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Mulaka (Xbox)

Developed by Lienzo, Mulaka is now available on PC (Steam) for £15.49, PS4 for £15.99 and Xbox One for £15.99.

Mulaka is a third person, 3D adventure game with puzzles and platforming elements, in which you will explore the story of a Sukurúame, a Tarahumara shaman who is fighting against the corruption spreading across the land. Solve puzzles, defeat enemies from Tarahumara mythology and explore surroundings inspired by real-life Sierra Tarahumara locations.

Mulaka is a beautiful game with vast landscapes of Northern Mexico to explore, with hidden artefacts and caches to find throughout. After you have completed the game, you can go back to each of the areas to try and find the remaining collectibles if you missed them the first time around. One of my favourite things about Mulaka is how there has been an extraordinary effort made to ensure that the game is as accurate as can be. This includes the incredible music which is authentic to the region ensuring a wonderful depiction of Tarahumara culture.

The controls are very simple with new actions being added slowly as you progress through the game, giving you plenty of time to get used to them. Whether you are in combat or running full sprint around the world, gameplay is fluid, the animation is smooth, and I haven’t had any issues with framerate dropping or the game crashing.

My one critique with regards to the combat is the spear, it was incredibly frustrating to use half of the time because I struggled to lock on to the target. I think the issue lies in the fact that with the game being in the third person, you’re essentially blocking the view to your enemy so it would have been more helpful if at least when aiming the spear, the character could move to the side or the camera could zoom out a little.

The objective remains the same in each area, you need to collect three crystal fragments by completing puzzles or defeating bosses. The puzzles start off easy and grow in complexity with each one you complete but are never impossible. Once you have all three, the door to the next area will unlock, allowing you to progress. 

You can fast travel between the various places, some of which you will need to return to later if you plan to find everything. Fast travelling also forces the game to save so I found it especially helpful when I wanted to leave the game.

As you make your way around, you’ll come across many enemies, each with various strengths and weaknesses. Each time you encounter a new enemy, you will be given more information about them including the best way to defeat them, which came in very handy. I love that each of the bosses are unique and requires a diverse set of approaches, especially in the latter stages of the game when bosses can dissolve your life quite quickly.

You have many skills and potions that you will learn as you progress through the game and you’ll need to harvest the resources to craft them. Thankfully, there are plenty of places to find these ingredients, so it is very easy to keep topped up. There are even lesser amounts to be found when you’re in battle, which I was very appreciative of and saved me many times. 

You'll learn how to transform into other creatures as you make your way through the game and meet the demigods. As much as I loved this, the bird transformation is a little lacklustre because there is no way of controlling its upward/downward flight. there were times when I clearly had to use the bird transition ability to reach somewhere but instead of being able to aim up slightly and land nicely, I felt like I had to glitch my way up through the sides of the terrain instead. 

By killing enemies, breaking objects and discovering hidden caches around you will earn you a varied amount of Kórima, -which is your in-game currency. You can spend these in Paquimé, once you have found the lady selling them, to upgrade your abilities and make you tougher to kill.

The most unique feature of Mulaka, in my opinion, is that you can see into the other world revealing invisible enemies as well as giving you the ability to communicate with the surrounding world, including ghosts who will give you more insight to the game. Many of them are in places which you may not think to go, so definitely keep checking. Your special sight even allows you to see floating platforms which will help you to reach the seemingly impossible.  

Overall, I have really enjoyed playing through Mulaka, the puzzles and boss fights were challenging with unique gameplay and the storytelling was wonderful. If I had to give it a score it would be 8/10. I would recommend playing Mulaka.

Mulaka has 14 achievements available for a total of 1,000 Gamerscore. A decent sized achievement list which is mostly progression based and will unlock through natural gameplay. There are a few extraneous ones which I found quite humorous and appreciated! There is one trickier achievement which could be missed and that’s completing the game losing 8 or fewer souls which may require a second playthrough once you’re more aware of what each part of the game is all about. If you need any help or guidance, then head over to True Achievements where you will find plenty of useful information.

A game code was provided for the purpose of this review. Thank you!
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