Liberated is an upcoming multi-perspective story set in a not-so distant future where technological surveillance dominates people's lives and exists to maintain a status quo of willing, and even unknowing subjugation. Liberated seeks to provide users with a playable graphic novel that combines the experience of reading a comic with a video game that is primarily focused on 2.5D platforming, stealth mechanics, and shootouts.
Developer Atomic Wolf is a self-proclaimed small indie game development studio based out of Warsaw, Poland, with the goal to create games that are at their core based on amazing stories and unforgettable characters. They go on to describe how games are a form of art, and that those that provide rich story telling will revolutionize the future of entertainment.
The claim is bold, but seemingly in line with what we have seen of Liberated so far. The story here will primarily be a dystopian tale that unfolds over a total of four chapters from the perspective of different characters.
During the initial presentation of the game in the trailer, one does feel as though they were watching a narrated graphic novel, but when the gameplay takes over, the mood shifts considerably. In many ways, the little action we are shown in the trailer looks similar to Limbo, or more accurately, Inside, the spiritual successor made by developer Playdead, set within large, industrial settings.
The similarity in themes between the two games may be problematic, in that both Limbo and Inside were masterpieces in storytelling without the need for dialogue of any kind. On the other hand, Liberated seeks to push the boundaries between storytelling and game, which in itself should be a fascinating experience, if done well.
The developer also describes how Liberated transitions seamlessly from a hand-drawn digital comic with choice-based branching story sequences. How exactly one interprets the true effects of choice is another relevant point of consideration. Will these choices and their consequences be in any way meaningful, or will everything loop around to one ending, thus making all of those previous decisions pointless?
In any case, when one considers that the game has already been awarded the Pixel Awards Europe 2019 Indie Grand Prix Winner, and the Best Narrative Winner, there is likely nothing to worry about in regard to the story.
Hopefully the developers succeed in their objective, as it would be amazing to see future stories told in this innovative new manner.