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LOST EMBER Review: Of Wolves and Spirits
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Lost Ember is an adventure game that lets you wear the skin of very different animals – from a wolf and a wombat to birds and fishes. It combines mystery, philosophy, adventure and incredibly beautiful environment. You can download Lost Ember for Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, or Nintendo Switch and enjoy its soulful beauty.
When the developers are so deeply into nature, they do their best to make every blade of grass, every feather of the smallest duckling, and every wolf’s hair. Colors are bright, the landscapes are rich, and the lights are blinding. The world is made as charming as it can be for an animal or a bird, and you can get real vertigo when descending as a bird or floating downstream as a fish.
So, your character is now a wolf. Are you leading a spirit of a man who was refused to enter the real afterlife? Or is he leading you? Well, no matter. You must be one to find the way to the mystical City of Light, the road to the afterlife. And on your way, you can become other animals, birds or fishes, seeing the world through their eyes now.
So, if you need to be a brutal force, you can possess a buffalo. To swim underwater, you need to become a fish or a turtle. Flying birds can get over the mountains and see the world from above. And, though most missions are quite passable when you’re in your original wolf shape, it’s just great to explore the world from unexpected points of view.
It’s a story of mutual help: the animal gets understanding and magic powers from the spirit. In return, it provides interaction with the physical world. This connection works magic, and the developers managed to deliver this feeling.
Lost Ember is released for various platforms, and it’s adjusted for various types of controls. Console editions are controlled with gamepads of corresponding platforms, and a PC edition is by default controlled with keyboard and mouse (though gamepads are also connectible). Regardless of the platform, the controls are similar to most third-person adventures. Yet each animal has its own specifics; it may be correct in terms of recreating the experience when one enters a new body, but it makes you relearn controls each time you reembody.
Replay Value 4/5
A revelation only works once; so it is with quests or puzzles, the same it is with Lost Ember as an adventure. The main linear quest takes about five hours to complete. On the other hand, it’s just fun to explore new domains, possessing the body of another living creature.
The Bottom Line
It’s an unusual game that doesn’t require you to kill anyone or anything, to compete with others and even with bots, or to get better than yesterday. Philosophical and contemplative, it’s one of the most self-sufficient gaming experiences of 2019, and it’s short enough for you to at least try it.
It’s a very emotional game, combining spiritual experience and animal instincts. How could the developers fulfill it in a game? Download Lost Ember to learn that, and if you tune into it right, you’ll never be the same again.
Replay Value 4
Incredibly beautiful visuals (especially for an indie game);
Beautiful music contributing to the overall impression;
Moderate system requirements.
The game may miss action moments;
The idea may seem too unusual;
Controls changing as you enter new animals.
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