Relevant for the platform: NSW
If a game is successful, imitators soon begin to appear. Here is a delicious platform game Celestialwhich received nominations for the best game of the year with God of the war and Red Dead Redemption 2, suffered the same fate. Authors Ageless not only citing the source of inspiration, but literally copying its elements, which is why even unique gameplay mechanics fade into the background – the similarities are too striking.

Something familiar

Take the plot, for example. For three years, the girl Kiara has been looking for a door that will give her some kind of gift. She feels useless and finds no purpose in life. Depression absorbs her, suddenly she falls into the abyss and meets her boyfriend V. He knows the door and invites the heroine to come forward. Indeed, what Kiara spent three years looking for, she discovers in the game ten minutes later.

Perhaps all of this wouldn’t have brought up memories of Madeline suffering from depression, trying to get to the top of the mountain, if not for the schedule. Ageless… The same big pixels, the same dialogues formatted with the image of the character in the left window and the lines in the right, the same funny dubbing. It might just be a coincidence, but either way, it all feels very secondary.

The bosses trying to kill the main character also meet.

And these elements are implemented worse here. The dialogues are too primitive, the heroine constantly recalls her experiences, as if the player has a bad memory, and the story of V’s sick sister is not very interesting – until the charismatic Theo de Celestial it is very far. It’s hard to empathize with Kiara as Madeline – in this story the characters were drawn better and emotions were conveyed using shifting fonts, but here everything is sort of simple and boring.

But at least the gameplay of the games is different. IN Ageless the emphasis is not on hardcore, but on puzzles. The very gift Kiara found at the sight of the gate was a magic bow with two types of arrows. Some allow you to age objects and creatures, while others rejuvenate them. We move from room to room, each time we arrive at the exit by shooting and using the help of flora and fauna.

Lady of time

For example, rhinos have four stages. First of all, it’s an egg – you can throw it somewhere else. Then a little rhino comes out – he loves to eat, so he walks over to the nearest plant. The third stage is already an adult creature that reacts aggressively to the heroine, runs towards her and destroys the walls in its path. Well, the fourth stage is a heavy old rhino, which is only suitable for one thing: to stand on fragile structures and fall through them, leading the way.

Creatures and plants do not have the fifth stage – they simply die, but immediately respawn.

All puzzles are based on rejuvenation and aging. Plants can either be trampolines that throw the heroin aside, or trees that come to life, creating hemp under her every few seconds. Killer whales help swim on their backs or create air bubbles to keep them underwater for longer.

In some episodes, you can shoot all the objects with the necessary arrows ahead of time and complete the task, while in others you have to interact with them one by one. Sometimes you usually have to shoot while jumping – at such times time stands still. But the more often you find yourself in such non-standard situations, the more problems with control arise: it is difficult to point the staff in the right direction (sometimes watermark precision is needed), the character does not always stop immediately after aiming, and for some reason, the jump in the Switch version was “hung up” button A instead of B.

Another ability of Kiara is the transition to Outland, when everything stops moving and turns gray, and the heroine can, when touching objects, jump out of them in any of eight directions. With this, too, not everything is smooth – you can “grab” the object so unsuccessfully that the character will die or jump over the obstacle, due to which the player will think he has fallen. deceived and will start looking for another solution. In fact, you had to press the button a little earlier or later, hang on the right side, not the left side, and so on.

There are levels in which almost all the stages of interactive objects are used.

The puzzles themselves are sometimes good, and if you really like them the map is full of branches with optional puzzles – you have to grab the hidden letters and return them with them to the altar for an automatic save. But control issues get in the way – no one needs the same ideal mechanics as in Celestial, but at least I would like to understand better what kind of abyss the heroine is capable of jumping. There are times when there is a big hole in the ground, the first attempt to jump to the next ledge fails, but it turns out that it was necessary to jump at the very last second from the very edge.

***

Even if Celestial did not exist and this review would not be filled with comparisons, recommends Ageless that would be difficult – at least until it’s even improved slightly with fixes. Deep private dialogs certainly won’t solve the problem, but you can make the controls more comfortable. Although in this case it won’t be much better – there are some original mechanics here, but their implementation lets us down.

Benefits: an unusual idea with a bow, shot from which rejuvenates or ages objects; some interesting puzzles; dozens of rooms and optional collectibles.

Less: the game often looks like a copy Celestialbut the presentation of the story here is much weaker, the dialogues are empty and the visual style is not so attractive; many control issues.

Source : The Verge