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Written by  :  cycologist (6)
Written on  :  Oct 09, 2016
Platform  :  PlayStation 4
Rating  :  3.83 Stars3.83 Stars3.83 Stars3.83 Stars3.83 Stars
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Summary

Fascinating but ultimately unsatisfying

The Good

Gorgeous visuals hook you in, and exploration is cool. Soundtrack is pretty good.

The Bad

Very derivative of Flower and Journey; not entirely a bad thing, just wish it stood more on it's own feet. Story was not as engaging or as it could have been.

The Bottom Line

From some of the people behind 'Journey' and 'Flower', two of the best experiences on PlayStation 3, this game is quite amazing and also fairly derivative of the two aforementioned games. Strangely, my enjoyment of Abzu was lessened the more I played and saw the similarities and outright riffing of ideas used in Journey and even Flower before that. The character looks like Journey's protagonist in a diving suit. Watching the fish swarm and swim by and around you is STUNNING, but seemed to be a modification of the petal trails in Flower and some of the more automated sequences were definitely ripped from Journey. At the end of Journey, while I won't say I understood everything, I believe I came to a satisfactory understanding of the story they were telling. In Abzu, while I guess I caught on to some of the more major themes by the end, they seemed disjointed and poorly formed. The game, directed and designed by former thatgamecompany art director Matt Nava is gorgeous and visually breathtaking, but having a few more people - or maybe a few less - who worked on Journey's story would've made a game worthy of its predecessors legacy. I think the items I had issues with would bother a player less if they hadn't played Journey beforehand.