Defunct, the charming indie action platformer has finally released on consoles and we’ve taken a look at it has to offer Xbox One and PlayStation 4 owners.
Developed by Swedish studio, Freshly Squeezed, Defunct tells the story of a plucky little racing robot who has seen better days (hence the title) in his time on a post-human Earth. One of the standout features of Defunct is the fact that it’s almost impossible to move under your power, your engine is broken and will only propel you at a crawling pace. To combat this you must use the environment for you propulsion by utilizing your robot’s “Gravitize” ability which only works downhill but generates a pulling motion and allows you to build up speed, combine this motion with your slight push force from your engine and you’ll soon be on your way.
The environments are also packed with speed boosts or for short, manual controlled bursts of speed you can use”Enerjuice” which can be stored and used as a sort of nitro for the more tricky areas or for speed runs. Finally, you also have the ability to “Magnetize” which lets you magnetically attach to surfaces making it possible to travel upside down and vertically which is needed to progress through certain levels and sections.
It can be hard to follow what exactly is happening in the almost silent cutscenes and they do tend to be awkwardly long and slow paced that’s not to say the game isn’t packed with charm and character. The environments and little robots conjure up memories of Pixar movies and old animated children’s shows. There are no real threats to the player, you simply have to figure out the level and how to advance which after a couple of laps around soon becomes clear and there are usually multiple ways to accomplish this.
The game is practically built for speed running, you’re able to find a quick route and have a go at hitting it as fast as possible and this activity seems to be encouraged. Freshly Squeezed seemingly understand that this is a short game and is able to be completed in around two to three hours so they have added in hidden objects to collect and different cosmetics to add a completionist feel to the game which at first I thought I wouldn’t get sucked into but now I’ve sat down to write this I am feeling the sudden urge to retry those levels I missed the secrets on and try and hit faster times, even if it’s for my own amusement only.
It’s worth noting that Defunct was nominated for five awards at the Swedish Game Awards in 2014 (well ahead of its console debut) including Game of the Year which it won. It also scooped up Best 2nd Year Game at the Gotland Game Conference the same year.
Defunct is available now on Steam, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One