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Marlow Briggs and the Mask of Death (PC) Review


A few years back we had an influx of action Hack/Slash games. Just like Platformers, FPS, and now Sandbox games seem to be getting made to cater what is currently popular. The action hack/Slash title has been somewhat under the radar. Marlow Briggs has surfaced into the gaming world, and it is not taking anything by storm. Hell, it is barely on anyone’s radar. An audacious move made by the developers an action game has been released in the age of sandbox. Sadly, Marlow Briggs and the Mask of Death just could not get the ball rolling in the right direction and feels as though it is trying to run uphill with the wrong equipment.

No-nonsense hero Marlow never shied away from danger or trouble. But now he faces his ultimate challenge. After crash-landing in Central America, he has an industrial evil to defeat whilst bound to an ancient Mayan Death Mask who’s had no-one to talk to for 2000 years. Another day at the office only this time Marlow is pushed to the limit, his sweetheart has been abducted, the bad guys are making up their own rules and only one man can judge them – and execute the sentence.

Surprisingly enough, the story is not half bad. While it feels like you have seen the story before it is still enjoying to experience. Sure it doesn’t break any storytelling boundaries but maybe that is part of the appeal. It is like those action movies you know are terrible, but are still enjoyable to watch. You mostly find them on Netflix. That is how I would describe this story, an action movie you would find on Netflix.

Gameplay wise is a lot of unfinished work and poorly executed good ideas. The game handles very stiff. The combat doesn’t feel very fluid. Many of the enemies you fight don’t feel like they belong. Mechanically speaking, the enemies don’t seem to work well with the game. Let us take a game like God of War, I think that series is still relevant. The two games have similar content. God of War’s combat featured lavish and brutal combos allowing you to chain together multiple attacks and magic spells to interrupt your enemies. In Marlow Briggs, there is not any of that. The enemies cannot be interrupted or chained together despite getting slashed at with a massive obsidian shapeshifting scythe with ancient Mayan magic. You can sort of chain together magic and use the other weapons but it just feels so out of place due to the combo system being so wooden. There is an upgrade system as well but it doesn’t really make you choose anything. By the time you unlock something new, your previous abilities are maxed out.

The visuals appear to look pretty good, but the animations ruin the experience. Limbs move in odd directions, the ragdoll physics glitch out, and during some cutscenes items seem to vibrate awkwardly in the hands of those involved. The other cutscenes are rather boring to look at due to them taking forever to get to the point. I am talking about the 3D still images with a panning camera. Sure some of them are cool, but they are used too often in this game and it is unappealing.

Marlow Briggs and the Mask of Death has a nice amount of content though, that is if you can get passed the bad cutscenes and get used to the wooden combat. There are plenty of good ideas in Marlow Briggs and the Mask of Death, but none of them are executed well. For an indie game it is not that bad and it could be “The War Z” bad, it could be much better though. I give Marlow Briggs and the Mask of Death on PC a 5/10. You can get it on Steam now.

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