Mulaka is a game that will grab your attention right off the bat with its unique visuals and interesting exploration of Mexican mythology. The story begins with the Sukurúame, a spiritual warrior, entering the Tarahumara region in order to stop the Teregori from wreaking havoc with its inhabitants, said to be the children of the stars.
The game plays like a lot of other adventure games in this genre. The warrior enters each new region and must find three stones to unlock a gate, fight the boss and move on to the next region. As you explore new regions you will use your warriors sense to find people and enemies and solve puzzles and fight. Upon completing certain objectives you will earn the stones needed to progress.
Each region has its own flavor and unique enemies. Up until the end of the game you will encounter new enemies that will take different tactics to beat. Also you will gain new abilities each time you beat a boss and then the following region will utilize that ability in the mechanics of completing the objectives of that area.
Controls are like most other adventure games and that suits here just fine. Left stick moves, right stick controls your camera, Y is weak attack, x is strong attack, b is jump, a is dodge. You also use R to activate your Sukurúame vision, L to aim and throw your lance, ZR to spring, ZL to do transformations and d buttons use various items.
The game uses the mythology the story is based on to influence the graphics and design. This gives the game a look and feel unlike any other. It does a fine job of making the game feel fresh visually and giving it its own identity. Mulaka uses beautiful painted cutscenes to tell its story and then shifts to a more simplistic yet organic ort style for gameplay. The contrast gives the story scenes the necessary weight to make an impact.
In the back third of this adventure there are some minor performance issues with your character clipping onto walls and the floor making a certain boss fight more difficult than necessary. The game overall does run pretty well although you will notice some frame rate dips if you play it undocked.
Like everything else in the game Mulaka goes all-in on its cultural influences using the regions rich history to inform it’s musical choices. This choice gives the game a aural richness it might otherwise had not had.
Mulaka takes a mythology that one usually does not hear about much and makes a compelling narrative using the sights and sounds of it. The game plays well and looks and sounds fresh and unique. It also does a fine job of organically introducing new mechanics constantly through the experience while never overwhelming you. Playing Mulaka is definitely an experience and one that can be savored at that.
- Unique art style
- Excellent storytelling
- Lots of variety in enemies and your abilities
- Some performance issues in the final third of the game
- Game runs a bit worse undocked