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Five years after the premiere of Serial Cleaner on Nintendo Switch, we are a few days away from enjoying Serial Cleaners, its sequel. This second installment will not only mean a change in the visual section of the game, but it will also mean a time jump that will take us to the 90’s (one that more than one of our readers will remember fondly).
I’ve been lucky enough to play this sequel at Gamescom 2022, so I’ll take the opportunity to tell you a little about my impressions. Before I start, I want to make you aware of the fact that unfortunately I haven’t been able to play a native version for Nintendo Switch and everything was PC based, so we will not analyze sections such as performance or graphics (I do not think there is much difference between versions). Yes, luckily I was able play using a controllerso the experience in terms of controls will be quite close to what we will see on our beloved console.
A hectic life in a troubled time
Serial Cleaners It is set in the early 90’s, and even though it is a sequel and there is a character that returns directly from it, it is not completely necessary to play it to understand the plot or the new characters in this installment. If you want to, the game is currently available on the Nintendo Switch eShop at a price of 2.34 euros until next September 16. Coming back to the game, all four characters are in the business of cleaning up crime scenes, and their stories are somewhat connected, but each of them has their own motivations and gameplay mechanics. The action takes place in different scenarios in which not only is it enough for us to recover files or eliminate corpses, we will also have to clean the crime scene as best we can. All while the police keep a close eye on the surroundings or the scene itself.
For example, the youngest member of the team is specialized in computers and is a kind of hacker (in quite a nineties outfit), but she is also the smallest and least physically strong member of the group, so she will have to take advantage of your skills to turn on lights in other areas of the map, open doors to distract guards or police, but she can’t carry bodies, so she’ll have to drag them around without being spotted. Each of the characters has their strengths and weaknesses, being possible to play with any of them without the need for a specific order, so we can test all their abilities or gameplay without great restrictions.
The 90s in all its glory
As for the scenarios in which the action takes place, these can be very wide or be compacted and with little maneuverability. Regardless of which of them touches us, the constant of having to use the environment to hide. It can be behind a wall, through a secondary exit before the police arrive or in ventilation ducts, the important thing is not to let ourselves be seen. If they see us we can be in a serious problem, but it does not necessarily mean the end of the game, because by not being able to catch the enemy AI will react improving your response speed when patrolling or calling in reinforcements, hence some areas are a real challenge of wits and for which some luck is required.
I will not talk about the technical or visual section, but I would like to emphasize that on an aesthetic level the game perfectly reflects the decade of the 90s (it is set in New York). If you grew up during this, you will find a good number of references and elements that will make you smile on more than one occasion. In addition, the slightly more minimalist visual section of the first installment has been left behind to give us a game that stands out much more visually and can afford more details in its scenarios.
Finally, I would like to make it clear that the playing with a controller is much more comfortable than it might seem right off the bat. Making the comparison between playing with a keyboard and mouse or a controller (in this case I used the Xbox One controller), the controller comes out on top thanks to fairly intuitive controls that take practically nothing to get used to. Will it work the same with Switch handheld mode controller layout? We’ll find out next September 22day on which Serial Cleaners It will come to Nintendo Switch and other platforms (with voices in English, but texts in Spanish).
It’s not just nostalgia
Without having played the original installment and not being a particular fan of stealth, at first I didn’t know what to expect from a game like Serial Cleaners or if he was really going to enjoy the gaming session. Fortunately, I was wrong with this last idea and playing this title has been a fun and rewarding experience, perhaps one of my favorites at a Gamescom where I’ve seen a good number of games.
You have to be stealthy, but if things go wrong the game gives you room to be creative and resourceful in order to get out of trouble without having to return to the starting point. On more than one occasion I have ended up losing due to one or two unexpected events, but that only encouraged me to try again trying new strategies and tricks. It is a game with which you can “bite” quickly, so once you complete the mission you feel rewarded.