Vane (PC) – Review
Follow Genre: Adventure Game
Developer: Friend and Foe Games
Publisher: Friend and Foe Games, Gamera Games
Platform: PC, PS4
Tested on: PC

Vane (PC) – Review

Site Score
5.5
Good: Stunning Visuals
Bad: Slow pace, clunky controls
User Score
7.3
(3 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 7.3/10 (3 votes cast)

Vane teased us with a demo back in 2016 that blew many people away with its stunning graphics. And truth be told, they held true to that part of their promise: Vane is a marvel to behold. Sadly, frustrating gameplay elements and a too-vague-to-be-enjoyed narrative make it hard for this game to completely blow us out of the water. Friend & Foe Games initially released this game for PlayStation 4 in January of this year but it has now made its way onto PC as well.

Story

Right off the bat, Vane starts us as the player character, a young child, in the middle of a desert. A storm is raging all about us as we try to find our way to a tower in the distance, quite literally the light in the dark. As the world is torn apart and we cradle something to our chest, the tower is barred at the last possible second, after which the game properly begins. If you’re already confused at this point, don’t worry, that’s quite normal since there is no context given to make us understand the lore of the world we’re playing in. Unfortunately, however, it won’t take you long to realize the entire game suffers from a lack of sense. Vane describes itself as surreal and while that is an accurate word for it, it would still be nice to have at least the slightest idea of what’s going on sometimes.

Graphics

This is where Vane really shines. To describe the visuals as stunning would be an understatement. There is almost something of an open-world going on, with vast expanses of desert, endless mountain ranges and cavernous caves to explore. And everything looks amazing. The lighting effects are beautiful too, and while the colors are muted, preferring to sticking to a few tones at a time instead of exploding off the screen, it really works here.

Sound

As far as music is concerned there isn’t much to complain about either. A mesmerizing synth soundtrack accompanies us on our journey, fitting the mood perfectly. It’s grand without being overbearing, epic without being too big to fit a humble indie game like this. There are a few sound effects sprinkled in here and there, giving life to the world around you, but mostly you will notice the beautiful instrumental tracks taking center stage.

Gameplay

Vane is an adventure game with a focus on exploration and some puzzle solving. There aren’t usually very clear goals, and the game won’t hold your hand when you get lost. You will just have to fly or walk around the world and see what you find. Sometimes this means you’ll encounter simple environmental puzzles that you need to solve, mainly through more exploration. If you don’t know what to do just pick a direction and start moving and something will happen eventually.

And we did say fly OR walk, because your character has the ability to turn into a bird, taking to the air in the form of a raven. Some parts will even require you to do this. Sadly this is where the game begins to falter because the controls for the flying are very difficult even with a controller. Even after practicing, you will find yourself flying beak first into objects, if not the floor, or missing your target completely. This isn’t the biggest problem in the world since skillful maneuvering isn’t often required to progress, but it does end up being slightly annoying when you’re trying to enjoy the pretty environments.

When playing as a human you might also find yourself doing a tad of platforming. The controls are certainly more agreeable here, but these segments are also just a tad too drawn out. Much like the rest of the game, in fact. Everything seems to take just a little too long, the next objective being just a bit too far away to be reasonable. Which often means you end up zoning out behind the screen instead of focussing on all the good things this game has to offer.

Conclusion

 

Vane is a game you can play for the experience. It is certainly something you can enjoy, especially if you are fond of casual exploring and not being hurried by a timer counting down or enemies harassing you around every corner. But the storyline is confusing and doesn’t compel enough to keep going, and the rhythm of the game is not suited for everybody. If you’d just like to fly around some pretty landscapes though, you’re all set.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.3/10 (3 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Vane (PC) - Review, 7.3 out of 10 based on 3 ratings
Jessica
Jessica


Games are my escape and writing is my passion.

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