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    Rate this article "Review: AER Memories of Old"

    (4/5) 1 rating
    panos_misti, 16 december 2017 03:18

    Review: AER Memories of Old

    The success of the classic exclusives PlayStation still does not give rest to some independent developers. That they want to do their Ico , then they try to copy some elements of Journey . And you can immediately guess what was the source of inspiration. The creators of AER Memories of Old were just trying to create something similar to the work of thatgamecompany , but in the end they did not understand what merits these games got a cult status.

    A metamorph girl named Auk should make a pilgrimage to the land of the gods. The world where she lives with other people was formerly a single land, but after a catastrophe called a great rift, the territory was divided into a number of islands hanging in the air. The ancient inhabitants built in these places three churches, each of which will go to the heroine. In her hands, only a lamp that automatically lights up at any time, but does not own a weapon, it will not be necessary to fight anyone.

    The only skill of the character is the ability to instantly turn into a bird, and flights to excellent music have become one of the best moments of the AER. The bird accelerates, quickly turns, instantly gains altitude and is very easily controlled, therefore it is a pleasure to move between islands. However, in the gameplay plan, all these flights are just an attempt by the creators to stretch their time - yes, waving their wings is fascinating, but it's too long sometimes the process. Especially if you consider that after each temple you have to return to the very first island and talk with people.

    In addition, if you did not listen carefully to the dialogue with the inhabitants of the settlement or talking animals, you generally will not know where to keep the path for passage. Heroes each time called the directions ("fly north," "go to the south-west"), but nowhere does it specify exactly what to do. Missed the key phrase or forgot it - prepare to aimlessly fly in circles in the hope of a miracle, as replicas are not recorded anywhere, and Auk does not lead. There is a map in the game, but the islands studied are simply drawn on it, and there will be no further benefit from it.
     
    And it would not be such a problem, if the world around us took a little bit. On some of the islands live animals walk, streams flow somewhere, but there are no secrets or mysterious caves here. From time to time you stumble upon some kind of memories of the past lives of people who died or disappeared after the disaster, but because of the lack of an intelligent backstory to them do not feel any feelings. These are just transparent figures pronouncing the phrases torn from the context.

    All the same can be said about the temples, which visit is for Auk the main (and only) task. These are corridors with a minimum number of forks, in which senseless running around is almost more than flying in the open world. Here you run down the stairs, here you climb the next one, here you make an incredibly simple jump from one platform to another, and then spend half a minute in a long corridor ... The heroine is annoyingly slow and clumsy, which also turns out to be a serious drawback. But at least it does not get stuck in the stones and walls - and that's good.
     
    Even in the temples there are "puzzles", the vast majority of which require clicking on buttons or using a lighted lamp near certain pedestals. There are also problems more difficult - for example, you need to rotate the three columns in such a way that the image shown on the next wall turns out. Some players expressed dissatisfaction with easy riddles in Rime , but did not even realize how stupid they would be in AER . But after all, the games are very similar in appearance - there is a great chance that users will come across this project in search of "something like that".

    And the appearance, I must admit, was not the worst. The game really looks like Rime, but still her style is more minimalist. It does not look like a cheap indie game, collected in a couple of months - the artists obviously tried to create a cozy atmosphere, so they made several zones with different climatic conditions and threw around everywhere foxes with two tails, lambs and piglets. And the foliage of trees reacts to the heroine that cuts into them when landing. Above the sound, too, worked great: the grass crunches underfoot, the ice cracks when you walk on it.
     
    But the authors seem to forget about the gameplay. It is still not enough to give the player a nice open world and hope that he will fly around each island and admire the views. If you remember the same Rime, there the developers were able to come up with fascinating puzzles, and put the main character in dangerous situations, and diversify the game process at the expense of some new mechanics. And the ending does not have to be said - the final caused a storm of emotions and crashed into the memory.

    AERIt can not offer anything, and the final chapter in it does not provide answers to any questions. What was it? Why did we do this? Why did it take only two hours? Perhaps, if you study all the memories and read the notes, the picture of what is happening will become clearer. But the game does not push it at all - just to explore each island in the hope of finding something there is unlikely to want anyone. And the storyline, if one can call it that at all, is only a visit to several key points, the exact location of which must always be guessed independently.
     
    To understand the intentions of the creators of AER is very simple. They wanted to offer players a meditative adventure, without loading them with muddled riddles and placing them for a couple of hours in a beautiful location, where they let you fly to beautiful music. But everything has a limit, and the excessive mystery and simplicity in the end only hurt. The game reminds a tongue-tied child who wants to tell something very interesting and exciting, but he can not formulate his thoughts.
     
     
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