A world that is built and deconstructed. A mysterious boy with the ability to become a bird. Remember the Team ICO games, because there are team members in their development, but as you will see in Vane’s analysis, on this occasion the courage to take out a creative and original work like the present has not been enough to leave us completely satisfied.
Usually, when a game tries to do something different, I usually pay a lot of attention, because few people flee from the conventions and mechanics already seen to try to create works with a personality that transmit other types of emotions to the players. This is the reason why many of us have approached the ICO Team video games with a superlative result that has surprised and transported us to other worlds. But wanting to be different is not without problems. Moreover, you have to master the classic mechanics a lot to be able to skip the rules. And in the case of Friend & Foe, the study behind this Vane, the truth is that your bet has neglected too many facets to be enjoyed in its entirety.
The idea is good and daring. A strange world of low poly style that lately seems to be so fashionable. After a strange epilogue, I realize that the game is not going to make things easy for me. But not by difficulty at the controls, but by a clear lack of signaling the way forward. It does not matter, I like these games that have the personality to not treat the stupid player, filling in the beginning of unnecessary tutorials.
And still, I feel uncomfortable at the controls of Vane. The flight of the bird with which we began the adventure becomes strange. When I pick up speed, the camera gets so close to the animal that spinning is torture, even more trying to perch on any of the surfaces on which you can interact. It costs him to know what to do next, and even in the first game my bird crosses a tower and ends with a bug that makes it uncontrollable. I have to start the action again from the beginning. It seems that there are not going to be checkpoints here.
Your design problems, rhythm and technicians, can with him
It does not matter, the control points or the absence of them are not something that worries me if it is well justified. I keep going and the thing seems to start. I manage to become a child and the controls remind you of an ICO or a decaffeinated The Last Guardian, yes, but the scenario is not so demanding, so I do not have it that much in mind. The level that follows is interesting. A huge cave in which you end up understanding that you are going to have to use the power of becoming a bird or a child to advance. Here Friend & Foe does it very well, because he explains to you with simplicity and through a compulsory stumble, that when you throw yourself into the void you become a bird and when you approach a kind of golden sand, you become a child again. The resolution of puzzles has to do with this opposition. By bird flight, you can examine your surroundings and pose on some surfaces to activate a mechanism or drop something. As a child, you can manipulate levers and objects. The control is crude, but I keep going.
For the next act, the thing is twisted more and more irremediably. The movement is slow and clumsy. The story does not connect, and as much as you make the effort to try to tie some kind of corporal, everything seems too disconnected, too fast, to transmit any kind of emotion or message to the player. Given the muteness of the game, all are questions. A world that is destroyed and that is rebuilt? Children, who become birds? Everything happens beautifully, but ultimately, too fast and disjointed.
The puzzles do not help, the movement either. At this point, Vane has not caught me and every advance costs more desire to move forward. The resolution of each puzzle is ingenious and not too difficult, but the game makes it frustrating due to its slowness and the lack of polish in its movements. Then comes another slip of a technical section that had already behaved with more jerks and more problems along the way. Certain characters that should help in progress do not move and by not doing so, I can not move forward. I restart the game and I have to start over from the beginning of the act. And, honestly, I do not have much desire. Mainly because the game does not justify this setback and, besides, it was not my fault.
For this moment, Vane has accumulated a series of design problems, rhythm (in a very short game) and technicians that do not have much fun from here to the end.
And it makes me angry because I know there is something different in this Vane, which otherwise could have become a rewarding and emotional experience. There is something in its artistic design that makes it unique and invites you to want to explore this mysterious world. Nobody likes to fail, but in the case of Vane, who does not suffer from a certain sensitivity, but also quite pretentious, the approach comes great.
Recommended: Roll and kick This is Pikuniku. Analysis
Vane is an atypical game, that although it could be associated with works like Journey or the games of Team ICO, it fails miserably on the way, losing pace and with technical and design problems in equal parts. It manages to transmit to the player neither at a narrative level nor with its mechanics, ending up frustrating rather than having fun. The effort is appreciated because it has a beautiful artistic design and has some interesting puzzle ideas, although short, and sometimes frustrating.
- It is a very beautiful game artistically.
- Design problems in the puzzles.
- Bugs that force you to repeat the whole act from the beginning.
- Rhythm problems Rough and slow movement.
- A story too cryptic and hurried.