Arkham Horror was first a horror table game, before ending up in a video game version thanks to Asmodee Digital. Like any adaptation from one medium to another, it is to be expected that several changes will be necessary. Is it for the best or not? This is what we tell you in our test of Arkham Horror: Mother’s Embrace …
thanks to Asmodee Digital who provided us with a free copy of the game for media coverage and testing. The publisher / developer therefore authorizes us to distribute and / or use extracts from the game for our production needs and does not intervene in any way in the attribution of the final mark. # Article13Free
Take the plunge, without a net below …
Arkham Horror: Mother’s Embrace is a game directly derived from the Arkham Horror board game, initially released in 1987, then reissued in 2005 and 2018. The game immersed in the very rich universe of HP Lovecraft’s novels, we could expect that the video game transposition of it is close to the tabletop gaming experience, with some new features for the big screen. Fortunately for some and unfortunately for others, Mother’s Embrace has a lot of board game elements, but loses some feathers in the change.
An adventure offering a good Lovecraftian atmosphere
Obviously, for those familiar with the world of Lovecraft, you will find here the usual alien and mysterious atmosphere, full of turn-based combat and mixed with a good dose of exploration of the environment in free mode. All in all, it’s pretty successful, offering various places to visit, different types of enemies, a hint of exploration as well as a small dose of combat strategy, in order to be able to bring these to fruition. .
Having played on Nintendo Switch and not having had the chance to compare myself with the versions of other platforms, I find that the overall visual of the game is a bit poor in terms of texture resolution and framerate. It is enough to zoom the camera a little on walls or various objects, to see the lack of detail and finesse of these. Also, looking at clips of the game on other platforms, I have to mention that the lighting and some special effects are practically reduced by 3/4, which clearly takes away a huge presence of the visual ambience. We are here in a game from the alien universe of Lovecraft and shadow games must find their way to create this heavy and dismal atmosphere… On Switch, sorry, but this is horribly missing…
Performance wise, aside from a few refresh rate drops here and there, the game behaves well enough that we never want to drop the controller out of discouragement. What’s a shame though is that Mother’s Embrace is a pretty slow game, so it’s still hard to understand why these framerate drops exist, even sometimes in combat. Perhaps a patch update could eliminate this lack of optimization… To be continued!
On the other hand, do not expect a very difficult game, despite its ten levels dotted with fights. The strategies to defeat your opponents do not require to be a fine strategist. Here, simple good management of what ends up in your inventory will do the job of fending off enemies. Each character may have their own statistics to give them an X or Y advantage over another, but in the end, once in the heat of the moment, we feel very little these supposed advantages. Whether either is strong or weak in melee or ranged weapons, the result on attackers does not make a significant difference. This therefore means that with each new chapter, the choice of investigators who will take place in the team has more or less importance.
Send this evil back to another dimension!
In short, Arkham Horror: Mother’s Embrace is a good game, but won’t throw you out of your chair, especially if you’re a fan or die-hard fan of the “tabletop game” version. The proposed story is superb, well narrated, in addition to some dialogues for which the actors could have put a little more emotion in the scenes. But basically, what we are told manages to captivate us and make us want to see how it all ends. You will have about 7 to 9 hours of play, for an acceptable price all the same. I cannot advise you on which platform you should make your purchase, but one thing is certain, I will certainly revisit the game on PS4 or Xbox One, in order to be able to see with my own eyes the technical differences vs the Switch … At this point, I will tell you I might do a little debrief to keep you posted! In the meantime, push back those creatures and send them back to where they came from!
To know the criteria of our scoring system, visit this page.
Please note that the tested version is the one on Switch and that the game is also available on Xbox One, PS4 and PC.
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