Title: Deponia Doomsday
Developer: Daedelic Entertainment
Publisher: Daedelic Entertainment
Genre: Point and Click Adventure
Official Site: Daedelic/Deponia
Release Date: March 1, 2016, (PC, Xbox One, PS4) December 23, 2019 (Switch)
Version Tested: Switch
Now that the Deponia series has landed on the Nintendo Switch, it means the games are playable on just about every platform out there. Deponia Doomsday is officially the last of the much-beloved series, having followed up on what most people thought was the last chapter. Goodbye Deponia might have been the conclusion to the original story, but Doomsday was one final return, with a bit of a twist.
There is more than one difference when it comes to this installment and the previous iterations. There’s the fact that Rufus will be jumping through time, but this also did land on consoles already. When it launched in 2016, it came to the PC obviously but also landed on the Xbox One and PS4. Now, finally, it comes to the Nintendo Switch.
Deponia Doomsday takes us on a whole new adventure where Rufus has to fix all that has gone wrong on Deponia. The story shows the planet has had a nuclear winter and is now nothing more than a frozen wasteland. It’s up to Rufus to try and fix what happened years earlier by going back in time and solving the puzzles that caused this horrible “present” from coming true. The bonus here is Goal also believes our hero can fix how certain things in her life went the way they did.
In other words, she thinks he can fix Deponia and her own history and make everything better.
Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss
When talking about games like Deponia Doomsday, Daedelic is cashing in on the fact people know what they are going to be getting. That means the story and art style are very similar to what we’ve seen from the previous installments.
For the most part, especially the art style, that’s a good thing. The Saturday morning cartoon-like illustrations are, quite simply, charming. There’s a level of detail in those illustrations that are belied by its appearance at first blush.
In its own way, the illustration style is owned by Daedelic and expected in these games the same way Telltale does franchises like The Walking Dead. When it comes to the appearance, this is the perfect kind of game for the Switch. As with most point and click adventures (outside Man of Medan), the graphics are not attempting to be photorealistic.
This kind of port looks the same as it does when it comes to the PS4 or Xbox One. In that regard, it’s got a bit of a leg up on games like Metro Redux or Devil May Cry, which have usually been rezzed up for Microsoft and Sony’s more powerful console offerings.
The illustrations for this game stand the test of time. Even if some of the jokes and dialogue aren’t doing the same. Doomsday does have the added bonus of having just been released four years ago. When you consider its predecessor is seven-years-old now, it makes sense; this feels a bit more modern than the others.
Problems on the Switch
Because this is a game that can be purchased on basically any other platform, a game like Deponia Doomsday should be something that offers a feature that is geared towards Nintendo’s console. The problem is the opposite is true.
One of the best aspects of being able to play a game in the handheld mode is that you can turn the volume down and play a game while people are in the room doing something else without bothering them.
Maybe you want to be able to play the game on the bus or the train on your way to class, home, or work. You don’t want the other riders to hear some game music or sound effects and forgot your headphones. The problem with Deponia Doomsday on the handheld is that the graphics and even the captions are done in such a way that they are near impossible to see shrunk down to fit on the Switch.
One of the things that make the art style so good is that it’s surprisingly detailed. A great deal of that detail is lost when playing on the smaller screen. The captions, too, make things difficult to see and follow along with. That’s a real shame, considering the rest of the game is geared almost perfectly to Nintendo’s offering.
Verdict: Deponia Doomsday has a lot to offer people who might be new to the series. Because it deals with time travel, there is part of the series you’ll get to take a look at again and characters you’ll meet that played a role in the earlier installments. For those who love the series, they’ll get to spend time with their favorite characters one more time. The problem is that this review is specifically about the game on the Switch. When it comes to being tailored specifically to this platform, it needs to shine on the smaller screen away from home. It turns out the exact opposite is true. The points it loses for the lack of tailoring is deeply disappointing for anyone who wants to be able to “play anywhere.”
- The story might be among the best of the series.
- Lovable new characters team up well with well-known returnees.
- Art style is still great.
- Some of the humor falls very flat.
- The handheld version is hard to see and hard to operate.