ATONE: Heart of the Elder Tree Reviews
Issues with the combat aside, there is much to enjoy in what Untold Tales have served up with Atone.
ATONE: Heart of the Elder Tree is a vibrant game, artistically, that tells a dark tale involving coming to terms with one's loss, making amends, and being pushed into a place of power. It surprisingly did a great job with its unique combination of action, adventure, puzzle, rhythm, and role-playing genres blended together. It is a short game that offers replayability due to the decisions one makes changing the course of the story.
I just found it difficult to find the motivation to grind out an hour here and there. My wife watched me play Atone for awhile and at one point remarked that all I was doing was talking to people and solving puzzles, and she's not wrong. For some of you dear readers out there, that may be all you need, but I was unsatisfied.
Wildboy Studios’ Norse-inspired rhythm combat RPG is captivating thanks to a bright art style juxtoposed against a dark, deep and loss-filled narrative. While fun, the combat, puzzling and exploration don’t quite reach the same levels, but have more than enough to be worthy of your time. No atonement required, Estra’s journey needs no redemption to be recommended.
ATONE: Heart of the Elder Tree has a lot of positive aspects. The game's hand-drawn art style jumps off the screen. Its cinematic cutscenes are only improved with compelling characters and enthralling musical tracks. The gameplay offers several options for players of many genres with varying levels of success and fun but lacks a balance between them. I wanted more combat sections, better-utilized systems, and reworked puzzles. So, as a whole, I was left wanting more, but that extends beyond just this title. I want more of what Wildboy Studios has to offer. Count me in if future projects include this level of writing and attempts at fun concepts. ATONE may not have stuck the landing, but it landed nonetheless.
ATONE: Heart of the Elder Tree is a game with lots of love put into it. The story is emotional, the art is beautiful and original, and the soundtrack is outstanding. It's just unfortunate that the rhythm game portion doesn't work quite right on Nintendo Switch. I think it would only take a few small changes for it to be greatly improved, and I hope the team at Wildboy Studios may have the time to implement these in future. The game is already good, but it could be even better.
ATONE: Heart of the Elder Tree sets out to do a lot in a short space of time and manages to pull it off impressively, even though I wanted to spend even more time within its take on Midgard compared to what it holds.
ATONE: Heart of the Elder Tree is highly recommended and a fantastic narrative experience that went far too underappreciated in its original mobile home. A gorgeous exploration puzzle game with a fantastic rhythm combat system that presents a cinematically told and presented narrative and world.