It is not everyday we get blessed by a free game on the Wii U eShop nor by Bandai Namco, yet it has indeed happened and that game is Lost Reavers. It is an RPG Action/Adventure game in which you must team up with other players around the globe to fight through hordes of monsters whilst seeking relics and artifacts in tombs and labyrinths. You have a choice between 4 characters, two male, two female and each has their own movesets and skills. Sayuri is a master with the katana. Dwayne is a heavy hitting walking armoury, Victoria, the sultry mistress, is armed with a revolver and an automatic pistol and Shadow Stalker is definitely the type of person you don’t want to meet in a dark alley.
The main idea of the game is to gain experience by completing objectives through each level, like kill all enemies, deactivate the locks, reach the rendezvous point, etc. You acquire skill points which you can then use to increase weapon performance, capacity and other tiers. There are also other rewards which can be unlocked by gaining experience and successfully completing extra puzzles.
How can I sum up the story of Lost Reavers in a paragraph? Well, The whole world has gone to pot, the living dead roam the lands and those that have not yet turned into zombies are forced to scavenge whatever they can in the hopes to survive and find renewable energy. It is believed that various relics around the world hold the key to renewable energy and it is up to you to find it. You must either team up with other scavengers or go it alone through different locales around the world to find these relics and bring them back to the teleporter. You will have to fight your way through hordes of the undead and solve puzzles as you make your way through each level. The story does have a lot of appeal and comes across like the Walking Dead meets Tomb Raider/Mad Max which is pretty cool on paper and would make a good novel or movie but it does kind of fall flat in gameplay which I shall discuss next.
To be honest, gameplay is not great. It is not very engaging, the controls can be laggy, and playing through the same two locations can get very repetitive. The storyline sells the game and makes it sound better and more interesting than it actually plays. The game focuses on working as a team to complete certain objectives but ideally, the game needs to build on that as it is only really limited to ‘Everyone must step into the green square to advance’ though that may not necessarily a flaw in the game but a flaw in ourselves as gamers not wanting to be team players. the actual gameplay style is in third person mode with the exception of Dwayne who plays more in first-person (or at least he did for me) and makes the game more like a very low budget version of Call Of Duty but it is cool because he is armed to the teeth with everything from an Assault Rifle to a Rocket Launcher. The enemies are really lacking in motivation in times which I suppose is reasonable considering they are brain dead but they only seem to get the better of you when they swarm you in numbers and nothing more.
Graphics, graphics, graphics. Safe to say its got some and for a free game, created by Bandai Namco, they are reasonable but not exactly ‘mind blowing’ like in Quantum Break or Uncharted 4. However, the Wii U is not known for its superb graphics rendering so it is wrong to compare it to games that will never be coming to a Wii U console. I suppose from a pure Nintendo stand point, it is no Mario Kart 8 or Super Smash Bros Wii U when it comes to graphics. Though they are still better than a lot of purchasable games out there (I have mentioned before that this game is Free, right?)
Oh well, if there was a topic that would really bring down this game, I think this would be it. The soundtrack and background music do sound good but it can feel like a broken record at times. The sound effects help a litle to recover what it lacks in the soundtrack department. In fact I can’t think of anything really positive to say about the audio except it is ok and I think it is best to leave it at that.
Well, in keeping with our other reviews which are normally penned by Jack Longman, It is time for the Pros & Cons:
- First and foremost, its Free!
- You change the feel for gameplay just by changing character.
- It encourages the basics of teamwork which is always a plus in videogames.
- You can play with anyone from around the world providing they also have a Wii U and Lost Reavers.
- Lastly, as I have mentioned many times before, It’s Free!
- It has more repetition than row, row, row your boat and grinding has never felt like such a chore when there are like only two levels to choose from.
- The gameplay lacks engagement and motivation, attacks seem very slow and you actually want the undead to grab you just to add some drama and action to the game.
- Live, Kill, Win, Repeat. Your main goal is to play through levels to level your character up so they can be better at playing through the same levels. It is a viscious cycle with no endgame or any real sign of progress. SSDD has never seemed so true!
Closing Thoughts And Final Score
I really wanted to like this game and it does have a simple charm to it but I am sure it is fair to say that if the game was not free and I had to purchase it, I would be quite disappointed. Though saying that, if the game was purchasable, Bandai Namco would probably have put a hell of a lot more effort into it. The game comes across as more like a nifty indie title and that would probably have altered my perspective of it, rather than something that was designed by the titans known as Bandai Namco who have developed games like Dark Souls III, The Witcher III, Project Cars and the like.
So with that in mind, A fair score in my opinion is..
If you would like to see some gameplay of the game, be sure to check out our featured episode in the Wii U Lv1 Playthrough Series.