Magrunner: Dark Pulse, an Epic Cyberpunk, Action-Adventure, Dystopian themed Puzzle Game...with a dash of H.P. Lovecraft
(Spoiler Warning!) Ladies and Gentlemen! Welcome to Magrunner: Dark Pulse...The Review. So, for those of you who thought that they were about to play the actual game, don't get your hopes up because this is just a review of that game :D. Fortunately, I was given the amazing privilege of reviewing this awesome game! A Big shout out to Big Boss Duro, who is separated from me by 4,799 miles of land and water, and the fictional right-hand man that I had assigned to him, Boris the Constantine Bozo :D. Anyway, throughout the gaming community, Magrunner: Dark Pulse is frequently described as being like Portal, only that the player uses magnetism instead of portals. I don't know if any of you guys have played it yet, but I thought that this game was definitely worth playing. So, let me go over the details with everybody.
Knowing the kind of person I am, you guys should know that the first thing I'm going to talk about is Magrunner's Story, right, so let's get down on that. Magrunner takes place in the near future, where an all powerful Conglomerate, known as the Gruckezber Corporation, holds an immense influence over the entire world and is basically responsible for all the advances in technology. Even the power of government couldn't match that of Gruckezber. Eventually, after years of research, G. Corp made significant advances in space travel by using magnetism. With easier space travel growing into effect, G. Corp decided to hold qualification tests among the human populace in order to create a team of 7 astronauts made up of regular civilians like you and me. The people on this team are planet Earth's brightest minds; the CEO of Gruckezber calls them his Magrunners. The game revolves around the 3 month training period the 7 Magrunners have to go through before heading into space. The training, taking place in the Gruckezber Magtech Facility, is designed to challenge the Magrunners' knowledge of Magnetism, and how to apply it to puzzles that seem almost impossible. However, things start getting fishy as the team continues their training. Gruckezber's true motives behind the whole space travel project become clearer, as they strangely turn out to be connected to the Cthulhu Mythos. Dax - one of the Magrunners, as well as the game's protagonist - must work his way through the facility as it merges with the world of the mythical Cthulhu, and put a stop to G. Corp's plans. The story is delivered slowly and perfectly, just enough to get the tension going. Magrunner even stresses on Socio-Political and moral issues throughout the story. I find that to be highly pleasing, since those are two very important kinds of issues that definitely need everybody's attention 100% of the time. So, I think it's a pretty well written story if you ask me.
Short and sweet: Puzzles are the most important part of puzzle games. Everybody agrees, no questions asked...okay, maybe some. But seriously, the developers of Dark Pulse have really outdone themselves with these puzzles. I don't play that many puzzle games, but Magrunner is an exception! Just like the games in the Portal series, Magrunner tests your mind to the limits with puzzles that are out of this world. I know that portals may seem to be your tools of preference when it comes to solving puzzles, but you have to at least give magnetism a try, guys! Magrunner makes excellent use of the properties of magnetism, with a little bit of complex tech on the side, in order to make the hardest puzzles that I think anybody could ever do. One thing that you should do with the puzzles in this game, is to remember every single detail as much as possible! Because these puzzles are SO difficult. Really, you guys, they're just so stressful! They're just really...really stressful. They're so stressful, that I can't go into full detail about them because there are just too many cool, yet stressful things to explain. You'll just have to get the game for yourself :)
Do the Characters define Character, or does Character define the Characters? (I don't think any of you even tried to answer that question, I'm just digressing, aren't I?)...Yes. Magrunner's cast of characters are pretty likable. But, I don't think I've met all the characters yet, because I haven't gotten very far in the game; I don't even think I'm halfway through either. Besides that, the cast in this game is pretty okay. It's not like in The Last of Us or in The Walking Dead: The Game, where you develop inexplicable feelings for the characters. Magrunner doesn't really focus on that, which is an okay thing for the developers to do. Magrunner is a puzzle game, so it focuses more on the puzzles than the characters. Oh, and by the way, I don't really care that much for Dax. When I look at him really closely, I just see him as a rip-off of Cole MacGrath :P
Aside from its puzzles, Dark Pulse, like any other game, also has its share of Enemies. I haven't really gotten far enough to see that many enemies yet (I know, it's sad), but I've heard some pretty interesting things about them already. Enemies in Magrunner are designed to subdue your progress in a puzzle, should you make a mistake or screw up in some other way. There are turrets that constantly shoot at you, little demons, called the "Deep Ones," that hide in water and try to kill you if you happen to fall into demon-infested waters. I haven't even encountered any of these yet, and they're already starting to sound like a real pain.
A major element of this game is its stunning Visuals. Magrunner's graphics and visuals make it out to be one of the few downloadable titles that stand out. Playing this game really brought me to the edge of my seat! The environment really brought out the nature of the technology used in the game's time period. The color displays and schemes really brought out the vibrancy of the puzzles...for most of them at least (The scary Cthulhu demon-infested puzzles I have yet to encounter).
Now, as I wrap up this wonderful review, I'd like to say that Magrunner: Dark Pulse is definitely a game that's worth playing. Some believe that it's a rip-off of the Portal series, others think that it's a complete waste of character content, and I think that your opinion matters the most when it comes to deciding how good this game is. Remember that all I do is simply tell you what my opinion of the title is, and then I leave it to you guys to formulate your own thoughts. With that said, I think I've earned the honorary title of "The Most Ethical Writer of Game Reviews"...maybe? Anyway, thank you all so much for reading my review of Magrunner: Dark Pulse!
There's one more thing exciting to know as I finally conclude! I'd like to "biologically" spread the "shocking" gospel of Ken Levine, by saying "Remember, Remember! The 12th of November!"...If you guys know what I mean... ;)
Magrunner: Dark Pulse was reviewed on a PS3 using a downloaded version of the game provided by Focus Home Entertainment. Magrunner: Dark Pulse is now available for PS3, PC, and Xbox 360.