Just in time for Halloween, Magrunner: Dark Pulse is set to arrive on PlayStation 3 today, offering up a unique twist on platform puzzling, complete with a world and story that's been filtered through cyberpunk and H.P. Lovecraft lenses. Yeah, kinda wild, right?
So, let's just get this out of the way first: Yes, Magrunner looks an awful lot like the hugely popular physics-bending game, Portal. But just because Call of Duty and Battlefield are both modern day shooters doesn't mean they can't both be enjoyed in their own way, right? It's clear here that the team at Frogwares borrowed heavily from Portal both in structure and even a little in some of the aesthetics but, if you're going to borrow from someone, why not borrow from the best?
Aside from the fact that you're playing the game in a first-person view, clawing your way through rooms that need to be tooled around with to pass through and that charge glove looks and works an awful lot like the Portal gun, that's basically where the similarities end.
“You play as the young, smart and talented Dax Ward,” explains Frogwares' Olga Ryzhko over on the PlayStation Blog. “You're also brave, but maybe a bit reckless. Using the Mag Glove that you built yourself, you can influence or magnetically charge some objects with different polarities in order to interact with them one way or another. Your goal is to navigate through almost 40 levels using these magnetic properties.”
But what starts as a walk in the park quickly evolves into an exercise in terror. Dax soon learns that he may not be alone in these puzzling rooms, witnessing all manner of nightmare creatures and gruesome events as he pushes further into his journey. You began this adventure as a willing participant in a space exploration program, but maybe that's not all there is to it.
“At some point you discover that there's a much darker purpose behind the above-mentioned space exploration program,” Ryzhko continues. “What started as a friendly competition turns into a terrifying survival challenge with horrific beings from another dimension tearing through the fabric of space and time.”
So, yeah, it looks like Cthulhu and his homies are coming to start some trouble. And you can enjoy said trouble for $9.99 starting today on the PlayStation 3. The game features some interesting concepts and a mix of Portal meets Duke Nukem meets Mirror's Edge, so it should be a game that appeals to those looking for more puzzle-oriented titles but with a nice dash of action tossed in intermittently.