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Fe (PS4)

From it’s launch, Fe, by Swedish Indie developer ZOINK, kept showing up randomly from time to time in my feeds. There was something really interesting about it, and it was on my radar. When I had time to finally pull the trigger, I made sure I was able to spend time playing all the way through the story.

The story starts with a fox-looking Fe (“Fairy” in Swedish), diving right into the gameplay and exploring your beautiful coloured and artistic surroundings. Everything has a distorted and blurred neon feel. I’ve never played anything with similar artwork ever. In the spirit of games such as Spyro or Journey, I could easily navigate the areas and camera perspectives to appreciate the entire world, completing tasks before moving onto the next zones.

Initially, the game opens up with no official narrative, except the general guidance towards a specific place on the map. As you progress through the first area, you’re opened up to more interactions and skills. I specifically appreciate the feature to select your map WHILE your moving. A small thing, but over time, became a strategy that I relied on. As you explore more areas, there are locked interactions that make it clear that you’ll back in these areas again after gaining abilities. This is done by completing tasks and learning the languages of the wonderful creatures and then communicating in those languages to unlock new interactions. For example, learning a specific language will open some flowers to jump on and give you height to a new area. You find yourself quick-switching between these languages depending on how you want to interact with the world.

You’re not officially given any specific instructions and instead can get some direction from a bird that can be called upon at anytime. It will point you in the direction of your next objective, but you’re not obligated to follow. As you progress, you are introduced to “enemies” that are quite freighting actually. It seems that your protecting all the creatures from these dark enemies. As the “story” moves on, you start to understand where you fit in the world. Including the brilliant ending, that was an ah-ha moment for me.

In tandem with the beautiful artwork and gameplay was a brilliant and overwhelmingly dynamic soundtrack. Joel Bille was the composer and this was killer for me. Once again, the soundtrack is on AppleMusic and should be appreciated.

Overall, I really enjoyed this game all the way through. To be honest, there were a couple intense areas that caused frustration for me, and afterwards I realized better methods to complete the task. None were deal-breakers though. That sense of completion pushed me into the next objective.

Fe is the first game in the “EA Originals” series, which is EA’s program created to promote indie developers.

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