Is it necessary to know the Dr Strange origin story or be clued up on Spidey to know anything about What Lies in the Multiverse? No, you spanner, this has nothing to do with the MCU. Feel free to wear spandex while playing the game and shouting whatever superhero catchphrase comes to mind.
You do need opposable thumbs, patience, and a sense of humour. The first is obvious if playing with a controller, but patience and humour overlap as you’ll need some humility to deal with some of the puzzles, but the rest of your laughing genes can bask in the comedy in the game.
What Lies in the Multiverse is a very good game. So much so that my inner dialogue went from “Godammit, another pixel art game” to “Man, this looks really good. Me want”. Comedy is as subjective as a game review, and while you can’t quote me as pissing my pants, I frequently smiled throughout.
You’re ‘the Kid’ – a child prodigy hell-bent on fiddling with parallel universes on their PC. Low and behold, they pull it off and soon mingling with contradicting monks. Before you know it, some dandy named Everett shows up and gives you a guilt trip on how you’ve messed it all up. While he destroys the source of the problem (your PC), he agrees to take you on as his assistant to sort out other interferences in the
force – multiverse.
Everett is a twisted Gandalf. He’s sarcastic, selfish, and steals the scenes. While you’re hard-grafting at the puzzles or taking a laser to the face, he’s shifting back and forth without breaking a sweat. You’ll get to experience that too, as Everett’s Voyager allows the kid to change between universes using the R2 button.
This shifting between planes is crucial for What Lies in the Multiverse and works remarkably well. Typically the mechanic is for climbing and moving blocks to collect a key. Other times it’s balls to gravity and turning the stage upside down. The challenges in the game and the level design is often quite remarkable, though that comes at a price: you have to think!
The core challenge in the game is locating keys to unlock paths, but others are more specific to the chapter. My first issue was an ice-themed multiverse that needed some precision timing. A rage quit was on the horizon, but I eventually did it. These sorts of set pieces occur later in the game, such as shifting between planes or holding your breath to get to another area without dying. Dying isn’t permanent, though, and respawning is very fair.
One thing I picked up from What Lies in the Multiverse is Studio Voyager’s habit of trolling the player. Sometimes you’d overthink a solution when it was right in your face, and certain sections would feel too difficult for the sake of it. While I was getting flustered, I couldn’t help but think that Everett was a real character sitting on the sidelines, pissing himself. It’s funny that the game got flagged with a mature rating due to some of the content.
This game has perhaps been one of the more testing platformers I’ve played of late. It isn’t brutally hard or unfair, regardless of my protests, but it isn’t a game that the average player can coast through. I’m not here to tell you what to do as if I say buy a game; it could have the reverse effect, but how can I conclude this What Lies in the Multiverse review? By addressing my past self.
You know you’re thinking, “Godammit, another pixel art game”? Well, dismiss that thought and buy it. It’ll make you laugh and frustrate you to the point where you think you’re no longer good at games, but you’ll be smiling throughout and be telling your imaginary friends to buy it as well. The What Lies in the Multiverse Steam version is fine and all, but get it on the console and involve the kids. Yours, not random ones. That’s what I’d say.
There are eight chapters in all. Game duration is subjective, but note that to get the platinum, two trophies require that you complete them in one playthrough without missing any without starting again. You can’t level select, so you may end up using a walkthrough. While I enjoyed the game, I won’t be going back for the platinum just yet as I need a break.
Now time to switch back to my former self and let them know. *Presses R2 and hopes for the best*