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Cocoon Review (PS5) – An Exquisite Experience Not To Be Missed

Cocoon PS5 Review

Cocoon Review (PS5) – For a game with no words, it’s quite apt that it’s a struggle to convey just how incredible Cocoon is.

Not because of a lack of adjectives or plaudits with which to laud this indie gem, but to navigate my thoughts and deliver them as eloquently as this game presents its experience to players.

In a day and age where frame rates and graphically fidelity are obsessed over and game value is often bench-marked by hours, it’s sometimes easy to forget that actual real people make the games we love and get lost in. These brilliant ideas, worlds, stories, designs and sounds all come from inside the minds of endlessly talented human beings.

If I told you that in 2023 one of the finest games ever created would have no HUD, no high score, no tutorial, no button prompts and no text or dialogue, you might find that tough to believe.

You might be further perplexed to learn that one of the most pure, exhilarating and rewarding gameplay experiences you could possibly find today would be done with just one thumbstick and a single face button on a controller.

Cocoon takes risks and there is nothing else quite like it out there right now.

Cocoon Review (PS5) – An Exquisite Experience Not To Be Missed

A Special Game

Having been engrossed in games since the late 80’s there are a handful of titles that stand the test of time and hold up no matter how advanced technology gets over the years.

One such game, which I often refer to as “The Perfect Game” is the beloved classic Tetris. Cocoon is sincerely on that level – It’s perfect. I shall now, without spoiling the experience explain, why I make this bold statement.

Just like Tetris, Cocoon is easy to pick up and play. Nothing is explained when you first load up and take control. There’s no hand holding, or pausing to explain the mechanics or goals.

You learn by experiencing the gameplay, and it’s purely the experience of playing that teaches you. As you progress your actions are guided by visual and audio queues that reinforce what is good to do and what is not.

Once you start to build a rhythm you get into a kind of autopilot. This focus is amplified by the audio presentation which envelops you in the experience. The environments you explore are brought to life brilliantly, creating mood and atmosphere.

Opening paths and transforming the landscape by the operation of mechanical devices juxtaposes heavy base filled tones with the more organic environments.

One of the key mechanics in the game is the worlds you explore are actually contained inside small orbs which can be jumped in and out of. Carrying an orb grants the player a special ability (I’ll let you discover them for yourself) which helps progress through the puzzles.

Where it gets really interesting is when you carry an orb into a world taking its special ability with you, opening up paths that were previously inaccessible.

It is reminiscent of the epic Christopher Nolan film Inception which explored the idea of dreams within dreams but here we have worlds within worlds. It’s a work of level design genius.

The soundtrack does an excellent job of enhancing the vibe of each biome whilst evoking a sense of intrigue in the cosmic mystery.

Gathering this together with the vibrant visuals and beautiful animation work and you’ve got something quite special. Each discipline on the development team here has delivered in abundance.

Game Design Excellence

It’s a loop of discovery, experimentation, mastery and progression. Gameplay is kept fresh with the introduction of new mechanics and the combining of these mechanics in unique and interesting ways.

To label Cocoon simply as a puzzle game would be a disservice. While its core is puzzle solving, there are some light Metroidvania elements with little nods to Soulslike and Roguelikes also.

Exploration is rewarded and encouraged by the Trophies on offer for veering from the main path.

Speaking of the Trophies, the list is really nicely put together and gives motivation to further playthroughs with newfound understanding of skills to attain the elusive Platinum. In all there are 18 to achieve fitting nicely with the runtime of the game.

No tedious grind to be found here.

Blossoming And Beautiful

The years of hard work and passion that have gone into crafting this game mean that with its debut title Geometric Interactive has blossomed into a force to be reckoned with.

I salute every single talent that had a hand in crafting this stellar achievement. The language of level design speaks volumes.

Cocoon is out now on PS5 and PS4.

Review code kindly provided by PR.



The Final Word

Cocoon is an exceptionally crafted, perfectly paced and highly polished experience that hits every beat. It's gaming perfection.