We cross the most idyllic lands you can imagine under the role of a jet wolf. The adventures that await us look fascinating … will Lost Ember live up to its initial proposal?
Nature. Wild, untamed and particularly beautiful (even when inclement weather events hit the most idyllic places), it serves as a perfect backdrop for setting video games of various kinds. From Breath of The Wild to The Last Guardian (there nature and ancestral constructions merge in a particularly beautiful way), passing through titles like Rime or Ancestors.
And a dynamic: that of exploration, perfect to unleash our desire for curiosity in order to discover new horizons and face unprecedented dangers. In Lost Ember, a game successfully financed through a successful Kickstarter campaign, the MoonEye Studios team tries to give us an experience of these characteristics, whose fundamentally subtractive interactive foundations are enhanced with a dramatic layer that acquires great prominence.
It is curious that, from that part (worked with enough tenacity) the main problems of a title arise that, while it is right at the time of putting ourselves in the skin of several animal species so that we travel a beautiful and inspiring world, it fails to integrate this Good idea in a dynamic of puzzles at the height of the circumstances. Moreover, and as we have commented at the beginning of this paragraph, it is its dramatic structure that ends up obstructing the experience that Lost Ember gives us.
Where we are?
We wake up in a peaceful world, lost from the hand of God and with a past of a cryptic nature. We do it under the skin and fur of a graceful wolf, whose only destiny is marked by his faithful luminescent companion: it seems to be the key to recovering our memories, knowing where the ruin that ravages the planet comes from and, incidentally, doing that fauna and flora unite with the aim of recovering hope.
History tells us the journey of the wolf Kalani, a pilgrim of souls who, with the company of one of those souls in sorrow, we must find the city of light. For this, an inspiring journey through nature awaits us where we will find beautiful places of limited breadth, we will unlock memories of our protagonist and, therefore, discovering that it was from the mysterious Yanrana civilization.
As we unlock memories, a flashback will tell us – as if it were puzzle pieces – parts of the story that involves these bucolic actors. These simple pillars are responsible for giving cohesion to the interactive experience, a fundamentally exploration videogame that, despite having some points where we must manage to find that memory that prevents us from moving forward in the —linear, everything must be said— plot , it is not at all complicated to overcome in about 5 or 6 hours.
Drawing our destiny
The special abilities of this pilgrim of souls are the most attractive, a priori, of Lost Ember. His heavenly heart allows him to create a special connection with the fauna of the place. That, for specifically interactive purposes, will allow us to control a remarkable variety of animals, each with its own peculiarities and its unique funny animations.
The bad news is not long in coming: far from taking advantage of this ability to set up an experience based on small puzzles, our friendly friends will simply serve us to reach somewhere impassable in another way without noticeable challenges. Many times these flashbacks are organized awkwardly, strangely and, in addition, they break the magic that could give us the free exploration of the scenarios and the resolution of somewhat more complex puzzles.
In addition, the problems that we find are usually with a close solution, so controlling hummingbirds, ducks, turtles, mountain goats or several winged and aquatic species is summed up in getting to reach our destination, dive into the liquid element, overcome rough terrain or reach hard to reach places given the size of our friend. All in all, it is still a relaxing, varied experience that arouses our curiosity to see what animal we will have to experience in the next chapter of Lost Ember.
For the most curious explorers we will have several types of collectibles, such as relics, hidden mushrooms or legendary animals. This can make the adventure increase significantly and, in addition, will allow us to discover corners of great natural beauty, as other of the main attractions of the video game of Mooneye Studios lies in its visual factor.
Nature and art, hand in hand
The title that concerns us, as with video games of this kind, turns a large part of its efforts to seduce the player through its artistic section. Lost Ember we liked, above all, for the recreation, visual design and lighting of some really beautiful natural landscapes. Wide scenarios flooded with grass, vegetation and groves, whose soils are not limited to extending large flat surfaces, but that endow them with geographical accidents and elements of great structural wealth.
Lakes, swamps, rivers, deserts, caves and all kinds of places to go will make our trip much more attractive and idyllic. To carry out such a company, we can do it running at high speed driving our protagonist, furrowing the seas thanks to our aquatic friends, or beating our wings to suspend ourselves in the air in order to discover new points of view.
At the level of animation, although it fulfills its mission, we find a not-so-worked aspect: while the recreation of some movements is satisfactory, many others have a somewhat awkward staging. Another of the gray dots of the title is found in its technical facet: slowdowns and sudden changes in frame rate cause many moments to lose part of their order. In the sound section, elegant melodies and correct sound effects complete an adventure that, above all, dazzles through its artistic factor.
Lost Ember is, in broad strokes, an attractive video game that stays at medium gas. Its visual, evocative and varied section in terms of representation of beautiful places, have technical problems and some elements (such as the animation of characters) that are not up to the occasion. In the playable, the linear exploration is enlivened by the possibility of handling a wide cast of animals, thanks to which we will be revealing the history that surrounds the Yanrana civilization as a key to defining the destiny of the protagonist and his incandescent companion. However, it is far from removing our interior as The Last Guardian or Journey have achieved.
- His artistic staging
- Its wide cast of controllable animals
- The absence of puzzles in a lost opportunity
- Your technical problems and bugs cloud the end result
- Too linear and lacking imagination at the level of playable design
It is not the latest or the most original, nor does it have the best execution, but it can be fun if you like the genre. Good, but improvable.