Just finished Iconoclasts this morning and I have to say it’s overall a pretty good game, almost reaching excellent at times. Though it falls a little flat in a few key aspects, for one thing I don’t feel like it does a particularly good job utilizing it’s secondary cast neither as game mechanics, story elements or plot devices and I never really cared much about them. They just kind of stick around in your “party” and don’t do anything except at a handful of specific points where they are required to cutscene you past something as well as at a couple of other brief exceptions.
The interconnected world is almost wasted and you probably wouldn’t have missed out on much by having it be isolated stages. There’s almost no meaningful backtracking and the moment I hit “end game” and realized that my compulsion for picking up all the chests and the few secrets I had missed was going to have me retread most of my steps I got so bored with the game that I almost didn’t end up finishing. In the end it only took me about 2h of wandering about to finish that chore up, but a chore it was.
This is not a metroidvania, just throwing that out because I need to draw comparisons to them. Most metroidvania games gives you movement upgrades that makes moving around the world more interesting, fun even, if it’s a good one. Traveling across the entire map of Hollow Knight was fun even at the end game because the world itself is interesting to traverse and your ability set is simply fun to use. There really is nothing particularly special about moving from point A to B in Iconoclasts and that’s a bit of a shame. The game is really good as long as you’re on the critical path and the game keeps moving forward. The moment you deviate and try to find hidden stuff or run errands for NPCs, which I felt was a rather pointless inclusion, the game really drags.
There are way too many characters in the game, both friends and foes. A lot of people just don’t matter much and are not needed for pushing the story along nor to provide an obstacle to overcome. I believe I might have had an easier time actually caring for any of them if the cast was reduced significantly. Though still there are one or two from the enemy faction that are interesting and who’s backstories do get filled in somewhat and I would really have liked to know more about them, the world and what was really going on.
The end is kind of silly, kind of pointless and nothing really gets truly resolved, but it was also kind of amusing, so well… it’s an entirely alright game. Certainly a worthwhile pickup from the coin shop.