Guide - Updated on September 25, 2022

There are many terrible things in the world – coronavirus, American diplomacy, Russian maybe, Valuev’s neck … And it’s quite possible to put games created by gamer fans who don’t know how to make games in this row. A striking example is the domestic action/adventure Liber. According to Olkon Games employees, the project was made in a year from scratch, that is, the authors had no experience in development – only an ardent love for games. By God, it would be better if they continued to just continue to play …

Assault on the ruble…

What is the first thing in such projects that betrays a gamer fan who suddenly decided to make his own game? Well, of course, inadequate ambition, the desire to cover everything at once, to show how much he went through and saw. So in Liber, if we talk about the gameplay, there is practically nothing of its own – it all consists of mechanics peeped somewhere. And above all, they spied on Uncharted, Red Dead Redemption and Tomb Raider.

Liber: Overview

And it all starts almost like at Hogwarts.

The authors summed it up with such a plot, which just allows you to conveniently mix different elements and even settings. We play as a young historian Alex, who went to work in the library, opened one of the books and was immediately transported in time from 2020 to some Viking village, where he is being held captive by bearded guys with axes. And there he finds and helps to escape … a typical cowboy drunk from the Wild West named Nick (we need to somehow tie Red Dead Redemption here!).

As it turns out, Nick found the same book when he robbed the stagecoach, and unfortunately opened it. And now he is locked in a time loop – every three days everything is reset and he again finds himself in this village. Now they, together with Alex, need to find this strange book, understand how it works, what the Vikings have to do with it, and finally break out of this time loop.

Liber: Overview

Well, you have a face, Nick Rhodes.

In the process, the heroes are waiting for a variety of adventures that unfold over a fairly short period of time and in different scenery (the game can be completed in two hours). Here we are hiding in the tall grass from those same Vikings and distracting them with a stone throw, and now we are jumping on the rocks and hanging on our hands over a cliff, doing extreme acrobatics.

Liber: Overview

But they forgot to add the hook-cat – a disgrace!

Either we fight with the same Vikings with fists and swords, or we shoot from the faithful Colt at the stagecoach guards in the role of Nick. Or, in general, we are trying to cope with cannibals, to whom we are also captured.

Liber: Overview

Probably the only decent scene in the game.

Naturally, there are also puzzles in the spirit of the same Uncharted, when you need to look for objects in a cave and insert them into the right holes to open something, manipulate symbols and runes. Or, for example, compare maps of the area in a smartphone and look for identical ones. There, in the cave, there are a lot of traps with spears flying out of the walls. In another situation, you need to get over a dilapidated bridge, which is one continuous trap.

Liber: Overview

Of course, without dragging boxes or cells here, it could not have done.

What else is missing in such cases? Spectacular scene with the use of transport? Please, here is a dynamic boat ride for you, which you need to carefully manage so as not to break it on the rocks. Well, since such a booze has gone (in the case of Nick, in the literal sense of the word), then let’s play and sing in the tavern with the bard, reminding our viewers of The Witcher.

Then, by the way, you need to follow this bard, trying not to catch the eye, but also not to fall behind. And in the end, catch and interrogate – and this is done exactly the same way as similar episodes in other games. Worse than 10 times, but the basic mechanics are the same.

Liber: Overview

You can at the same time evaluate the level of local texts.

…Blow for a penny

It sounds varied, dynamic, fashionable, youthful, for all occasions and for all tastes. There are even cannibals. And the fact that other people’s ideas are used – so who does not sin with this now? Everything depends on the implementation. The word “crooked” describes the situation well, although stronger expressions can be used.

Already from the first launch, there is a strong feeling that this is a game from the beginning – the middle of the 2000s, something like the famous Polish shooters that carefully tried to copy AAA hits, but still got reviewed by cynical journalists in the “Trash of the Month” section. The picture in some places pleases with good landscapes, but the textures and character models scare away – especially facial animation. Or the way this girl’s hair flutters:

Liber: Overview

God, make her bald better.

Or what funny body tricks the local ragdoll does, making us remember the games from our past again.

Liber: Overview

Sorry for the horse.

Bend more fingers: crooked animation and awkward controls when jumping; the same crooked camera, which, when trying to aim and throw a stone, can easily block the view; screams of horror when the carcass (more precisely, textures) of a deer passes through you in a foggy forest – or when, again, when aiming, you seem to fall into the character and see everything from inside the body.

Liber: Overview

There are always some problems with the scope.

Even in Liber poor AI. The Vikings in the village may notice you from a distance of several meters, but after a couple of seconds your ass will hide in the nearest tall grass, they will stop chasing, stand a step away from you and peer into the thicket with exclamations of “It seemed!”. In any case, this has happened to me. During skirmishes, enemies behave exactly the same as in budget shooters from the 2000s – they stand still without even trying to maneuver, or they run at you in a straight line, and then – again thanks to local physics – they fly off like skittles from the shots. At the same time, they can still stubbornly throw something or shoot at you, not paying attention to the fact that they hit the stone behind which the character took cover.

Liber: Overview

The cover makes it easier to aim.

By the way, the combat system in fights is also crooked and primitive – only hit, block and roll are available. But it gets even funnier when we are forced to fight with our bare hands against a crowd of cannibals with swords. And they are in no hurry to attack and theatrically fall to the ground from three or four punches in the face. And then, together with Nick, we beat the huge main cannibal with our fists, who most of the time just ran after me, received from Nick, was distracted by him, received from me, distracted by me – and so on in a circle until fully prepared …

Liber: Overview

They had no chance against us.

Shooting looks a little better, the cover system works well, but there are problems there, at least with hit registration.

I did not like the voice acting either – it is at the level of an amateur skit. Unless Nick has a voice of nothing, but when he tries to shout something aggressive in battles, it seems that he is vomiting from excess alcohol. Approximately the same level and cut scenes, which are sometimes crookedly glued together and fit into what is happening. For example, in the video, Nick can be hit so that it seems he won’t get up, and right after the cut-scene we see how he famously fights with enemies. Or he says, they say, he will run first, and we must run after him. The video ends, and there is no one to run after – Nick has already been teleported to the other side.

Liber: Overview

You should have seen how they dance…

The fact that the authors changed one mini-game in the patch, but at the same time forgot to really explain the new rules, will also say a lot – and I couldn’t even get out of the menu normally from it, I had to use the magic Ctrl + Alt + Delete.

In Liber, I periodically had the feeling that I was in a madhouse. Or in the head of an amateur who is delusional with the desire to make his Great Dream Game, combining everything he has ever seen. And this is starting to happen before your eyes, but it looks like a stream of consciousness – everything is chaotically mixed, flows, blurs … And in the end it turns into a set of blunders with which you can amuse the audience on YouTube, showing how you don’t need to make games. This does not mean that Liber is unplayable. But you really don’t need to do games like that – you don’t need to throw back the reputation of Russian game dev back to the zero.

Pros: a lot of mechanics from hit games, that is, there is variety.

Cons: zero own ideas; terrible implementation and poor technical execution of almost everything; outdated graphics and animation.

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