Tag Archives: ABZÛ

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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ABZÛ – First Impressions & Wrap-Up!

This post will contain spoilers near the end. I will mark them so readers who want to experience this journey for themselves can stop reading.

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ABZÛ comes to us from the art director of the renown games, Flower and Journey. For those that aren’t familiar with those titles, Flower made use of the Six-axis on the PS3, as you played as a flower petal, moving along the wind to bring life to the world. A gorgeous and relaxing title with an amazing score. Journey saw us in a multiplayer setting, in which we are in a desert, and making a journey to a fallen star on a mountain top.

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A scene in Flower depicting the movement on the breeze.

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A scene in Journey depicting one of the many “sand-surfing” segments with your final destination in the background.

ABZÛ means “Ocean of Wisdom” and plays off its meaning very well. You begin as a lone diver, apparently stranded in the water. The opening scene of James Cameron’s Sanctum comes to mind. You awake and begin to explore the ocean. You can breach the surface, hold on to larger fish, find meditation statues, secret pools of fish, hidden seashells, and just generally enjoy a beautiful view of the ocean.

The controls took a bit of getting used to, but once you learn the little hidden things you can do, such as boosting, you can move around quicker and just have a lot of fun swimming around.

This game is short, but I would recommend picking it up for fans of Flower and/or Journey, or fans of scuba diving or the oceans. Normally it’s $19.99 USD, but right now it’s on sale for the Xbox One for $16.99 USD.

 

 

~~HEAVY SPOILERS BEYOND THIS POINT! IF YOU DO NOT WANT SPOILERS, PLEASE STOP READING!~~

 

 

Alright, so while playing ABZÛ, I was so confused. I knew there were going to be ruins of an ancient city. What I didn’t expect was the utilization of underwater rivers in a technological standing to open doors. I started thinking, I must be in Atlantis. This was further pushed into my mind by giant mechanical doors.

That’s when I started to notice something in the murals. People looking just like the diver teaching people who looked slightly different. I started to think, alien race. Now, modern tech is modeled after them.

The further I pushed, the more my suspicions were confirmed. You find a destroyed upside-down mechanical pyramid. You watch as it creates machinations. That’s when you discover that you might be a robot. That gets confirmed shortly thereafter. Eventually you go to destroy the machinations and return life to the ocean.

Finishing ABZÛ, I have a lot of theories. The primary being that you were a mechanized race, come to show people technology and how to utilize the soul of the ocean. Something went wrong. Either they rebelled, or a catastrophe happened. I think it WAS Atlantis based on technologies and buildings you see, especially an entire city (looking like Jules Verne’s Atlantis from Journey to the Center of the Earth).

I also think that, seeing what happened to the ocean, you make amends by giving parts of your own technologically advanced soul, to bring life back to the area. To repair what your race damaged.

If you’ve played it, what are your thoughts? Theories?

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Filed under First Impressions, Wrap-Up

Coming Soon: ABZÛ – First Impressions!

abzu-752x430That’s right! ABZÛ is a game brought to us by the former Art Director of Thatgamecompany, the guys who brought us Flow, Flower and Journey. He formed his own company after finishing his work on Journey, Giant Squid Studios, in order to create a game that was more “full of life” in comparison to Journey’s very desolate and alone feel. Published by the ever-famous 505 Games, ABZÛ promises to be an adventure just like Journey or Flower.

Matt Nava decided to use his love of Scuba diving as his inspiration for what we will come to know as the Ocean of Wisdom.

Stay tuned for my First Impressions, followed by a Wrap-Up in the very near future!

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