Noahmund was a Kickstarted title that has recently been released upon the PC. Taking several ideas together such as turned based and real time strategy, Estudio Ábrego have created an almost slower Tales of series concept with an action combat system that relies on thinking ahead as to where you’re going to move as the biggest influence was Chess.
I want to note upfront that as much as I loved the concepts behind Noahmund, the technical issues and some of the design choices prevented me from really enjoying the adventure. Starting off with one of your protagonists passing her exam and becoming an agent, you are soon sent out on an adventure that leads to many perils some of them being as simple as unbalanced enemies causing you to see a game over screen until you figure out how to take them out instead of heading back to the last save point. But let’s start at the beginning shall we?
Noahmund’s world is created on what is essentially a game board comprising of squares to move on as you pass through. When out on the field this can work very well in your favour as you’ll never be blindsided by enemies and if you play your cards right you can even avoid them. Where things tank a little bit is that for every square that you want to move, you have to press “A” on your controller. EVERY. TIME. There’s no way to map movement onto either the D-Pad or the Thumbstick nor is there a way to simply hold down “A” to continue moving. You want to move, you have to hit “A”. This makes exploration feel really drawn out and honestly it wore down my finger quite a bit after a while.
Once you’ve moved into combat, there are three lines that you can move through in order to get up to or move away from your enemy. Attacks can be done front, back, up and down but special attacks, depending on which ones a character has, can only be done front or back so tactics needs to be adjusted accordingly. Like the map movement though, if you want to move a character in battle you have to keep moving the thumbstick in the direction that you want to move making it feel very mechanical instead of smooth like your enemies often appear to move. Like the map movement, if make things feel drawn out and I felt like more time was spent looking at where I was moving than actually fighting the combat because the AI was a step ahead of me having already finished the job by the time I got there. That said, the AI for your characters felt well designed as often they can feel lacking compared to yourself.
In between the exploration and the combat there is dialog which is perhaps the Noahmund’s best feature. The interactions between the characters are believable and the emotions come across pretty well especially when one is annoyed or distrustful of another. Another nice touch is that there’s also not only internal monologue, but that it comes across as actual silence making another wonder why they aren’t saying anything.
As if the rest wasn’t enough, Noahmund in a way is incomplete and some of the features left out are unacceptable. One such item is the opening cinematic which is simply in Spanish without any subtitles activated to let you know what is being said. Even then, half of my attempts to get the cutscene to render with English subtitles were unsuccessful as I went back more than once to double check. After this, if you explore enough of the beginning area there’s a backer zone that is also only written in Spanish. While I could have asked a friend to translate these for me, Noahmund is a fully releases title and for these portions to not be addressed sadly comes across as very lazy.
So for all of its great ideas, Noahmund falls very short and I’m sad because after seeing what it promised I was really excited for it. Now while it can still be improved upon and modified a little bit in order to make it a smoother experience, for right now, I’m sad to say that it falls very short of being what could have been a great title.
Provided by Publisher
Article by Pierre-Yves