AER: Memories of Old is a game that has a level of freedom not seen much today.

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Inline image from Forgottenkey.se/Cover image from pushsquare.com

 

Now, what I mean by that, is AER: Memories of Old allows an open world of exploration to be navigated by transforming into a bird. The animation is very smooth and allows you to fly around the skies and through the clouds. Flying in the clouds even has it’s own unique visuals to really give you that feeling.

You can transform at will (in the overworld) from person to bird and back, meaning you can transform mid-flight and free fall, to transform again. When landing you turn into human by default. You can also plummet into the ground at terminal velocity and be fine, by the way.

AER takes place on floating islands in the sky. You are of The Sky People, descended from ancient humans. You are on a pilgrimage to learn about your history and help restore the balance of your world.

The gameplay is really smooth, although I experienced some frame rate drops inside one of the temples for a solid 30 seconds.

Visuals are gorgeous. Think Grow Home mixed with finely crafted, hand-chiseled wooden dolls.

Controls are fluid and solid.

Sound design is amazing. My favorite part of it, so far, is when you are a human, you get some nice synth-classical style music. Just nice and relaxing. When you transform, it adds in some indie-style guitar and light drums. When you transform back, the music goes back to just the synth-classical style. It’s very fluid and makes sense.

It reminds me very much of the likes of Journey, ABZU and RiME.

Unlike Journey and ABZU, you have the freedom to explore any of the islands at any time. So far, it’s a non-linear exploration game with an interesting story, freeing gameplay, amazing visuals, great sound design and solid controls.

If you enjoy games like Journey, ABZU and RiME with the freedom of flight, pick up AER. It’s only $15 and, according to reviews, has about 4 hours of gameplay.

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