I believe that when I first heard about Vane, I was told it was a “mesmerizing exploratory adventure”. That description really fails when it comes to this game, and I’m going to see how well I can describe my experience.
The beginning of Vane is unusual, as you play what looks like a young boy or girl walking on a landscape that is unraveling as you speak. The opening sets up the minimalist style, and I get the feeling that the look keeps the graphic flowing and cheap. The style works with and for the game, so I give it more than a free pass.
Not to reveal too much, but the beginning shows the kid getting to a building, and there appears to be a tall person with a bird of a head refusing entry. From there, you enter a world where you are a bird.
As a bird, you can, of course, fly, but the steering is awfully strange. The hardest thing about it is just figuring out what to do, and I’ll just say this: birds of a feather flock together. What has to happen is that you, as a bird, must land at certain locations, and then call in other birds. All the birds together are able to do something necessary in order to go on in the game.
That’s just the first section of the game. I have to admit that I enjoyed the open world and exploring, but I soon came to some caves. These caves were not very well-lit, and this kind of works against the game. However, you can’t let these games be too easy, can you?
At this point, the game became a series of turning into a bird or turning into a human to solve certain puzzles. Much of this was a lot of fun, but what really drew me in was that I honestly have no idea what is happening in this game. This is the appeal of such games, reminding me of early nineties Myst, as part of the game is just wondering what the heck you were doing there in the first place. And you are forced to ask yourself questions like:
What kind of a world is this?
Why is it breaking apart?
Why do I have the ability to change from a bird to a human?
Even though it looks like Vane was done on a small budget, it is still a good game because of the hard work that went in its design, which is very, very creative. For that, I’m giving it an 8.7 out of 10.
I would have given this game a higher rating, but I beat a section of the game and then saved it, only to find out that it didn’t save me at the end of it, but at the beginning.
Check it out at the Friend and Foe games site for the PS4.