Throughout the years we experienced original games that have their inspirations, while others were based directly on works from cinema, music or literature chosen by the studios to develop their video game, and this is the case with the Metamorphosis, which is very loosely based on the work by Franz Kafka.
Let’s start with a brief summary of the story to be able to compare it with what is narrated in the game and, see how faithful it kept to the original. The original work, published in 1915, tells the story of Gregor Samsa, a cloth merchant who suddenly wakes up like a large insect. Although he does not remember how he got to this situation, he is aware that the change may produce some rejection among his relatives and his boss, who has gone to look for him when he saw that he did not appear at work, so he will lock himself in his room to avoid contact with them. The story tells us about Gregor’s day-to-day life and his relationship with his family members, as little by little they establish certain routines and relationships, always taking into account the protagonist’s new state. I will not reveal more of the book in case anyone is curious,
In Metamorphosis we control Gregor, a man who wakes up at his friend Joseph’s house, and who, when he gets up, undergoes a transformation, becoming a tiny insect. On the journey that this adventure proposes to us, we will have to discover why we have transformed and try to reverse the process to return to our human form, as well as help our friend Joseph. And be careful, because throughout the adventure we will meet other insects like us, those used to be human once.
As you can imagine that the idea is relatively similar and the coincidence of the name of the protagonist is there, it is evident that we are not dealing with an adaptation of the literary work, but rather that it «simply» has served as inspiration for the title that only takes some elements from the original work. This is not good or bad, but I wanted to make it clear what we are going to find in the game so that there is no possible confusion.
And why so much insistence on the plot? Well, because it is a first-person adventure with great weight in the narrative and the characters. And to tell the truth, it works quite well. There are several characters, some of them with a certain weight (although most only appear once or twice and their interactions are minimal), and between what we see, what we hear “in the background” (remember that we started at Joseph’s house and he is still human) and what the characters tell us, there is a pretty awkward story that will hook us for around 4 hours that the title offers.
This is a first-person title. Halfway between a walking simulator and the puzzle, we will have to face situations that, due to our condition and size, can be complicated. In addition, in some moments we will have to turn some wheels to activate certain mechanisms, and we will even have to soak our legs with various elements that will allow us to hang from walls and, thus, reach inaccessible places. Nothing too complicated or sophisticated, but effective. Of course, most levels do not present much of a challenge. I imagine that this “low difficulty” is expressly made as not to cut the rhythm or the narrative, but if given, a difficulty setting would be appreciated because most of us will finish the game without even stopping to think about these elements. And not much else, because the adventure is quite guided and simple in its mechanics.
On a technical level, to say that Metamorphosis is competent, it has good graphics nothing ground-breaking as we have seen better proposals in the genre, even as indie-style production and due to careful artistic direction and the variety of situations and scenarios proposed such as a room and its furniture, the interior of an automated machine, a town of insects and more. Although more variety in characters would be appreciated most are the same, just in different colours. At the sound level, it does not stand out too much, really, but it is not annoying either.
Metamorphosis is a walking simulator with some quite original puzzles. Not so much for its mechanics, although they are well brought up, for the situations it proposes, in part due to its unique perspective, thanks to its inspiration. Technically it is well made, and it doesn’t last long (about 4 hours), but it has a good story and what it leaves to our interpretation.