Picklock (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Jenny Geist 03.01.2021

Review for Picklock on Nintendo Switch

Picklock follows an unnamed, downtrodden man who tires of his honest living, and decides to return to a life of crime. Under the alias 'Picklock,' he goes across 13 different locales to sneak in, steal valuables, and then leave without a trace. Deqaf Studio's strategic stealth game requires a keen sense of patience and timing to properly steal your way up to being rich… but is the gameplay worth the one last job, or would it be a robbery of one's time? Time to pick apart Picklock.

On a very basic level, the stealth in here can be fun. The thief must reckon with several recurring obstacles, such as roaming guards, security cameras, hidden passageways, and more. Properly managing time is essential; picking locks or disabling cameras can take several seconds, and guards follow a pre-set path that could interrupt that process. Getting caught by a guard resets all progress in the level, unless players vanish from sight as quickly as possible. Accessing the 'Drone View' mode can show where guards will go, and where to find loot, but all at the cost of movement, so it can't always be relied on.

Beyond the gameplay, there's not much to keep anyone coming back. The main story elements only come from brief interactions with a knowledgeable pawn shop owner. The dialogue is poorly written, and full of typos, such as "it's a rare that why costs a lot," or "Press X to get informations." Additionally, the thief can use his stolen funds to buy a new car or house, but for the most part, these are purely aesthetic. None of these issues would really matter if the core gameplay was stellar, but it's far from perfect.

Screenshot for Picklock on Nintendo Switch

Narrowly dodging the gaze of a guard and escaping with stolen riches can give quite the adrenaline rush, but several fundamental flaws majorly hinder the fun. Picklock does not control well. The original PC release used typical point-and-click controls, but no equivalent exists in this version. Instead, one must deal with a cumbersome button control scheme. Selecting a specific item is difficult, and pressing any input afterward can inadvertently cancel the action. Opening and closing doors is key to properly navigating, but doing so is not as simple as it should be. Nothing is less fun than getting caught because you got stuck along a curve, or because a door wouldn't open.

On top of the poor navigation, the camera is nigh unusable. The slightest touch of the right stick sends the camera flying at high speeds, with zero sensitivity options to mitigate this issue. Furthermore, figuring out which objects are interactive is also a difficult task. Many look like they should be steal-able, but aren't, and the ones that are can be difficult to see due to the aforementioned camera issues. Drone view does indicate which items are interactive, but as said before, it also makes the player vulnerable. All of these issues combine to create an experience where the controls are actively fighting against the player. The character controls poorly, and the camera makes it difficult to see, so there's no real ideal way to play… and with no ideal way to play, the process of figuring out how to rob a location can quickly become tedious.

Screenshot for Picklock on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

Picklock has the foundation of a good experience. There are brief moments of actual fun spread throughout, but these are in spite of the game's quirks, not because of it. The awkward controls remove any possible precision, and the sloppy, typo-ridden presentation makes these flaws hard to overlook. With a bit more polish, Picklock could have been a very good stealth title, but as it exists now, players are better off picking a different lock.

Developer

Deqaf Studio

Publisher

Deqaf Studio

Genre

Strategy

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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