Old-school crime noir blended with action-RPG gameplay… sounds an interesting mix, right? Well, add some elements of the supernatural into the mix and you’ll have Pecaminosa – A Pixel Noir Game. It’s an unusual concoction, but it makes for an enjoyable gameplay experience that’s only let down by a few missteps here and there.
Check out a gallery of screenshots for Pecaminosa – A Pixel Nori Game down below:
Embracing both elements of your typical crime thriller as well as the paranormal, Pecaminosa puts players in the shoes of former detective John Souza who awakens to find the criminal Charlie Two Angels standing over his bed. You’d think this would be ‘sayonara’ for the ol’ detective, right? Well, that’s where the game’s paranormal elements come into play, with Souza having previously killed Charlie… it makes his appearance at his bedside all the more alarming.
Fortunately, he’s not looking for revenge, but rather a way to get to heaven. How does he do this? By helping Souza out by giving him clues to find his missing partner. What follows is a tale full of intrigue that isn’t afraid to embrace some peculiar elements along the way. It certainly kept me invested in Souza’s woes, with some decent writing and world design helping strengthen the overall storytelling.
“The levelling up system in particular felt much like a classic RPG, with the player not only able to improve things like Souza’s stamina but also his intelligence to give him a bit more nuance when chatting to NPCs.”
One interesting thing about Pecaminosa is that it adopts an action-RPG twist to its gameplay, with the player getting to explore an open city, interact with a variety of NPCs to complete quests, partake in a few mini-games, and even build up Souza’s stats by levelling up or equipping different pieces of gear. The levelling up system in particular felt much like a classic RPG, with the player not only able to improve things like Souza’s stamina but also his intelligence to give him a bit more nuance when chatting to NPCs. Not every scenario in the game has to end in a gunfight, with a smarter Souza able to defuse a situation without any blood having to be splattered on the walls.
It adds more depth to the experience, whilst choice-making has always been something that I really appreciate in an RPG. However, there will be times when you’ll have no choice but to get into a fist-fight or a shootout with your foes, with the city proving to be a dangerous place. Unfortunately, Pecaminosa can be a little bit hit-and-miss when it comes to combat, with Souza’s slower movement speed making some battles feel a little bit laborious. Don’t get me wrong, it’s satisfying to line up shots on enemies and the guns feel good to use, but I always felt that bit vulnerable whenever I got up close thanks to how sluggish movement could be.
“It was hard not to be impressed by the presentation of the game too, with the lively and seedy city setting a far cry from what players would see in a typical action-RPG.”
Still, it didn’t stop me from enjoying the game, whilst the boss battles stood out as some varied and well-designed showdowns. Everything feels better when you improve Souza’s capabilities too, with the latter half of the game proving to be more enjoyable once I had begun to refine his skillset. There are just moments in-between it all that could fall short of the mark, whilst some explorative elements could grow a little repetitive too. There’s certainly more good than bad on show in the game though, whilst it earns brownie points for originality.
It was hard not to be impressed by the presentation of the game too, with the lively and seedy city setting a far cry from what players would see in a typical action-RPG. It was great to explore though, with it embracing plenty of tropes players would expect from a city filled with gangsters and dodgy dealings. You go further afield as you progress through the game too, whilst those aforementioned supernatural elements ensure that players should expect the unexpected…
Pecaminosa isn’t the best action-RPG you’ll play, but it is one that certainly feels unique thanks to its slick setting and intriguing narrative. The levelling system and gunplay are neat too, though it can feel a bit sluggish in other elements of its design – especially when it comes to hand-to-hand combat or some of the repetitive objectives.
Still, I enjoyed my time with the game and was kept invested right until the very end. Whilst it’s a long way from perfect, Pecaminosa is certainly worth a look if you like action-RPGs that take a different approach to the norm.
Developer: Cereal Games
Publisher: BadLand Publishing
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch (Reviewed), PC
Click here to visit the official website.