Collapsed is an action-platformer rogue-lite with clear inspiration from both Sundered and Dead Cells. The player assumes control of one of four classes, each with a different firearm and melee weapon, and is tasked with finding which one of three “portals” in any given stage will allow them to proceed to the next.
When I started Collapsed I was immediately struck by how bad the controls feel. Movement speed doesn’t mesh well with the run cycle – which like most of the animations looks extremely clunky – and the way firearms have to be aimed feels far too imprecise, especially since you have to choose between that or being able to jump. In addition, there’s a wall-climbing ability that I couldn’t for the life of me figure out the exact specifics of; sometimes it’d go off without a hitch, sometimes I’d jump away from the wall without meaning to, and sometimes I’d just straight up fall back down. To make traversal matters even worse, there would sometimes be false platforms that were visually indiscernible from regular platforms, and thus when I thought I was about to land on solid ground I would instead just keep falling.
The trouble of basic movement and exploration, in addition to being a problem in its own right, also compounded issues I had with combat balance. Enemies, though numerous, felt fragile to the point that killing them never felt satisfying or rewarding on my part, as though it had anything to do wit my own skill. Simultaneously, the sheer number of enemies and the projectiles that can be put out combined with high damage values made it so that dying never felt like it was because of anything I had done wrong. Going through the levels felt dull and bland, with no real incentive to keep starting new runs. There’s a rudimentary leveling/upgrade tree but I quickly hit a wall where I didn’t have the necessary materials to buy into anything and I’m not totally sure how it worked anyway, as it was appeared to be universal across all characters I made (you can have up to four) but each character had their own level seemingly separate from that with no real indication what the value was determined by.
On top of the gameplay feeling empty, the aesthetics of Collapsed are perfectly generic. The soundtrack is unremarkable and the visual look of both characters and environment does nothing to give the game a unique sense of self. Even the few bits of lore I found were completely unmemorable because of their striking similarity to every other apocalyptic log in every other video game in a similar setting.
If this feels like one of the shortest and least in-depth reviews I’ve written, it’s because there’s honestly not much to say. Collapsed is not a memorable game or even a particularly enjoyable one in the moments when I was actually playing it, and I can’t recommend it over similar games.
Collapsed tries to evoke other games in the genre but falls far short of its predecessors.