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PS4 Game Review

Lost Ember


Format: PS4
Publisher: Mooneye Studios
Developer: Mooneye Studios
RRP: £24.99
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Age Restrictions: 7+
Release Date: 22 November 2019

In the tribal world of Lost Ember, upon their death the righteous ascend into the city of light, those who are not so lucky are reincarnated into animal form. The civilisation has long since fallen into ruin and there are no people left. Awakening in the form of a wolf and befriended by a sprite you must journey across the land, discovering your story, trying to find redemption and the City of Light...

Review imageLost Ember is an exploration game from the German company, Mooneye Studios. It's an ambitious endeavour and one that only works if you take time to really explore every aspect of the game. There is a temptation to rush through the narrative portions, but then you're missing out on everything the game has to offer.

The game does have a Journey type vibe to it, as you travel through some sumptuous landscapes from verdant fields to impressive desert locations. Apart from the story, the real selling point of the game is your ability to inhabit various other animal forms. Sometimes this is just there to forward the narrative. So, for instance, if you want to get under a wall you can become a mole, want to bridge large gaps or pick up stuff from an elevated position, become a bird.

Review imageWhat this dry description does not convey is the joy of swooping through canyons or diving into the water as a fish. One of the games main strengths is to allow for these experiences, which are, relatively unencumbered, in a mostly open world. I say mostly because the world is cut up into discrete portions within which you must solve problems and discover more of the story before the barrier to the next portion is dropped.

This is because neither you nor the sprite have a memory of your past life and part of the journey is for you to uncover your hidden past, in the hope that it will explain why neither you nor the sprite went to heaven. The history is played out as a series of static images which illuminates your personal story and that of the civilisation which has left such impressive ruins.

Its not all good though and the game does have a few issues. There is the pacing with the first part of the game being a little slow, only to really pick up in the latter half, there are also some annoying invisible walls. Ok, so your wolf can’t really jump in any meaningful way and with the ability to transform into other animals this function is solved by changing form.

Review imageThat said, there are times when you get to a slight incline which the animal should have been able to walk up, only for you to find that you have to go to the end of the incline to get up. This sort of thing pulls you out of a game which is all about the experience of wonder at the world they have created.

For the most part I am content to ignore the game's technical faults, they can easily be addressed in an update. Compared to the scenery, the touching story and the wonderful musical score such issues are ultimately minor.

The game is not perfect, but it is a fairly unforgettable experience.


Charles Packer

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