Not too terribly long ago En Masse released the free to play game Closers to the public, melding a hub based MMO with a heavy combo based beat’em up style of gameplay. With so much going on and several play sessions under my belt, I can say with certainty that what Closers achieves is noteworthy, but does it check all the boxes for fans of MMOs and beat’em up style action games? Read on for our full Closers review.
From the get-go, Closers brings you into a world of inter-dimensional war, with monsters of different class rankings appearing to wreak havoc on the unsuspecting public of New Seoul. This inter-dimensional transition awakened psychic powers in certain individuals known as “Closers”. In Closers, you can choose between two different types of characters, the Black Lambs or the Wolfdogs, each with their own intro and quest contacts. The stark design of each closer emphasizes the cultural Korean clichés we see in a lot of eastern games. You have the ditsy buxom beauty, the overzealous psychotic lusting for power, the romantic heroic type, and more. These characterizations are woven into the character dialog that ranges anywhere from the mundane, to the slightly silly.
Each Closer has their own class, which is more MMO posturing than an actual class system. The labels are mostly meaningless as no two characters share a class, and you can’t change them. In essence, you have closers that deal primarily ranged damage or melee damage, and both options have their strengths and weaknesses as well as ferocious free-flowing combos. As you level your character the combos also grow and change some, with new skills opening up and more options to augment and enhance those skills. Closers also has a fun costume system, where you can dress your characters in whatever costume pieces you find, mixing and matching their apparel to your heart’s content.
Is it All Sunny in New Seoul?
My main disconnect in the combat system was directed more to the mappings between the Mouse and Keyboard and the controller. The game feels great when played with an Xbox controller, which is always my preferred peripheral for fighting games, but the translation and tutorial support for controller wielding players is non-existent. The disconnect put a damper on the combat, as I had to remap certain keys, or study the control options several times over to make sure I was activating the right abilities, and even then, there were some menus and situations where only a mouse and keyboard would do.
Between the combat missions you will also encounter several side time-sinks, which includes hatching and leveling a pet, setting up your housing and planting a garden, and identifying, crafting and salvaging items you find in your missions. In the early game, as they teach you each of these things, I found myself somewhat agitated, as with each new system introduced you are bombarded with a plethora of menus, teeming with detailed instructions that you are expected to read if you want to enjoy these systems. While I can’t fault them for detailing their systems, these menus in the early game are way too frequent, and they really pull you out of the system where this game truly shines which is the combat system.
The characters and visceral combat along with the exceptional music lays a fantastic groundwork for Closers marred only by poor control translations and an ill-contrived user interface rife with menus that take you out of what Closers does best. As Closers also coincides with an Anime show of the same name, fans of the show will certainly find a lot to love here. For new players with no connection to the Anime, there is still a game worth playing under the frivolous menus and unnecessary MMO systems that feel out of place. The major takeaway from Closers, the one that matters to me, is that when I want to bash some interdimensional goblins, I know where to find them.
Final Closers Review Score: 7/10
- Fun visceral combat
- Music worth rocking out to
- Memorable characters, with great costume options
- Poorly designed UI elements
- Controller to Keyboard translations are nonexistent
- Gameplay systems that feel out of place