There are games that draw attention to themselves from the very announcement. We are constantly waiting for any news and new videos about them, and the release date of such projects is always highlighted with a bright red circle. Vane is just one of these projects, from which we expected a concept and a picture similar to such games as Team ICO and Journey. Alas, but at the end of the game, the game can be described as one big riddle, albeit wrapped in a beautiful and attractive shell. What is wrong with Vane and did this project live up to our expectations, and if not, in what way? Let’s take a closer look at the game and figure out what kind of riddle it is.
What is the game about and how to understand it?
Telling a story in the form of some abstractions, Vane tells us about a destroyed civilization, the remnants of which lie in ruins under a large layer of sand. The ability to instantly turn from an ordinary person into a big bird with the ability to fly and explore is certainly interesting, but where is the explanation for everything that happens? Flying thoughtlessly around the locations, you soon realize that you are faced with the task of destroying incomprehensible buildings and overturning air nets. Moreover, the locations themselves are limited by sandstorms.
It was assumed that special luminous dots would help the player to somehow navigate in space, however, due to the distance and brightness, such an idea was not implemented in the best way. In some places, the key items for passing are not marked at all, which in the conditions of huge bright locations makes the search for the necessary things very difficult and tedious. At the same time, in dark locations underground, there is no light at all and visibility is minimal.
Gameplay and what claims to it
There are many technical flaws in the game and, at times, they are quite significant. It feels like the game is very crooked and unfinished. For example, you have already found a suitable item after a long and not very pleasant exploration of the location and already assume why you need it and where you should use it. And here scripts can easily fail to work in the game, which after a long and necessary search for the necessary item will be, to put it mildly, very inopportune. As a rule, it all ends with the fact that you fly for an hour or two before watching the video with the passage on the network and at the same time cursing not the best work of the creators of the game. And in the case when you really have a bug in front of you, I would like to hope that restarting the save and another passage of the same location will not end up with broken scripts.
The subsequent scene where the bird bathes in the golden liquid, and then turns into a boy rescuing other birds from the cages, and then again becomes a bird that is looking for a way to get out looks very boring and uninteresting. Solving puzzles is complicated by numerous bugs and a completely inconvenient camera, which greatly spoils the entire experience of the gameplay.
At the same time, while jumping off a cliff, you immediately become a bird (this happens even in those cases when you did not want to become a bird). However, if you want to become human again, then you need to return to puddles of golden liquid, which stretches the gameplay and makes it even more boring. A number of puzzles are built on this principle in the game, during which you need to use certain objects in the required form in the correct sequence.
Sometimes, developers delight players with riddles where you need to show your creativity, but this happens quite rarely. Much more often you solve the puzzle, just not really understanding what they want from you and what the principle is. In this regard, the process of solving some riddles is also not interesting and exciting. By the way, here, too, do not forget about technical errors, so that some bugs and problems with scripts may end up with the fact that you cannot solve the puzzle in principle.
In the subsequent playthrough of the game, it is felt that the developers “borrowed” some ideas from the game The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword with its large ball, changing the time and redoing everything around in real time. This part of the game looks pretty good, if you do not take into account the same senseless wanderings in huge game locations.
The presence of a walkthrough guide, of course, simplifies the process of staying in the game, but even the advice of those who have already visited the harsh world of Vane (or rather have been tortured) does not save you from numerous technical problems, like the same one stuck in the textures of the ball. You can explore one large location far and wide, collect everything you need, but then, because of the stuck ball, you are forced to load the save made an hour ago, which is insanely annoying.
At the end of the story, you are forced to climb up the tower, which is full of incomprehensible figures, twisted stairs and cubes emerging from nowhere. The key disadvantage of this, at first glance, an interesting idea is that the structure is full of very strange and fuzzy shapes, because of which you will regularly hit the walls and fall down. In general, all the same developer mistakes as in the rest of the game.
Management and new claims
Unfortunately, the developers missed the opportunity to make a good and interesting project, so Vane is very disappointing. Controlling the same bird is terrible here, and in order to land corny, you need to twist the joystick as if you were not in an adventure game, but in a rally racing simulator and playing on the highest difficulty. The camera in the game is just as bad, it jumps from side to side ruining all the impressions of the game. Silly and ridiculous quests, numerous technical problems, poor lighting, making locations in the sun too bright, and places under the ground insanely dark where you can’t really see anything. All this prompts to forget about playing Vane as a nightmare.
Why did it work this way and a couple of advantages of the game
Although the developers were actively trying to copy more successful atmospheric projects in a similar genre, as a result, there was one continuous misunderstanding that is unpleasant either to play or just watch. Even the philosophical subtexts touching on the theme of the fall of civilizations, the reincarnation of man and the realization of his essence do not particularly affect anything here and do not make the game more atmospheric and meaningful. The finale of the game leaves the impression that the developers simply laid out in front of the audience all those thoughts and ideas that they had accumulated, and how to present them correctly and what they really mean and they do not really understand. Probably, to fully understand the meaning of the game, you will need a good portion of psychedelic drugs, but this is definitely not our option, and we also do not recommend using this method for you. The game is definitely not worth it.
Among the advantages of the game, which can be distinguished here, it is worth noting only the high-quality sound, colorful special effects and in some places really good locations, in which it is pleasant to be.
Vane is an example of a game where expectations did not come true, and the desire of the developers to make a beautiful and unique game, forgetting about such things as the plot, gameplay and clear work of all key aspects and mechanics completely ruined a rather ambitious project with good potential. If, for some reason, you have a desire to get acquainted with Vane, then at least wait for a few updates, where the developers will remove the main bugs, and you will not in vain explore a huge location in search of incomprehensible objects for incomprehensible purposes.
LID2PRO reviewer verdict
The gameplay in the game is incomprehensible and complex. You do not understand what you are researching and why you need all this. Add to this a bad camera and numerous technical mistakes, and you can understand why the game received such a rating.
The sunny locations are very bright, the places underground are very dark. If the game had normal consecration and the locations were a little more varied, then the graphics could even be up to par.
Perhaps the only strong aspect in the game. There are definitely no complaints about the soundtrack, it demonstrates the atmosphere and immersion well.
If you describe it in a nutshell, then this is a bunch of incomprehensible ideas and thoughts and philosophical implications. It’s not easy to understand the history here, and there’s no particular desire.
A bad camera can easily lead you to an epileptic seizure, and numerous bugs with getting stuck in the walls can drive you into depression.
A boring and boring game with an incomprehensible plot and poor control and gameplay, but good sound and beautiful locations in some places. The choice is yours.