Abstract indie games come in all shapes and sizes from walking sims to point and click adventures. The question is; does Fe, a strange yet lovely 3D platformer, have what it takes to be a worthwhile experience?
You play Fe by controlling a small creature. For simplicity's sake, let's call him Fe. The story isn't presented in a concrete manner so you have to use your imagination as you progress in your adventure. From what I gathered, Fe's a magical little chum who's able to emulate different creatures' voices in order to make friends with them and have them assist him on his quest. What is the goal of that quest? Again, I'm not quite sure but it probably has something to do with the large evil-looking monsters that patrol the lands. As you journey, you'll find yourself climbing trees, collecting crystals, rejuvenating artistic etchings, and acquiring new voices and abilities such as one that lets you glide. Once in a while, you'll discover a "Silent Helmet" that has you control one of the enemies in an apocalyptic-like scenario which is surprisingly eerie. I'm glad to see this many fun mechanics and the platforming is super-tight, too.
The world of Fe is rendered in a very subtle way in that environments are primarily just one or two colours and everything ends up looking stunning as a result. Whether you're travelling through a jungle, a snowy mountain, or a forest; it's all beautiful and more importantly, feels alive. There's so much natural beauty to Fe's world as you come across various creatures and vegetation. All of that being said, there's an overwhelming sense of mystery to it all considering the world is portrayed with such minimal colours. On top of that, a moving orchestral score accompanies your journey and it manages to make the world all the more immersive.
As I've already touched upon, there's a lot of stuff to discover in the world of Fe. Even after completing the game, I still have quite a lot to uncover. Being able to find it all will likely require searching every nook and cranny but it's such a gorgeous game that I definitely won't mind doing that whenever I want to wind down. In addition to the already mentioned collectibles, you can even accomplish enjoyable tasks such as reuniting a parent and child forest creature. When it comes to content, there's definitely a lot to see and do.
On the other hand, the world is rather small. Exploring the entirety of it after you acquire all of the abilities likely won't take very long. Along the same lines, the main story will only take you a few hours to work through which is quite short for a 3D platformer.
As long as I'm talking about downsides, I should mention a couple other complaints. The first of which is that there's barely any challenge throughout the entire campaign. As long as you're sure not to let an enemy spot you, it's very easy to not perish at all. Even when you do, you're conveniently placed just a small step back so you can try again. Finally, a lot of the campaign feels repetitive. Most situations task you with figuring out how to reach a handful of points on the map in order to interact with certain things. It doesn't really matter what you're interacting with because after doing this process again and again, it all ends up feeling far too familiar.
After completing Fe, I'm happy to say that it was one of the most beautiful and memorable gaming experiences that I've played in a while. At the same time, its lack of challenge and reliance on repetition occasionally made me feel worn out.
- + Gorgeous, mysterious, and natural world that's filled with wonder and life
- + Tight 3D platforming with fun mechanics
- + Lots of collectibles and secrets to uncover
- - The main campaign is fairly short and the world is quite small, too
- - Almost no challenge throughout
- - A lot of parts feel repetitive