Stranger Things 3: The Game follows the plot of the season 3 of the TV show, so if you have yet to see it then fair warning as it features heavy spoilers. With a 16 bit isometric style, the game conflicts with the setting slightly as the show is set in the 80’s, where as the game is style is something that started to appear in the 90’s. That aside though, the overall style and atmosphere is very reminiscent of movie tie-in games that were everywhere a few decades ago. A marmite moment for those of you of a certain age as you either loved them or hated them.
You start out playing as Mike and Lucas, with a further 10 characters to unlock as you progress through the game, each having their own attack and abilities. So you’ll need to switch between them to do certain things, such as Dustin who opens locks, Joyce who can cut open chained doors and so on. With early parts of the game having areas closed off until you unlock the character that can access them, meaning you’ll have to revisit if you want to explore every inch of the game. If you happen to have a friend round, they can join in too, as there’s 2 player co-op.
Aside from having their abilities you can also equip your party with a variety of trinkets, these add bonuses to your party, be it increased damage of more HP. trinkets can be found in secret areas, be given as rewards or even crafted, using items found and/or purchased from various shops. Crafting requires a visit to a crafting bench which are also dotted around the world.
Missions are mostly made up of fetch quests, that some will find boring. As a person that is heavily into the TV series, I felt quite invested in the game and didn’t mind the missions mainly consisting of fetching stuff for NPC’s, there are some missions that require you to solve puzzles along the way, such as standing on pressure plates, or pulling certain switches. The latter usually requires some digging around for clues, which often means just reading some notice board, or checking a computer.
It’s relatively lengthy with a good 10 plus hours to pump into it if you want to do everything. Which is fairly reasonable, you can maybe add another 7 if you fancy doing it all again in ‘Eliminator’ which is just a New Game +. Giving you access to all the characters from the get go, with the caveat of perma-death.
Visually the game hits and misses, with a very well done nod to games of yesteryear, though it does seem odd that a franchise set in the 80’s would have a game that is of the 90’s. The audio is great, while there’s no voice overs, the music playing throughout the game fits perfectly with that of the TV show.
A copy of the game was provided for this review by the developer/publisher