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Mare Review

Great setting and atmophere but simple puzzles

Reviewed by Griffin on 8th May 2022 on HTC Vive

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Review

In Mare, you play as a mechanical bird in a dilapidated castle/kingdom and with the help of a little girl discover the secrets of the story. Before playing this game I wasn't aware of the studio behind this game but as I now know they formerly worked on the last guardian and boy do that ICO and Vane similarity shine through maybe even a little too closely resembling the prior works.

All in mare took me just under 3 hours to complete. This includes some backtracking I had to do to get all the collectables and the 'true' (only) ending.

I played this on the following hardware:

Intel I7 7700k

Nvidia 1080ti

16gb ram

HP Reverb G2

Graphics & Presentation

At first glance it's not quite obvious that mare has a low poly art style as it's not the extreme style that I am used to when looking at low poly games nor the typical colourful affair. No, instead Mare has a much more muted colours and a more intentional direction that fits the macabre theme they are shooting for. The only issue I really had is at distance the models don't look that low poly and look quite beautiful but certain close-up models and pillars kind of break the look.

Sound FX & Music

The music in the game is wonderful. It's a lonely sad kind of music but something that I would almost even listen to on its own, which is not common for me with video game soundtracks.

The girl speaks in a fictionalized language similar to previous Ico characters, however what can be annoying is she does not have much of a vocabulary and often repeats lines which can get a bit annoying.

Gameplay & Immersion

The gameplay is really this game's biggest downfall. Its not bad exactly but there is not much to it either. The gameplay is simple - you control the mechanical bird from the third person and direct the bird to fly from perch to perch. You can also fire an electric shock to zap a few key items. The girl will follow you from location to location and will open gates for you, and that's it really given the limited amount of places you can move this makes all of the puzzles quite linear and not so much in need of solving but just a matter of time.

Controls

As I mentioned the controls are simple, just two buttons - one to fly to a perch and one to zap things, and the game could easily be played seated (and probably should be)

The in-game controls showed oculus controls for me despite using a WMR headset but it was no issue.

Value & Replayability

The game has a small number of collectables which you might think would add some replayability but they are needed to get the 'true' ending and I say that in air quotes as without them you don't really get an ending, nothing that produces end credits at the least, and given there are only about a dozen or so collectables it is quite reasonable to get them all on your first go.

Final Thoughts

At $23 local currency the game is perhaps a little steep given the simplicity of the game but I think for those who are fans of Vane, Ico and the last guardian then this is a great spin-off of those games for VR.

  • Visually looks good
  • Really great atmosphere
  • Wonderful sound design
  • Simple gameplay
  • Vague story
  • Short playtime

Reviewed by Griffin on 8th May 2022 on HTC Vive

7 out of 10

2 people found this review helpful. Was this review helpful? Yes or No

Mare
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