I received a review copy of this game from Nis America.
I’m not sure how to describe the story in this game. There’s no real plot to keep things going. It’s just one random occurrence after another. I started off on a bus, gave my seat up to an old lady, got hit by a massive earthquake, helped a school teacher find her students, etc. None of it was connected to each other. In order to progress the game, you’ve got to do a bunch of random shit.
I had to give someone toilet paper so I could buy some water off him while wandering around town aimlessly hoping that I would find the next random story encounter to progress the story. I enjoyed some of the stories. I liked helping the school teacher keep her students safe, but those moments are few and far between. Add in the lack of helpful quest markers or objectives and most of your time will be spent running around in circles talking to random people hoping that one of them triggers a cutscene.
The problem is even after that cutscene triggers you won’t know what to do or where to go next. So you have to keep wandering around, opening doors, collecting various different items while hoping something you got is useful to someone you met so that you can finally get the hell out of there to the next area. It’s too disjointed for me and I didn’t enjoy the experience as much as I wanted to. That being said, I still enjoyed some of the stories that were told and that’s why it barely made the good section of this review.
Disaster Report 4 has good voice acting. Even the main protagonist is voiced. He (or she) has a wide range of emotions that’ll play out depending on your dialogue choices. You can even make him a creep and have him drooling over the nice school teacher that you meet early in the game. You can be an evil douche and only care about yourself or be a good person and help the other survivors of the earthquake out. Whatever you decide to do the voice acting from the main protagonist will reflect that and I thought that was really neat. The main menu music is good too, but there’s a lack of music in the game. It’s mostly ambient sounds and they range from good to bad.
The Switch version of this game is ugly and runs like crap. Keep in mind this review will be out before the game releases and there’s a chance that a day one patch could release to address the performance issues this game currently has. The way it looks though… will most likely not change. This game is very ugly and I rarely stayed at 30 fps the entire time I played. There’s no excuse for a game to release on the Switch this ugly. There are some beautiful games on this console and this developer pretty much Bloodstained this game by putting in the least amount of work to make their game playable and good looking.
I would recommend playing this game while docked. Which sucked for me because I prefer using my Switch Lite over the OG Switch. That meant I had to re-download the game because you can’t dock a Switch Lite. Playing this game in handheld mode was not a pleasant experience for me. The game lagged like crazy and got a little better once I switched to dock mode. Playing in docked mode did nothing for the graphical quality though. This game is just plain ugly on the Switch. If something like that bothers you, it bothered me, then I would recommend playing it on a different platform.
This game would have felt dated if it released back when it was supposed to in 2011. The movement is very stiff and I’m not a fan of wandering around aimlessly to find what I had to do next. This game feels like a mid-90s adventure game and some people will love that. I don’t. I do like that instead of having a health bar it’s called stress. It’s basically a health bar, but you don’t actually have to get hit to take damage. If a pole hit the ground around me the impact would cause a good chunk of my stress gauge to lower.
This made me save periodically because it was so easy for me to die. This game basically boils down to you doing random things that are not connected to each other in any way. This game does not respect my time. It’s 2020, not 200 anymore. Knowing where to go and what to do is a quality of life feature that modern games have that respect the time of the person playing it. I wish Disaster Report 4 did the same.
One thing I enjoyed was exploring my surroundings and finding important items that were required to help progress the story. I also found bigger backpacks to hold more items in which was very useful as I continued to find more and more items. I just wish the payoff for all that exploration was worth it.
Disaster Report 4 isn't a very good game. It's not a bad one either. It had its moments, but they were few and far between. At the end of the day, I probably won't remember this game. The story is all over the place, the gameplay is terrible, and this game runs like crap on the Switch. It looks really bad too and there's no reason for that in my opinion. This game will have a cult following like all the previous games that released before it did, but if you're just a gamer looking for something new to play I would recommend you look somewhere else. This game needs a lot of work on the Switch and I can't recommend it in this state to anyone. If I had played this on a different platform my score would be higher. As it stands, the Switch version of this game is the worst version of it.