Top Critic Average
An ungainly but hypnotic exploration of worlds in the making and unmaking, and a fresh spin on the ethos of Team Ico's games and Journey.
An atmospheric and often perplexing exploration game that suffers from bugs, uneven level design, and an unwavering dedication to leaving you to your own devices.
Vane's atmosphere, music, world, and abstract story are affecting and strange, but the bugs and design lead to unnecessary frustration
Vane follows in the footsteps of many arty puzzle-platformers before it, but a lack of a strong voice and purpose keep it from being great.
Given this game's artistry, the child is a surprisingly ugly thing. It moves like a mole through molasses. Traversal is a major part of the game's puzzle landscape, but the child never feels entirely connected to the ground, dragging its feet through rocks, or floating weirdly over perches.
Video games have really changed as a storytelling medium. what was once a casual dash from left-to-right, dropping baddies and collecting shiny objects, opened up into new realms of drama, narrative and even philosophical messages. Of course, that doesn't make these games immediately any better than the goofy platformers and shmups of gaming's formative years, but it has been amazing to see the many different ways gaming has been adapted by talented designers to tell all manner of dark, abstract and inquisitive tales.Into a busy market of chin-stroking titles such as The Missing, Gris and Gone Home comes Vane, a new PS4 adventure from Tokyo outfit Friend or Foe. Vane, like its brethren, eschews typical action gameplay to present a mood-piece adventure, not dissimilar from the work done by Team ICO. Vane wants to put freedom back in the hands of the player, letting them engage in a strange, mystical journey - without hand-holding - and with player-led discovery being the ultimate prize.
Vane is a strange game. Its art direction and visual design frame a grandiose, otherworldly affair, but its puzzle design and narrative squash those expectations, ultimately providing a frustrating experience with fragments of its original vision.
Despite its deceptively intriguing prologue, Vane quickly goes from a journey of discovery to a laborious chore, mainly due to the abundance of technical issues and a lack of a decent save system.
A missed opportunity. Vane had a lot of potential, but finally it wasn't used in terms of creating a compeling game.
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