The lights are on
In the wake of E3, there have been
countless games on display that feature extravagant production
values, hyper-realistic visuals, and a number of bombastic set-piece
moments. When faced with this kind of stimulation, it's easy to get
the impression that that's all a game exists to be anymore. Then
straight out of this grand spectacle comes a game like Entwined to
remind you that a game can be something more simple understated, and
maybe even more meaningful.
Entwined tells the story of
star-crossed lovers, taking the form of a blue bird, and an orange
fish. Creatures inhabiting the sky and the sea, worlds somewhat alien
to us humans bearing witness to this story, and even more alien to
one another. The narrative is carried without dialogue, or even
expression, leaving the player to interpret the feelings of these two
creatures, as well as the meaning behind their journey as it spans
across nine lifetimes.
The thing about telling a story without
words is that something needs to hold your attention; helping to
accommodate this issue is the fact that this game is staggeringly
beautiful to behold. From the creatures themselves presented in a
geometric origami style, tho the vibrant colors filling the screen
from every angle, there isn't a single moment where this game doesn't
dazzle the eyes. And it's all complimented by an absolutely wonderful
soundtrack that is both understated and powerfully evocative. It
creates an atmosphere that's warm and inviting, as well as cold and
somber, making it much easier to care about the plight this bird and
this fish must go through to be together. A plight perfectly
encapsulated in the gameplay.
Playing Entwined has the player guiding
the bird and the fish through a series of long, colorful tunnels,
controlling each with one of the PS4's analogue sticks. The aim being
to collect orbs to fill each creatures synchronization gauge while
passing through obstacles to ensure that synchronization doesn't
falter. Success involves coordination and steady control of the two
sticks. There's an excellent sense of speed as you fly through these
tunnels watching so many colors pass by, and it creates a strong
metaphor for the hardship required to eventually find love and
happiness. The difficulty increases as you speed through the game's
nine levels (lifetimes), but it never gets frustrating there's never
a sense of punishment, only a determination to keep going, to keep
striving for that synchronization.
And when the two are finally
synchronized, a new type of gameplay occurs; the two creature become
one, as they find each other they become a beautiful green dragon and
are allowed a brief time together. This time is spent flying across a
scenic environment collecting orbs, this time to gain the ability to
sky write, leaving an indelible memory of their brief time together.
While in this stage, the player has free range of the area, the
dragon can be controlled well enough with one analogue stick, but
using both gives it added strength and mobility, in a subtle but
powerful metaphor for relationship between the bird and the fish.
These stages don't last long, but they speak more for the experience
that any other art of the game. The to have found each other, and
every moment together was worth the hard ship.
That said, the game's brevity may be
the only negative I could muster, but I'd hardly say it's a bad
thing, it doesn't stay too long, it gets the point across, and it
leaves an impression unlike any I've felt in quite a while. The
closest game I'd compare it to would be Flower; a subtle, understated
and absolutely beautiful game unlike any that have come before or
after. You may feel differently, but games like these can be some of
the most fulfilling. Not because of how they look sound or play, but
because they have something to communicate in a way that becomes
interesting and meaningful than you find in a game that's longer or
Compared to the big budget AAA titles
fighting for your attention, Entwined won't light up the world in the
way it deserves to, but to see such a powerful expression of story
and metaphor come from such a humble little game is something
special. If you need something a little more from your interactive
experience, than you might not find it here. But if you have time for
something a little more thoughtful and emotionally effecting, than
Entwined is absolutely worth your time.
Forgive me if I'm being rude,but I feel as though you didn't really review this game as much as you reviewed what you wanted this game to be.
As evident in your first paragraph you had high ambitions for this title. I feel as though you're making excuses for this game, searching for any positive aspect you can find and blowing it up into massive proportions in order to justify the strangely high review score.. Don't get me wrong, some people out there will find these subtle yet nice aspects,but I think they'd all agree it doesn't earn it a 9.00 review. Even the story is rather flawed, as without hearing the developers intended interpretation of the story, I doubt most ( if any of us ) would think of the two characters as such.
Also, you didn't mention any negatives about this game. You may realize how strange this is when discussing a game that is currently getting below average reviews on many gaming sites. It may be how you felt about this game,but it sure does take away the credibility of your review from many people reading it.