- Developer: Daedalic Entertainment
- Publisher: Daedalic GmbH
- Release Date: 28/08/2019
- Price: £17.99 / $19.99
- Review code provided by Daedalic GmbH
AER Memories of Old tells the story of a once majestic land where gods were worshiped and idolised. A tragic incident called the great divide shattered the ground in which the ancient inhabitants called home into fragments of rock later to be known as the islands in the sky. It’s time for Auk a shapeshifter to go on a pilgrimage and explore the temples of the gods to find out the truth. Auk’s spirit animal is a bird letting you transform and take to the skies, as you fly from island to island to unearth the secrets.
The story starts with the protagonist walking through a cave into the Hall of Memory, as you approach the shrine of Karah you are given Karah’s Light, a lantern that only shines for you. Once the lantern is in your possession the cave starts to crumble and collapse in on itself like a scene from Indiana Jones. This is your first taste of gameplay and a chance to get to grips with the controls. They are pretty straight forward with only a couple of buttons to remember. You use the left analogue stick to move Auk around and the right stick to move the camera angle with A being jump. When you are traversing the caves and temples the Y button can be used to turn your lantern on, The lantern will help you see and interact with items that can’t be seen by the naked eye.
I found the controls to be quite fluid and respond well, my only issue being the jump mechanic. Jumping forward was fine but when you wanted to change direction mid-air it was very slow to react and made the character feel heavy and lethargic.
Reach for the sky
When you have finished exploring and tomb raiding you can witness the vast open-world, This is where the low poly graphics truly show how beautiful this title is. As you soar through the skies with the landscape below you, there is a sense of tranquility and escapism from the real world. Transforming and being airborne is a smooth and enjoyable transition. Navigating your feather friend will come naturally pretty quickly and you will soon be performing aerobatics with ease. Unfortunately, the transformation back into human form is not so graceful, as you change back mid-flight and nose-dive hurtling towards the ground hoping not to miss the island completely, or my other technique which worked 60% of the time was to crash into the nearest obstacle then walk to where I needed to be.
AER has a soothing and peaceful soundtrack which compliments the gameplay perfectly. It does a great job of emphasising the atmosphere around you whether it is soft and tranquil as you are flying through the clouds to a sharp and punchy melody when you are about to unearth a long lost secret in one of the temples. Daedalic Entertainment has created a huge open world which is full of detail and is beautiful to look at as you explore the map, but the more time you spend with AER you start to realise the world is somewhat empty and desolate. The gameplay can also feel stale rather quickly due to the lack of combat and the puzzles being slightly too easy to solve. The main story is also a little on the short side lasting around 3 hours, I feel the price tag doesn’t reflect this and is a bit on the pricey side and maybe a title to look out for when in the sale. The game also felt unfinished with it coming to an abrupt end with no explanation or closure to the story.
AER Memories of Old is a relaxing exploration game brought to you by Daedalic Entertainment. If reading long narrative to find clues and hints to help you on your journey whilst exploring a vast open-world then AER is right up your street. The low poly graphics and the soothing soundtrack complement this gentle game perfectly. It is straightforward to pick up and play, also boasting a huge map to navigate in which you will enjoy getting lost and finding new worlds but with only 3 temples to explore the experience can feel short-lived with no reason or incentive to return once you have completed the story. This title will appeal to fans of Feather, The First Tree and Inner Space.
• A fun and relaxing experience
• Huge open world to explore
• Low poly graphics look beautiful
• Controls are fluid and easy to grasp
• The story is a little on the short side
• Transforming back into human form is awkward and can cause some frustrating moments
• Gameplay can get repetitive
A fun tranquil exploration game which will have you solving puzzles to find out the truth about the great divide. Your experience with AER might be a short one but definitely one you will enjoy.