Factionless, perhaps, but not flawless.
Noob – The Factionless is a single-player, turn-based RPG, based on the French web series: Noob. In The Factionless, players transition between the game world and the game world within the game world. A little confusing, perhaps, but let’s get into it.
Booting up and starting a new game presents you with the difficulty options of normal and hard. No easy? Once into the game, you step into the shoes of Martin, an ardent esports enthusiast who finds himself at a crossroads in life. A chance encounter introduces him to the captivating game Horizon 4.2, setting the stage for a new chapter in his journey towards becoming an esports champion. With the Horizon 5.0 expansion looming on the horizon, Martin and his friend Adam plunge headfirst into the game, eager to ascend to level 100 and secure their place in the esports pantheon.
Entering into Horizon 4.2, you go through a character creation process…or your character does. According to Martin and Adam, there are tons of classes and three factions from which you can choose, but the game doesn’t give you a choice. More so, it gives Martin the Neogician class (what is a Neogician?) and Adam the Berserker class. I feel like giving the player control over the character would have been nice, but it isn’t necessary.
The gameplay has you journey through the world of Olydri, where you, under the username “Baster,” and Adam, under the username “Drek,” complete quests, unlock chests, and gather materials for different jobs. There are plenty of different towns and areas, all with unique and hard to pronounce names that you can find on the world map, most of which is story locked. Along the way, you join forces with Leo/Logs the Elementalist, and Sarah/May the Cartomancer (What is a Cartomancer??).
You can only play as the four characters. This is perhaps logical considering the source material, but I found it disappointing for partially the same reason as the character creation thing. In addition, the different enemies and some bosses have classes you never get the chance to use or control. There is also no way to speed up the gameplay, and skipping cutscenes often leaves you with no idea what’s happening story-wise and—in some cases—gameplay wise.
Unlike most RPGs, you can’t save anywhere and everywhere. Instead, you have to find a save points. This can be really frustrating to deal with, especially because of some of the enemies in the world map can just one shot you because you aren’t at a certain level.
Loading can range from a couple of seconds to a couple of minutes. Worse, it can be glitchy; the game just won’t load sometimes, forcing you reload from your last save. Because of the forced save locations, this could be anywhere from a couple minutes ago to hours at some places.
Noob – The Factionless has pretty good animations. The 2D and 3D models are very well made, even though they don’t exactly line up with each other some of the time.
The story is pretty decent, but it isn’t really anything too special. This game has potential to be really amazing, but there are a lot of things the developers need to fix before I would recommend it.
Review: Noob – The Factionless (Nintendo Switch)
Based on the French web series, Noob – The Factionless aims to be a fun throwback to classic JRPGs. Its meta storytelling should appeal to fans of the genre, but the various glitches and gameplay flaws make it a hard game to stick with.