Starbreeze Studios and Swedish film director, Josef Fares made this little game where you must simultaneously control two brothers on a quest to find and bring back the Water of Life for their ailing father. From the prologue, you learn they had already lost their mother to drowning, so the tone of the game is meant to be grim. I say meant due to the fact that it just isn’t delivered well enough to care; they just don’t give you enough and even the end lacks a certain punch.
All of that aside, I still enjoyed the game. I was afraid it would be too demanding and the controls making things in frustratingly hard, but that wasn’t the case at all. I never had any trouble with any of the tasks you’re presented with. Most of the game contains super-easy puzzles and some platforming and climbing. There are some side-puzzles, also, which the trophies are tied to.
My favorite moments were exploring the frozen area in the boat, flying the glider, and climbing that beautiful tree of life. Riding the goats was fun and ripping the legs off the spider-bitch was gratifying as well, but not really awesome moments.
The high point of the game are the visuals. They’re gorgeous. The colors are vibrant, the environments interesting, and the creatures are well designed. I spent more time in awe of the scenery than caring about anything else.
It is a short game which took me, I think, 7 hours to complete and puzzle out the trophies. It was a nice chaser to those 100+ hours spent on Xillia. It’s this month’s PS+ freebie, so check it out if you’re interested. It’s a pretty.
The music is another high point for me. It accompanied the visuals rather well, but regardless how beautiful, it did nothing to improve my lack of empathy. Every emotional moment had no impact on me. Even the side puzzle with the man trying to hang himself after losing his wife and child in a fire had no impact. After giving him a music box, you give him a reason live and he buries his lost family. That’s sad, it really is however, I didn’t care. There’s just so much missing; you don’t get a full enough picture.
I still rate this game rather highly despite its emotional failings. It is one of those rare instances where I grade it mostly on artistic level with less weight upon story. I’m not disappointed by this failing and it really didn’t impact my enjoyment of the game. In retrospect, though, it would have been nice.