A Kafka Bug’s Life: Game Review Of ‘Metamorphosis’

August 12, 2020

Written by Capt McNeely

Georgia Division ZADF Twitter: @ZADF_ORG

All In! Games and Ovid Works sent me down the Kakfkaesque rabbit hole with their first-person platforming game, Metamorphosis. In Metamorphosis you play as Gregor Samsa who woke up one morning and realized that he turned into a bug and is now employed at a company called Tower who holds all the answers as to why this happened to Gregor and how he can turn human again. Along his journey, Gregor sees the world of insects and meets interesting individuals.

 

 

 

 

Now onto the game itself! Mastering the controls is easy thanks to a tutorial in the beginning plus being made not complicated, to begin with. The movement of Gregor as an insect is fun as the movements are quick and mechanical much like a bug. Gregor can crawl up walls with the help of yellow goo that he finds piles of in certain places.

The sound is amazing and I suggest wearing headphones for it so you won’t miss the details! The sound of Gregor’s footsteps perfectly matches up to whatever surface he’s crawling on which may sound strange to you that I’m impressed with this but trust me most games don’t put the effort in this. The voice acting in the background involving Joseph is good even if it’s on loop and that the conversation carries on when Gregor is inside furniture OR under the floorboards and is now muffled is a great touch.

 

 

 

 

The only issue I have with the sound is the insects and Gregor’s voice. The insects have their own language and Gregor who is now a bug speaks it too, the issue I have with it is that if you listen closely the sounds they use for the bug language is limited and repeats. I know I know this may sound picky but if they were just going to do that I figure why not just make the bugs have regular human voices.

The art of the game is amazing and fits with the narrative that this is a Kafka story. When it comes to the other insects they all pretty much look the same but in some places, if you look closely they have accessories that fit the area they’re in, in a “construction area” the bugs are wearing hardhats made from nutshells, and there’s this dude that’s the guard at the harbor…

 

 

 

 

Another feature involving the art is a mapping system where you are able to press a button on your controller and then are shown the area you are currently in, where your objectives are and even includes showing the paths you were just taking before pressing the button by highlighting them in little bug footprints, now that’s awesome!

 

 

 

 

The story of Metamorphosis is an interesting twist of the source material. Based on the short story The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka, unlike the game that’s full of mystical wonder and adventure, is a story of tragedy that befalls Gregor as his transformation into a bug puts a strain on his once loving family as he struggles to adjust to being an insect along with his family’s rejection of him. In an interesting twist for those not familiar with Kafka’s stories, the background story playing along with Gregor’s involving his friend Joseph is literally Kafka’s other famous story The Trial being played out. I find the combination of the two stories being played out in one story amazing!

Overall, Metamorphosis is a game as unique as the story it’s inspired by. The gameplay is fun, the art is fantastic, the music and sound effects are good, the story amazing. Though it has its flaws when it came to the execution of the bug’s speech and some lag in certain levels, you can’t really fault the devs as the game itself is great for an indie title. On my scale of 1 to 10, Metamorphosis is an 8.

Metamorphosis is out now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC.

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