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Review: Arise: A Simple Story. (PS4)

As usual, I was trailer influenced, and when Piccolo launched the trailer during the #StateOfPlay for Arise: A Simple Story, I was extremely intrigued with what I was seeing. I didn’t even read any reviews on this game, and much like a 2004 Subaru Impreza WRX, I knew that I wanted to experience it.

Arise: A Simple Story hits your emotions right at the beginning when we are circumstatally introduced to our nameless viking-looking fella and thrown into his time-bending memories.

The brilliance of this game is specifically the necessity to control “time”. In order to interact with the environment you must shift time and even seasons both forwards and backwards. On paper, this may not make a lot of sense, but in this world, it’s what defines the beauty of the gameplay. For example, making time go forward, the environment creates a spiderweb for you to jump on, or fading between summer and winter can develop snow hills to your next platform. The environment changes for you to interact with.

As the story unfolds, you are torn between love/loss, and with adventure/peril. My only issue with the gameplay was the forced camera angles that sometimes didn’t give clarity to your movements. This caused many deaths in some areas for me. Piccolo was sure to combat this by respawning you generally next to where you might have made a mistake. This was important to me, and might be important to anyone who just wants to keep moving forward with an interactive story. They also give you some “memory” collectables that share more clarity to the story while adding to the beautiful artwork. A reason to return and get that platinum trophy, and enjoy the FULL story.

The incredible music had an extremely familiar feel to it right from the beginning, and after some research, I discovered that it was all done by a composer named David Garcia. Known for his many sound designs and compositions. RIME was on that list. Another of my favourite games, both artistically and musically. THEN… I also discovered that Rime’s art director Jose Luis Vaello was also the art director for Arise. This explained my extreme appreciation for this release.

I really enjoyed this game, and felt peaceful closure as the credits ran. I encourage you to experience the same.

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