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Fe looked very ominous game when I first saw it. I didn’t get the whole idea what the game was all about other than it seems to be indie game of some sort. There wasn’t any talking or subtitles on any trailer I saw, but the summary on PS Store told me at least something. Fe is an adventure game filled with mystery.
When I started the game it began very lovely and there was little intro how my character drop from the sky into the forest. And that’s it, the game began.
Very first thought what came to me was the colour scheme and everything looked different shades of purple. I like purple but somehow it struck me that it was too much. Then I thought ‘is this game gonna be like this all the time?’ We’ll see about that.
You play as a little fox—like creature that can communicate with other animals by singing and it seemed to be the vocal point (pun) of this whole gameplay of Fe.
Control the fox
Super duper simple. The creature can: run, jump, glide, climb trees, pick up objects, throw them, sing/howl, choose the sing/howl and use map. It didn’t seemed to be complicated at all but the difficultiness lies within the controls i.e. how they work. Moving the fox is kinda impetuous at times and the camera was too close and got stuck bad positions like some old N64 platform game.
Story for you to discover
This is hard to explain since I don’t even know what was the story of Fe. Or what Fe name even stands for?! It tells a story of a fox creature who has to make friends with surrounding nature (with animals and plants) and try to save the world from destruction of evil.
There is, though, a weird high intelligence —like vibrance in this and I had to guess what some parts in the game meant. Only thing that told me something of the legend was the murals I found a lot but even they were very cryptic. Basic theme on them was how the fox creatures are being in some kind of conflict with the other creatures (enemies). That’s it. I really can’t tell much about it since much of it is just guessing.
Even though there isn’t any narrative or subtitles the story is told also by the scenes that happens often. I got little bit info about the enemies when I found a defeated enemy’s armour and took a gemstone out of it and looked it (actually the fox just put the gemstone in its head, weird). Every time you’ll get little bit of glimpse what the enemy’s life was before it died. And this deepens more the mystery of this whole damn thing!!
This same kind of storytelling was with the indie games such as Journey, Inside, Limbo, Flower and Rain. Kind of mysterious, ominous, ‘higher intelligence of everything’ —type of indie games are IN right now and seems like everyone wants to do them. It’s very nice to have these kind of games that leaves almost everything about the game to the players hands to be understood. But it kinda start to look like there is too much of these type of games and they have almost the same idea overall.
If tree falls in a forest, does it make a sound?
For me the sound was sometimes too annoying. It was only when I howl or hear other animals howling the forever continuous whimper that changes pitch. There is different kinds of howls to be collected and they have different tone.
Background music was peaceful and usually calm.
Graphically foxed up
OK, this is the thing that is mentioned probably in every Fe reviews. The graphics suck and didn’t suck!! It was beautiful in its own way but there was things that would’ve been better by done differently. The main colour surely was purple with different shades of it and sometimes there was areas that was greenish or blueish. It was overdose of purple that’s for sure and I kinda don’t understand why this whole game was like this? I like purple, but even for me it was too much. It was so much that I needed to sign in to rehab after finishing the game!!
Second thing was the unsharpness and fuzziness that kinda hurt my eyes. My eyes tried to sharpen the image all the time but with no avail and it almost gave me headache. I’m not saying it should’ve to be super sharp but little bit toned down, at least.
However the art style was unique. I haven’t seen exactly this kind of game and if I have to refer it, graphically, to something it would be Tearaway —game. Fe looked little bit like everything was made out of paper with glitter here and there. Kinda like crystalline and spiritual with all kinds of weird interactive plants. Everything looked like a dream of peace—fantasy world where everyone lives in a great harmony.
In the beginning there was barely any direction what to do or where to go. It took me very long to get the ‘idea’ of the game and the things I needed to do, but it took at least couple hours to just catch up with the weird minimalistic world. As I said above the game is cryptic and it leaves almost half of the story and gameplay to the player’s discover and when things happened I wasn’t sure what exactly was going on. Everything looked so similiar and it was very difficult to determine where I was or have I been there already. I had map in my use but it still was hard to make it out and I hardly used it at all since it wasn’t as helpful as it should’ve been.
I had to use the howling all the time since it was the main theme of ‘everythingness’ and I could communicate with plants around me and with little and big animals as well. All animals needed to be lure near to the player with the howling and then you could ‘connect’ yourself (or your consciousness?) to the animal and they becomes your friend. It has to be done in a right way i.e. finding the right pitch in the howling and then connecting together with the animal or plant. It was like if I have to picture how bluetooth is connected it would look something like that. The animals follow you and help you out which can be frustrating sometimes since the animals often got stuck on something and couldn’t follow you. Connecting yourself with plants the same way helps you to move on since they help you go to places where you wasn’t able to go before so collecting all the different howls is necessary. This howling reminds me so much of Journey‘s ‘calling’ thing.
The game world was semi open and with that I mean the areas are small but open and sometimes it was very linear. It was difficult to navigate in the open areas for many reasons: short drawing distance, fogginess/fuzziness, everything was same colour and shape, same environment almost everywhere. There was areas where the colour changes and areas where the weather changes. It was very refreshing to my eyes. Also the camera was little bit too close to the character, I would’ve liked it bit more back and it would’ve opened the view bit more clearly.
What saved this game TOTALLY was a bird that came upon calling and it showed me the way where to go. 100% perfect it surely wasn’t since it showed me to wrong direction or places where I couldn’t even enter. So I learned that if the bird went back and forth same places it meant that something was wrong or if I simply couldn’t jump to some place it was wrong way or I needed to do something else first. It was frustrating to waste time trying to figure out what to do when the bird showed a direction or place where I needed to go but I couldn’t reach there. The game itself is ominous already and the logic unclear so that misleading didn’t help at all.
What helps lot of the gameplay was the upgrades I could have. Throughout the game was hidden pink crystals and collecting certain amount of them gave me a new move, agility etc. I didn’t get all the moves so I don’t know what they all are.
The game itself run smoothly not anything mentionable bugs or lags.
Yes, it was at the beginning with all the weirdness and what to do and where to go and the little bit sluggish controls and occasionally bad camera. When I got the hold of the game it was easy and I didn’t even die that many times. Usually I died due the reason of dropping down from somewhere and it was easier to let a fish eat me and then load back to the point where I was before falling.
The fox could only carry one item at time (which mostly was a green ball that can nock down enemies or clear path for you).
Other hardness was the areas where the enemies were guarding and I need to figure out what to do and how to get pass them and especially in the beginning it was hard to tell what to do until trying different things got me through. It was almost certain death if any enemy saw me since they could kill very quickly.
If you hate colour purple — don’t play this game.
Mysterious is always good thing but being too weird can be annoying. Fe is something between of those. Surely this game isn’t 5/5 simply due to the fact of the graphics. I did enjoy this game but not in the beginning. It took little work to make myself like this game and want to play it more. It was relaxing and peaceful at times and the game wasn’t fast phased at all or there wasn’t any time limit things what I usually hate.
Fe includes lots of collectables and maybe if I could’ve found all the murals and dead enemies crystals I could have the full story told since all them gave little bit hint of what happened or happens between fox—like creatures, environment, plants and enemies. It was like everything was in perfect harmony and all worked as like one big organism where all the things was connected and affected each other. Surely I’m not playing this game anytime soon or at least I need to change by TV setting to black and white for it to be bearable.
This acid trip cost me 19.95€ + three weeks in rehab. It almost is worth it but not quite. I’m very, or I think I am, good of pricing things and this should be around 12€. Fe was interesting experience but also annoying because how little tweaks could’ve made this so much likeable experience. For indie fans and especially fans os Journey, Rain, Inside, Limbo, Flower, Tearaway —type of games, Fe is one more to your list to add.
finding the right pitch in the howling and
then connecting together with the animal or plant.
It was like if I have to picture how bluetooth is
connected it would look something like that
Release Date: Out Now
Platform: Microsoft Windows,
Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Publisher: Electronic Arts