The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit Review – Chore Simulator 2018
The mind of a child is a truly innocent thing, as can be seen in the release of Square-Enix and DONTNOD’s The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit. Does this little hero’s tale shine bright, or is this game less than super?
The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit Review
Captain Spirit is told from the viewpoint of Chris Eriksen and his superhero alter ego Captain Spirit. Standing up for what’s right and fighting against the diabolical Mantroid and Snowmancer, Captain Spirit is all Chris thinks about.
However, the world around Chris is less than ideal. The main objective of the game is to complete a honeydew list of chores dubbed “My Awesome Things to Do.” However, though defeating the “Water Eater” might sound interesting, the reality of fixing the water heater is positively mundane.
Some may argue that the lens of a child makes everything magical, but doing dishes in-game, putting clothes in the laundry, recycling your alcoholic dad’s beer cans, and microwaving macaroni and cheese is the stuff housekeepers are made of. It might be done to make a point, but actually doing these tasks is about as exciting as you would expect them to be.
The interactions Chris has with his environment, those on the phone, the odd visitor at their door, and his dad tell a greater picture. However, though the game attempts to pull at the heartstrings of the player, the execution is extremely heavy handed and misses the mark by a wide margin. These themes have been done much better elsewhere – seeing the grief in Chris’ dad as he downs whiskey in the morning is supposed to evoke emotion, but it never goes anywhere because we just don’t know much about him. Backstory can be found through letters and pictures in its world, but the plot never goes anywhere of significance. Some may consider this secondhand knowledge world building; we call it half-hearted. When players do figure out why, it just doesn’t have the same impact. On top of that, things just suddenly end – there is a minor twist at the end, but it comes out of left field.
This is set up as a prequel (and the “to be continued” at the end signifies as much), but the stage has barely been set. Rather, the game is a two hour walking simulator that has a kid playing with his toys, dicking around the house, and breaking into cell phones and padlocks.
Rounding things off is an amateur presentation. The graphical prowess of this game is lacking – the plastic, matted hair and low polygonal count makes everything look like an early Xbox 360 game from 2005. This title was reviewed on a PlayStation 4 Pro, so the hardware most certainly is not the issue.
The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit attempts to set the stage for Chris and his heroic adventures, but the execution is lacking. Its lack of focus, along with its robust “Awesome Things to Do” chore list, make its two hour runtime drag out far longer than it has any right to.