As a fan of adventure and puzzle games, I went into my Vane review with high hopes. An indie game that has the look of something special had come along and I was very ready to give it a go.
But, like so many indie titles with big ideas, it almost delivers something special. Even with the ideas Vane has, it’s just not quite what it could have been.
Indie developer Friend & Foe have done some good things in Vane. The ideas and concept is so close to being right, It’s just that as a final product, it’s just not that fun to play and over very quickly.
How Does Vane Play
There two main ways you will play Vane. One is a rather striking flying system that sees you swoop through a desert-like land as a bird. I say desert since it’s rather barren looking as you sore above it, but its got plenty of water around as you hit points of interest.
As a bird in the game, it’s nice and simple. You sore and swoop gracefully and look for landmarks. The camera guides you somewhat towards a direction to go, as do other birds as they fly onto the next area of interest.
It loses it at times and your path isn’t always clear as it could be. Flashes of light help but it’s very easy to wonder which way to go next as you take flight.
In this form, you see the beauty of the world, however, but also its over-ambition. Soring around you’ll see the frames often can’t keep up with the speed your flight path.
Still, it’s pretty and feels quite calming
Once in areas to walk around you can morph into a person. Here it’s very standard 3rd person adventure gameplay.
You move, solve environmental puzzles and attempt to move the story forward.
The issue I have is the amount of time you spend overly wondering what to do. Where the camera at times tries to move in a way to show you where to go.
The challenge themselves are pretty straightforward, activate the right sequence and you are done. But where figuring out something clever is fun in these kind of games, just feeling lost isn’t.
Unfortunately the latter happenes way too often.
Presentation And Graphics
I have to say, for a small team, the artwork and rendering of Vane is beautifully done. The land feels really big as you swoop around and the effects as you fly are smooth too.
As mentioned, technically it gets a little bit jittery in frame rate at times. Plus some pop-in occurs here and there. But, as with any smaller team it can be forgiven.
Especially the amount of massive AAA titles that have worse issues technically who escape criticism.
Atmosphere and sound are nice too. Even in the elclosed spaces and action sequences it’s all very nice. It’s almost relexing of you weren’t constantly lost!
Overall though, the art design and presentation of Vane is really well put together.
There isn’t too much of Vane
It all starts with an event where everything is being destroyed and you try to escape the danger. In your hands is something special, but you are not sure what.
As you get to the destination some tall, Dark Crystal looking things knock you flying.
After that, you are a bird and into the wilderness trying to understand what’s going to happen next.
It’s a reasonably simple and visually impressive journey at times. It just never really grips you like others in this style.
Should You Play Vane?
I wanted to enjoy Vane more, it tries to do a lot of the things I like. Adventures and calmer games can be some of the best. But it just never captivates the way it could have with some better gameplay and more
The developers are clearly talented and have made a visually striking world. With better decisions in gameplay and direction, it could have been more. Perhaps their next project will be, I would certainly play it to see if they get it right next time.
As it is for Vane, it’s a rather standard adventure that ends quite quickly without ever really gripping you the way it should.
Gamers how would suit this game
Fans of any flowing adventure like Journey will see what Vane is trying to be. If you are one for more slower paced titles, it’s one to look at.
It won’t keep you busy for long but it’s very pretty and nice swooping around as the bird.
|The Good||The Bad||The Bugs|
|Nice visuals||Getting lost||Frame Rate issues|
|Good concept||Gameplay isnt engaging|
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About this review
Game Reviewed: Vane digital edition, provided by the publisher.
Review Format: PS4
PEGI Rating: 7