The Netflix production game, despite closely following the plot of the series, adapts to the medium and has remarkable gameplay.
With the original consoles, it was common for the great films to transfer their work to video games as well. That habit, so ingrained before the arrival of the perfect and detailed graphics, was lost. That’s why when Netflix announced that it would release games for different platforms of the series of the moment, the public was stunned.
The work of the Duffer brothers has set historical records for Netflix, with more than 40 million reproductions in just a few days. Now, hand in hand with the BonusXP studio and Next Games, they are launching their second game on the market . After their success on mobile platforms, they move to the big consoles: PS4, Switch, PC and Xbox One
Designing the game with a theme that deviates from the series itself would have been a mistake. That is why the developers have opted for pixel art , also keeping those references to the 80s to satisfy the nostalgia of the most veteran players (and series fans).
If you have already seen the series, you don’t miss too much with the plot of the game, since it is practically the same. Both the conversations and the plot as well as the organisation by chapters are the same. Any substantial change? Some scenes are better captured in the game and many are totally complementary to the series, that is, the same thing, but with a different perspective that enriches the production.
Of course, the fact that they could have added new subplots or clarify some that are still a mystery in the series, would have greatly improved the contributions of the work.
The title takes us to Hawkins, India, summer 1985. This small American town lost in the interior tries to overcome the monstrous events of the last few months. Max, Dustin and company enjoy a well-deserved vacation after saving the planet from the monsters of the upside down world.
The developers, aware that the medium does not have the same freedom as the series, go directly to the events after a small cinematic where they put us in context.
We will be able to handle a total of 12 characters, each one with a set of different skills—both when it comes to combat and to cross obstacles—, which we must unlock as the story progresses. During the missions we will be able to intersperse them, taking full advantage of their functionalities.
The character design is mostly pluperfect. They are very well recreated in 16 bits and manage to make us believe that they are the same actors developed in pixel art.
One of the keys to the fact that the game fits so well with the audiovisual work is that it manages to perfectly adapt the limitations of the consoles of the time . We are not just talking about graphics: loading times, soundtrack, gameplay elements, complicity of the mechanics… This perfect combination is what turns a good game into a superlative one: the care with which it has been treated is that differentiating touch.
In fact, it does not have online cooperative, only in lan, since in the 80s, when the game was framed, it still did not exist. In this mode, we will simply advance through the story with a friend, who will play one of the available characters.
Netflix video game
Entering fully into the game itself, we could fit it into the action and role-playing genre, specifically into the classic beat’em up of arcade machines . The gameplay is not complicated at all: you have different keys dedicated to the character’s weapon, skill and attacks. Also, of course, a defensive method through the force fields that the characters create to reduce enemy damage.
During the missions we will find objects (some give passive abilities to the group) and we will gain experience, so that we can improve our statistics or build new weapons in the workshop, reinforcing the RPG element of the game.
The advance of the plot drinks a lot from the works of Metroid , forcing the player to go back in the scenarios to get the essential character to cross that obstacle that, otherwise, we could not dodge.
The environments are also a nice element to highlight. Neighbourhoods of Hawkins, the school, the forest, the shopping centre… They all have different maps that, despite not being too ingenious and daring, do offer us all the necessary elements to not be too monotonous. In addition, the possibility of exploring the environments of the series makes the immersive capacity improve a lot.
What really gets repetitive are the enemies . The proliferation of Soviet soldiers and rats is tiresome, although this is clearly offset by the final bosses of some scenarios, who are secondary characters in the series.
Another negative point is the low proliferation of puzzles and their zero difficulty, so that the game does not offer any juicy challenge and is limited to complementing the narrative of the series.
The only challenge comes when we beat the game and unlock the ‘eliminator mode’ where if you die, you have to start over.
Stranger Things 3: The Game will ensure approximately 8 hours of fun , and each chapter lasts 30 minutes. It is advisable to play it while you are watching the series or do it once you have finished it, since that way you can save yourself some spoilers .
If you are one of those who spends the whole summer at home watching series or playing video games like Stranger Things 3 sheltered under the air conditioning, be careful! Take care and do not catch any cold . I left you anchored to the bed.