I think it goes without saying that gamers nowadays, are looking for experiences captivate them or ones they haven’t seen before. I remember during E3 2014, I groaned a little when I saw the next big budget shooter shown off at the conferences and anticipated seeing something that goes against what we normally get. Don’t get me wrong, Destiny and The Division look entertaining and fantastic, but at their core, they are still shooters. This is why it is nice to always check out the indie/downloadable/Kickstarter scene, because that is where a lot of the more varied gaming experiences are located. For example, today’s review will be of the recently released PlayStation exclusive Entwined. This is not only one of the most beautiful looking games on the console, but it is one of the more interesting experiences I have seen in terms of gaming. Let us jump in and find out more about Entwined.
The plot in this game is very minimal. The story revolves around the love between a bird and a fish throughout multiple lifetimes. It’s weird and there really isn’t much to it. How about we move onto the gameplay? Entwined is more of an experience where you control both the bird and the fish with both of the analog sticks. If you have played Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, it works like that. The main goal throughout Entwined’s nine levels is to fill up two different meters at the top of the screen. You accomplish this task by flying through blue, orange, and sometimes green shapes. The shapes and their patterns change over time, and by the end of the game, you will have to acquire some serious reflexes to get the two animals to the main goal of every level, which is to turn into a single dragon. Once you fill up both bars at the top of the screen and gather some more energy, the bird and fish will combine into a dragon. Once you become a ferocious dragon, all you have to do is gather one more bar of energy, and then you can unleash a stream of energy and do some sky writing. Once you have done some sky writing, a portal will open up and let you move onto the next level. The game isn’t very long, at about two maybe three hours. There is some replay value in the form of challenges that you can experience. The main goal of these challenges is to make as many points as possible, but mess up three times and the level is over.
The best part about this game is the graphical presentation. It is stunningly beautiful. Stark black backgrounds really make the orange and blue pop out, and once you get to the dragon portion of the level, it looks like something from Rez, with burnt colors mixed with bright ones to give the game its own look. It reminds me of those commercials about paint where they use paint strips that you see at places like Home Depot to make the world around them. Well, that is what the fish, bird, and dragon look like to me. The music is very ambiant. It’s meant to be a calming sound as you play through the nine levels.
Unfortunately, this artistically creative game has some issues. First off, the dual analog control has the same issues that games like Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons have, where your brain will get a little crosswired, and you can end up losing some health due to the fact that it is tricky to control both creatures at the same time. I also experienced some kind of lag in different levels where the screen would freeze for a split-second, causing me to lose some health because the game froze for a moment. These two issues get in the way of Entwined being a calming experience, so it doesn’t reach the leagues of Flower or Journey, two games from Thatgamecompany.
In the end, Entwined is an interesting game. It’s an experience that is definitely worth checking out. It is currently $10 as of right now on the PlayStation 4, and there is a Vita and PlayStation 3 version coming in the future. I read that the game is a cross-platform purchase, so this means you can get the Vita and PlayStation 3 version for free, if you buy the PlayStation 4 version. If you enjoy games like Flower, Journey, or the upcoming ABZU, then I would check out Entwined.
This game gets an 8 out of 10.