind in order to exact his revenge on the people who took his daughter Leaf. Ten years ago, she was abducted by an evil warlock while on a hunting expedition. Thorn has never given up on his daughter even after all these years but his wife Rosa has since moved on.
Throughout his journey, everyone Thorn meets advises him to let his daughter go and move on as well, but out of fatherly love, he never gives up hope that he could one day see his daughter again.
As the story goes on you’ll understand that Thorn’s obsession, rather than love, drives him to be so violent, and it has blinded him, causing him to act irrationally and without thinking. Our protagonist has a just cause but he’s also a deeply flawed individual.
Something I observed while playing the game was that the moment-to-moment gameplay made it difficult for me to tell how a fight sequence or story beat would turn out. That’s because, in several discussions, one character would say something, and another would respond with an entirely different statement.
Perhaps that’s because the developers wrote the dialogue in their native language and then had it translated into English later, causing a lot of the nuances to be lost in the process.
Throughout the adventure, a boy with broken legs also accompanies you. Well, it’s more like Thorn has to carry him on his back while slaughtering and murdering different enemies wherever he goes. Thorn encounters the child after killing a boss right after the tutorial, and decides to raise him as his own.
The decisions you make during the expedition also have an impact on the plot, and depending on your choices the game can end in two ways. The first is the pacifist option where everything ends in a non-violent manner, while the other is filled with all of the horrifying things you can imagine. We’re obviously not going to spoil these endings, but I thought our readers would want to know that this is an option.
The combat in this game is pretty hardcore, which means that you are going will die an awful lot of times. The basic gameplay is simple, as you can block, attack, dodge, and parry. While fending off enemies, you have to be mindful of your stamina, and there is even a bonfire mechanic for saving your progress, health regeneration, potion refilling, and resetting enemies to their default locations. The stance mechanism from Sekiro is also present in the game, allowing you to kill an enemy without depleting all of their health, and this also applies to Thorn himself.
Because there are no invincibility frames after being hit, you can be hit repeatedly with no breaks, which is a difficult feature to be sure. A death blow must be delivered quickly after an enemy’s stance meter has been completely depleted, because the parry window is way too small. Annoying archers and the constant hordes of enemies make it difficult to do, but the upside is that you can direct the movements of other enemies to put them in the archers’ line of fire.
As you progress through the game, you can unlock skills specific to the three available weapons: a sword(the default one), a hammer, and a bow. Different weapons allow you to unlock various parts of the map. There is no way that you can upgrade your health or stamina, but you can buy potions, explosives, knives, and traps to lay down to help you in combat.
The game’s ‘Accessibility’ features are also worth mentioning, as you can adjust various settings to alter the difficulty. It does offer the standard array of easy, medium, and challenging difficulty levels. However, you can customize the experience even further. Thorn’s health, stamina, defense meter, the amount of damage you take, and the parry window time are all modifiable.
Visuals And Performance
A blend of soothing music and pixel art gives this game its distinctive appearance and ambiance. It is animated, vibrant, and full of life. The execution animations are incredible as well, and if timed correctly, they can restore your stamina. Executing new enemies during my gameplay was always entertaining to watch how they animate differently. This game is for you if you like a lot of gore and blood puddles in your pixel art
It’s a minor complaint, but the fact that Thorn’s legs were only one pixel wide and looked like matchsticks was sort of annoying. However, the rest of the game is beautiful, and the gameplay and music slightly drifted apart as the game went on.
Talking about performance, the official requirements are really low. The machine we played on was a Xeon E3-1270, GTX 550, and 8 GB of memory. The game never crashes or anything, but there were times when some of the assets didn’t load up and enemies were basically invisible, leaving us open to their attacks without being able to see them. But reloading the game did the trick.
No Place for Bravery is a pretty good time. If you are hardcore action and pixel art fan then this game is a perfect fit for you. The story is interesting, and I enjoyed following Thorn on his journey, as he attempted to find his long-lost daughter and restore his family.
But remember that it’s not an ideal title. Apart from the minor technical issues, the gameplay does also get messy at points like when archers are standing somewhere you can’t access directly, and their aim is simply too accurate and they never miss a shot.
All in all, this is a pretty decent game.
So this wraps up our No Place for Bravery Review. While you’re here, consider checking out some of our other articles.
- Slime Rancher 2 Early Access Review
- Shovel Knight Dig Review
- The DioField Chronicle Review
- Return to Monkey Island Review
- The Wandering Village Review
- Soulstice Review
- The Last Of Us Part 1 Review
- Metal: Hellsinger Review
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No Place for Bravery Review
- Story And Setting
- Visuals and Performance
No Place for Bravery is a pretty good time. If you are hardcore action and pixel art fan then this game is a perfect fit for you.
- Excellent Pixel Art.
- Plenty Of Action.
- Beautiful Map.
- Translation Issues.
- Occasionally Messy Gameplay.