Tuesday 23 July 2019

Vane review: Lacking direction

(PS4) *** Age: 3+

Ronan Price

Ronan Price

Players may despair of the excessive handholding that blights some games.

But Vane reaches for the other extreme, refusing to explain anything about this boy-becomes-bird mystery, declining to lead you in any direction. Which would be fine if you didn't start in a near-featureless desert.

Vane wants you to divine its intricacies for yourself, urges you to appreciate its minimalist art style and demands you intuit your goals. But its sheer obliqueness works against the player, leaving you confused whether your repeated failure is a game glitch or an intended commentary on your journey.

Infrequent checkpointing compounds the frustration and stops you enjoying what could be a relaxing, intriguing experience exploring a beguiling landscape.

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