Publicado: 15 de Diciembre
The Swapper is a science fiction platformer puzzle game that successfully balances difficulty with enjoyment. You, playing as the unknown, silent protagonist, explore a space station while using a "gun" infused with technology capable of materializing clones on the spot and transferring your consciousness into said clones' bodies at will. Think of digistructing from Borderlands plus mind-control; that about sums up the mechanics. There are no enemies to encounter and the game allows plenty of time to think through the puzzles, which really do ramp up in difficulty as more variables are added and the game progresses. I'll admit I looked up directions on how to solve a puzzle or two in the beginning of the game when I was familiarizing myself with the mechanics, but I was ashamed of myself and grinded through the rest on my own, racking my brain to divine the correct solution... but when I finally DID solve a tricky puzzle? HUZZAH! Self-worth! Fist-in-the-air "YEAH! FINALLY!" celebrations! After feeling so brainless and idiotic struggling with a puzzle, completing it was extremely rewarding.
The plot is intriguing and, without spoiling anything, makes the player ask thoughtful existential and philosophical questions about oneself, living, dying, and what it is to "be." Throughout the game you sacrifice innumerable clones; a soaring mountain of these conjured meat sacks were killed during the time I had my finger on the trigger of the Swapper. They mostly died by smashing into the ground from extreme heights... hopefully the fall killed them instantly and painlessly. After all, I was responsible for their deaths; they died during my attempt to escape the space station. I killed these poor souls. Hundreds of them. At least! But are they souls? Are they of worth? Are they YOU? Was it murder or... suicide? Or neither? Both? Am I still me if I'm living in a new body every few seconds? If the body didn't resemble mine, would I still be me? Can being transfer between mediums? Does a soul exist independently from the body? Does consciousness transcend the material? These questions are particularly salient during the final scene, which forces the player to make a gritty and difficult choice. This is real science fiction and demonstrates that video games can unquestionably qualify as art.
I thought this would be a good game with which to use my gamepad, but boy, was I wrong. I do NOT recommend using a gamepad for The Swapper. Maybe it's just a personal lack of dexterity when using a gamepad (compared to a mouse and keyboard), but using the D-Pad and thumb sticks just didn't give me the precision and speed necessary to complete even the moderately difficult puzzles. The game took me about five hours to complete, and that included finding all of the terminals and messages. I did NOT find the hidden rooms related to the achievements, nor did I even attempt to do so. Even without them, I was extremely satisfied with the length of the game and the story presented. The Swapper was a joy to play and left me very satisfied... yet unsettled. I'm still not sure about the choice I made at the end of the game... and I fear I might never be. Was it the right decision? Was there ANY right decision? Maybe you're just damned if you do and damned if you don't. Life is precious, but if we allow it to continue perpetually, does it remain so?