Creaks PS4 Review – Creaks on the PlayStation 4 came out of nowhere and really surprised me to say the least. Developed and published by Amanita Design, Creaks is a puzzle game and is visually similar to the developers previous outing, Machinarium. I did not even know what the game was about or what I would be doing but was sold on the art-style alone.
Creaks PS4 Review
There’s Something Evil Down There
For a game that has no voice acting and zero dialogue, Creaks tells an interesting tale. You play a man, whose name I don’t even know, who discovers a massive creaking city underneath his worn down abode. This city is dank, dark and extremely eerie. It also creaks a lot, which is very fitting, given the name of the game. What unfolds is a tale of intrigue and mystery. It is quite a basic tale that I feel the more I say about it, the more it will be spoiled. Just go and experience it for yourself, it’s a good vehicle to get you through this interesting title and it keeps you interested. It keeps you guessing right to the very end.
The first things that slaps you in the face with creaks is its amazing art-style. Much like Machinarium, the game has a hand-drawn, sketchy look to it and is absolutely gorgeous. As you navigate the game environments and as the rickety city moves about, the environment also moves and parts of it come alive. It’s quite freaky really as little bits of movement and sound come from the dark, dank corners of each room. Bones rattle, weapons sway and objects move in suspicious ways that make you think you are imagining things, it’s extremely clever and remarkably well done.
While I am on the subject of the environments that envelop Creaks, I have never ascended or descended so many bloody ladders in a game. Creaks has probably the longest ladder I have ever traversed, secondly, it definitely has the record for the most ladders in a video game. Up and down, down and up, bloody ladders everywhere. It’s not a negative point by any means, as it fits the aesthetic of the game. Creaky ladders for a creaky game, it’s just an observation really. But yeah, get ready for loads of ladders.
The majority of the game is spent solving environmental puzzles to allow you to descend further into this wooden, creaky maze and uncover its secrets. While I am not a massive puzzle game player, I absolutely adored Creaks many problems. They were just about right on the difficulty scale, for me anyway. They were not too easy and not overly difficult. All the puzzles could be solved within a short period of time, and mostly revolve around moving objects, light and switches. With a bit of trial and error, they all made perfect sense.
The enemies in the game, which range from dogs and goats to weird creatures that follow your movement, can all be transformed into furniture when light hits them. I know, sounds weird right? It is weird but again it perfectly fits the games feel and aesthetic perfectly. You then move these items around and using a combination of switches and ladders as you find your way into the next room and continue on with your quest.
I Don’t Know About Art But I Know What I Like
Along with rooms and rooms of puzzle goodness, there are hidden rooms and paintings to collect and find. Most paintings are one click and done but some are interactive. All the paintings are mechanical, even the one click and done ones, and you pull a chain or turn a crank, a bit like a motorized jewellery box and watch the scene play out. The interactive ones turn into a minigame and need some sort of button press or analog stick movement to complete them correctly. They are all brilliant and it was an absolute joy tracking them down and completing their minuscule but fulfilling tasks.
The scavenging for paintings and finding secret rooms leads me onto Creaks amazing trophy list. All you have to do to nab that shiny platinum trophy is complete the game, find all the secret rooms and find all the paintings. This includes the paintings that are in the hidden rooms and completing the interactive works of art. It’s a beautifully well thought out trophy list that happens very naturally and allows you to fully enjoy this fantastic experience. No grinding, very little backtracking and even the hidden rooms were subtly advertised in each area. It is all so well thought out and so well designed.
I have touched upon the stunning visuals in this game, they are absolutely amazing. The game has a certain storybook-like quality to it that you do not see very often. I thought Machinarium was pretty but this art-style fits this world and narrative better in my opinion. It really fits this decrepit, wooden world that is slowly falling apart. It really hammers home how, well, creaky this whole world is. It’s unconditionally stunning from start to finish, I never got tired of looking at its intricate and detailed environments and its quirky characters.
The musical score also flows well into this intricate and interesting package. The main themes of the game are made up of instrumental tones that melodically drag you through each of the game’s puzzles but what I really liked, as I mentioned earlier, is the music and sounds that accompanied the games many motorized pieces of artwork. They plink along like musical jewellery boxes and really suck you into their mechanical tales. Each one tells a story and each one has a personality of its own.
Dank, Dark And Amazing
I have to say that Creaks has been one of my favourite experiences of the year. Yes, Creaks is nothing like The Last of Us Part 2; it is no massive triple-A spectacular but it is very different, absolutely beautiful and a little speck of pure joy on the gaming landscape. It looks great, plays amazingly and is a rich tapestry of many amazing threads. The art-style is superb, the puzzles fun and never annoying. Collecting and finding the art is brilliant and has a great, achievable trophy list. What more could you want?
If you like puzzle games, beautiful games or even just something that is a bit different give Creaks a go. It is not very long, I got the platinum in about five or so hours but it is all-encompassing the whole time. You will not find another game like Creaks for a while, it is definitely worth your time and money. It is an experience like no other, just be ready for the ladders, so, so many ladders.
Review code kindly provided by the publisher.