flOw PS4 Review: Eat or be eaten in 1080p
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flOw is short, but engaging. Its simplicity, exploration, and emotional pull provide a nice, entertaining getaway in a pinch.
- Pleasant sounds and visuals
- Uniqueness of playable organisms
- Freedom to explore, fight, or not fight as desired
- No distinct feedback when fighting an enemy
- Some poorly explained systems
Boosts truly come into play when fighting another organism. You can choose to paralyze it and devour it at your own pace while it can’t move, or hide from it until you can dive deeper and bypass it entirely. You can lunge at it and hope it doesn’t attack you in return--and if it does, you can lunge again and again, trying to eat it before it eats you and sends you one level back toward the surface.
The one downside to these underwater battles lies in feedback. Late in a level, chances are such that you’ll be pretty big, and so will some of the enemies you face. In battle, your controller vibrates equally for damage dealt and damage taken, so when both you and the enemy are huge and glowing red, and there is no other visual feedback, there is no way to tell who exactly is losing health.
As a gamer, chances are you will go into flOw with the mindset to eat ALL the things. flOw’s trophies, however, require you to be a bit pickier. The trophy list is where you learn that not only are different kinds of food particularly significant, but that certain things in the game also have names. There are credit foods, and your organism is divided into segments. Despite the goal of simplicity, these are things that should be explained in the game itself; who knows what other names and features gamers don’t yet know about? What does a credit food do that another kind of food doesn’t? What exactly IS a credit food, anyway?
flOw is a neat little indie game with a goal to entertain you and make you feel something for the world and creatures you’re experiencing. Here, it succeeds. If you’re bored with playing Assassin’s Creed or drooling over Watch_Dogs, flOw is a great place to catch your breath. The game’s $15.00 price tag may seem a bit steep considering its rather short length, but Cross-Buy is a nice incentive. Of course, if you already have the game for PS3, you may download it on other PlayStation consoles at no extra charge.
Now, all we need is for Journey to come to PS4…
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