AER: Memories of Old (PC) Review

By Athanasios 23.10.2017

Review for AER: Memories of Old on PC

The challenge when it comes to adventures is that, besides great gameplay, a title has to have the capacity to draw you in, whether that's through its story, atmosphere, or both. That's an even bigger must for those adventures similar to Journey or Ico, as these tend to be more about immersion rather than "traditional" play and fun. That's the big bet about indie-made AER: Memories of Old. Yes, on one hand, this feels like a Zelda game without the fighting. On the other one, though, it feels like a Zelda game without the fighting… and without anything else, either, besides a beautiful world to "explore."

The protagonist of this tale is Auk, a young woman who must make some sort of pilgrimage in a weird 'Land of the Gods,' which is basically an archipelago of islands that float in the sky. In order to do so, she must discover three separate temples and solve the puzzles that these will offer to her. Don't expect any bridges connecting the platforms of this microcosm; however, Auk is lucky enough to be able to turn into a bird and fly.

Having the ability to shapeshift and travel wherever you want is one of the biggest pleasures AER: Memories of Old can give. First, because of the feeling of freedom this provides, but mainly because controlling Auk's secondary form feels very natural. The second joy here is simply looking at this world. AER uses a minimalist low-poly art style, but, unlike Morphite, for example, its use is not an excuse for laziness here, as everything looks beautiful, with the only flaw being the lack of variety, as there aren't exactly many things to see.

Screenshot for AER: Memories of Old on PC

The real problem, though, is that there's also a lack of things to do. The gameplay of AER goes something like this: fly around and find one of the three temples, go in, solve some simple puzzles and do some minor platforming, and that's about it. How simple are the puzzles? Stunningly simple - to the point that some parts feel as complex as walking around your house and turning on the lights. When it comes to the platforming, things are even worse, as there's not a single section that feels challenging.

The overworld is twice as disappointing since there's not much to do besides flying around and enjoying the view. There are a few titbits of story to discover, which kind of explain how this world was formed, but it's not that interesting as it feels like a generic tribal fairy tale - the fox chased the sun, which gave birth to the ox, which was in love with the turtle, who hated the deer… and so on.

In conclusion, this relies more on being an engrossing, mystical journey rather than a typical action-adventure. Unfortunately, it's not as engrossing as it wants to be. From the music and the visuals, to the narrative and pacing, this feels as the barest version of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild possible, which is a shame, as this could very well be a Zelda game that takes place in the sky, with just a little bit more effort.

Screenshot for AER: Memories of Old on PC

Cubed3 Rating

4/10
Rated 4 out of 10

Subpar

AER: Memories of Old completely fails as a traditional adventure game. The thing is, though, that it never wanted to be one, as it mainly throws its weight in atmosphere and storytelling - in other words, it wants to be a captivatingly emotive journey. Sadly, it fails at that, too.

Developer

Forgotten Key

Publisher

Daedalic

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  4/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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