In Magnetic: Cage Closed, you are an inmate at a high security prison run by a sadistic and macabre warden. Tasked with testing prototype magnetic ‘weapons’, you are immediately given an ultimatum. Stay in your cell and your sentence will be carried out on the spot via chlorine gas, or take on a series of puzzles, win your freedom, and have your criminal record expunged.
Although these puzzles are entertaining at the beginning, they do start to repeat their core elements very quickly. Too often the main focus of each task is to propel yourself across the room with your magnetic powered gun, or move boxes about. Moving boxes is generally simple. The left trigger pulls objects towards you, while the right trigger pushes objects away. With a press of a bumper you can increase or decrease the level of magnetism that emanates from your gun. Sometimes I would inadvertently attempt to move a box with a greater mass than the projected magnetic force of the gun, which would send me flying backwards on to some not so welcoming spikes.
Most of the puzzles take a few moments of logical thinking to wrap your head around. However, some of the rooms require genuine brainpower, but yet again these more mentally taxing rooms still incorporate the use of boxes. Boxes, boxes, boxes. I may never step in a warehouse again. It would give a fresher feel to the game if there were more options with each puzzle, rather than the repeated use of different sized boxes to accomplish your objectives.
There’s a part of me that wishes I had stayed in my cell and accepted my fate, triggering one of nine different endings. Although perhaps that’s the point. Talking in terms of full immersion, if you were an inmate navigating countless rooms filled with gas, fire, electricity and hidden spikes, you may wish you had taken the easy way out.
While the first person view grants you minor precision when it comes to jumping or manipulating magnetic fields, controls are still sometimes clunky. On several occasions I found myself impaled on spikes or caught in the murky grip of chlorine gas because the gun would focus on a much heavier object instead, pulling me with it in to a pit.
Admittedly later on in the game your objectives take a different tact, with escaping through each area being the given directive. Unfortunately, for the most part this involves going back through rooms you were just in.
In Magnetic: Cage Closed there is an element of choice, with your inmate being pushed to make certain decisions, but for the most part they only alter the order in which the next sequence of puzzles are undertaken. However, keep mental tracks of what you are doing each puzzle, as you may be asked to re-call certain things regarding previous levels.
In terms of NPCs’, their aren’t many to go around, but then again it wouldn’t be a very good prison if people were wandering about willy-nilly. I genuinely enjoyed Warden Keenes’ drab input, as he does add a portion of backwards fun to the game, with some of his comments bordering outright insanity. He openly proclaims his joy at the thought of your demise, so it’s nice to know someone is rooting for you behind the scenes! I often found myself wanting to stick it to the man as it were, to prove that I wasn’t just another face in an endless line of test subjects.
Graphically Magnetic: Cage Closed is nothing special, but with the focus being puzzles and not large scale battlegrounds, that’s not a huge issue. However the loading times can be a little frustrating, due to the fact that you’re required to crawl through the same vent over and over after every level, with the loading icon appearing at the exact same point in each. Sometimes you are placed in transit, with occasional dialogue to take your mind off of things, but otherwise you’re left to your own devices in what feels like a lengthy wait.
On a personal side note, for any of you that have attempted to bring their other halves in to the gaming fold with little success – This is one of the few games that seems to be a decent starting point. They can get used to the simultaneous thumb movements that we take for granted. The puzzles give you a sense of accomplishment, especially with the levels that invoke head scratching. You can tackle the puzzles together, or do them each alternatively.
This is a review of the Xbox One version of Magnetic: Cage Closed provided by the developers.