Review: Drawn to Life: Two Realms – In 2007 Strength of Drawn of Lifeit was in fact that of being able to create, modify and enrich, the protagonist of the adventure and consequently his game world. The player was in fact called to draw his favorite hero via the stylus, a feature that opened up a range of ideas that was truly unique at the time (especially in the eyes of younger and less experienced players).
The same formula was used with equal success with Drawn to Life: The Next Chapter , the second official chapter that appeared in 2009 for Nintendo and Wii: again thanks to the use of a stylus / Wiimote, the game re-proposed the same mechanics of its predecessor, appearing however less inspired and incisive not only due to a strong feeling of déjà vu, but also and above all due to the presence of a rather redundant narrative sector, able to unnecessarily burden the experience (also thanks to a series of decidedly less interesting levels to see and to play).
Now, after more than 10 years of silence, the Drawn to Life series is preparing to return to the scene, thanks to a chapter that promises to fish out the most interesting ideas of past chapters, modernizing them to current platforms (namely Nintendo Switch, PC and mobile systems): Drawn to Life Two Realms . Will the colorful action platforming saga still be able to entertain as it once did (even if this time deprived of the characteristic stylus)?
The plot is a story between two realities
505 Games has decided that the time is ripe for the return of a franchise much loved by players (especially casual gamers and children) and has decided to do so with a chapter that can represent in a certain sense a real restart: Drawn to Life: Two Realms , developed by the Digital Continue team and available starting December 7, grabs the platform-puzzle mechanics of the first and second episodes, but with a whole host of new skills – and a load of special tools – fundamental to create our own personalized adventure. Yes, because Two Realmsproposes all the customization options (plus some welcome additions) seen on the Nintendo DS at the beginning of the 2000s, trying to modernize a game system that inevitably risks suffering the passage of time.
First of all, the new game stands as a real sequel to the previous chapters, starting immediately after the events seen in the second episode (ie The Next Chapter ). The protagonist Mike wakes up in the world populated by humans, while Mari will beg the Creator (or the player beyond the screen) to bring back to life the Hero of the city of Raposa , a fantastic realm populated by anthropomorphic creatures always willing to give us a hand. Mike’s return, however, will be marred by a new and dangerous threat, which will push the hero – and consequently the player – to solve the mystery of the Shadow, swinging between two very distinct realities.
The game system (and the extensive editor)
If the plot doesn’t seem to shine for originality, know that it is: after all, the Drawn to Life series has never made history its strong point, although a more slender narrative would perhaps have lightened the game itself (often stuffed with a lot of too much dialogue and chatter). For the rest, Two Realms takes the good things done in the first two chapters and re-proposes it in a “revised and corrected” version, without daring too much or radically changing the basic formula. We can then design our hero as the Creator, thanks to the presence of a slightly richer and more detailed editor than that of the two previous episodes. You can then choose from a series of preset templates (which, frankly, we do not recommend you do) or create your own protagonist from scratch. Know that in this sense the possibilities are almost endless, since you can merge, combine or mix a number of elements and styles so varied that you can easily lose several hours (without realizing it).
In this sense, Drawn to Life Two Realms does its job in a more than good and never too complicated way, meeting the player who approaches the series for the first time. A desire, to make the game rather easy and accessible, which is also reflected in the gameplay side: the title developed by Digital Continue puts on the plate a range of levels rather different from each other: it starts with exploration sections of small scenarios framed with an isometric view, in which we will be able to get in touch with various NPCs (often harbingers of missions or objects useful for our adventure). The mechanics, actually rather simplistic, will recall that of a classic Japanese role-playing game, without obviously bothering the classics of the genre. Much more interesting is the part concerning the real game levels: these will transform Two Realms into a real 2D platformer, with mechanics that are never too obsolete and that will be easily digestible by players of all ages.(especially the smaller ones, or if you have already tried the first two chapters on DS and Wii).
Each game world will consist of three mini-levels, including the final one based solely and exclusively on the customization – and creation – of various elements, including the opponents themselves, as well as the presence of coins scattered in the various stages that will stop you from wanting them complete in record time (despite the presence of a timer, it often puts you in a hurry, under penalty of game over). It is also true that the general difficulty level is perpetually turned downwards , which is why collecting the collectibles scattered around the levels or giving rise to our creativity will on balance be the only real reasons to continue with taste within the main adventure.
The graphics are all about colors
The title of Digital Continue was not designed to propose who knows what claims of excellence from a purely graphic point of view, nor the desire to attract the attention of the public with a next-gen technical sector. Also considering the type of audience it is aimed at (i.e. PC, Switch and mobile users), Two Realms offers locations and characters made entirely in 2D, always colorful and with a minimal style that will make you forget the glitz for a few hours of 4K and ray tracing. Obviously, to demand more from such a game – produced and developed on a very low budget – would be quite dishonest.
Thus abandoning the possibility of using the stylus – a peculiar feature of the original episodes – but re-proposing everything good that had been done in the previous episodes, the third chapter of the Drawn to Life saga manages to entertain and entertain for a good number of hours, before a certain redundancy inevitably takes over. The developers have not in fact managed to go beyond the – good – initial assumptions, actually proposing a game that inherits the same qualities – and defects – of the two predecessors.
Drawn to Life: Two Realms – Conclusion
Positives of Drawn to Life: Two Realms
- So many customization options.
- Really minimal 2D graphics compartment …
Negatives of Drawn to Life: Two Realms
- … maybe too much
- In the long run rather repetitive.
- Was it necessary to have a timer in the levels?
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Android, Microsoft Windows, iOS