Today, Friday 16th February sees the release of Fe, a seamless narrative adventure game on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Origin for PC. Fe is the first game to launch as part of the EA Originals program, announced at EA PLAY 2017, which aims to bring players unique and memorable gaming experiences from the best independent studios. Fe is brought to you by Electronic Arts and the imaginative Swedish studio Zoink Games. Keep your eyes peeled for my review of Fe, coming in the near future!
Named after the game’s protagonist, players will run, climb, and glide through the Nordic forest as the cub-like creature, Fe. Uncover the secrets of Fe’s origin while protecting the ecosystem from the menacing machines, the Silent Ones. As Fe embarks on a voyage of discovery, the wordless experience requires Fe to learn to speak the language of the forest by singing in-tune with various fantastical plants and animals, each of which offers unique gameplay benefits that will help along the journey.
“In Fe, sounds connect every living thing in the diverse ecosystem,” said Klaus Lyngeled, CEO and Creative Lead at Zoink Games. “The forest holds a multitude of secrets to be uncovered by connecting with the flora and fauna. As a wordless experience, the entire story is up for the players’ own interpretation as they move through the forest at their own pace. Fe is a beautiful, connected world that players will never want to leave.”
Uncover the mysteries of nature in a world worth exploring as Fe happens upon ancient ruins, hidden artifacts, secret places, and new powers. Each experience offers a hand-crafted short story, wrapped in a visually stunning, memorable, and fun environment. Discover Fe’s origin and learn that nothing is what it first seems.
EA Originals has been unveiled at the EA Play event.
EA Originals is designed as a way for EA to find, fund and support indie studios in order to help them bring their games to market.
The first EA Originals game comes from Zoink Games and is called Fe. Fe’s story is about the balance of nature. You play as a young cub, new to a wintery forest and free to explore this forest and discover the story hidden within.
Every animal and plant sings to communicate, meanwhile, the Silent Ones corrupt the forest and are a source of mystery and danger for you to discover as you approach the game however you want and experience the open environment.
After being released on other platforms, Zoink Games is now releasing Zombie Vikings digitally on Xbox One with a lot of bonus content. Included is the Raybjörn and Frostbjörn Character DLC, 5 additional versus levels, a behind the scenes making-of video, and Raz-ombie, the reincarnated embodiment of Raz from Psychonauts.
The Xbox One version will be released later this year and besides the added content it will have Xbox One specific features such as Hero Stats, where you can measure your progress with your friends and unlockable achievement wallpapers.
In addition all the content from the Majör Update (like Oink the unicorn pig!) will be in the mix as well. If you’re new to Zombie Vikings, or just want to take another look at it, check out the Xbox One trailer below.
Since the next generation of consoles kicked off in a big way, there’s been a lot of focus on indie titles. Both the Xbox One and PS4 tussling to offer indie developers a platform to release unique and quirky titles.
Zoink Games are continuing this fresh tradition, with their offering Stick It to the Man, originally released for the PS4 and now seeing the light of day on Microsoft’s Xbox One, its a little that is nothing if not distinct, with a part style that is truly unforgettable despite what lies beneath being less so.
While Stick It to the Man seems, at first glance, like your standard 2D platformer, it is in fact a 2.5D re-imagining of the classic point and click adventure, full of humour and with a tiny splash of platforming action to complete this heady mix of crazy gameplay with fresh old school ideas.
You start out as Ray, a down on his luck hard hat tester who ends yet another average day by being smashed in the noggin’ by a random item that falls from the heavens. After a splitting headache and 40 winks, Ray wakes up with a rather unusual yet nifty stretchy hand oozing from the bump in his head. This fresh appendage can not only grab onto pins dotted around the map, allowing him to swing around freely, but it can poke into the minds of characters around him to steal their very thoughts, which rather conveniently become stickers.
After some initial training, showing you the key to listening for what people need and finding the correct sticker to slap on a characters face, stick to the world around them or insert into their mind, Inception style, this mechanics while simple in execution is truly original and becomes utterly addictive. Forcing you to truly scour every inch of the games world and listen to every word of conversation to find what you need in order to progress.
You’re first chance to flex those newly grown digits, comes when the Taxi you need to get home has a little issue. It’s driver is ready to hang him self because the love of his life left him all alone (aww!) after a little probing, you’ll discover she left him for a man with bigger, shinier teeth. We all have our turn ons, I guess. After some more poking around the map, you’ll have the chance to snatch said teeth from an old age pensioner, grinding like hell in a local Disco, and slap them on the cab drivers now grinning face.
Each obstacle gets more and more complicated to solve, as while each solution seems random and almost senseless, as the game unfolds you’ll become part of bigger plans, often having to solve one puzzle in order to unlock a sticker, that will solve the next puzzle and so on until you actually complete the objective you were trying to solve all along! Phew! This is where Stick It to the Man really shines, showing off just how deep the rabbit hole can go when their at the helm, perfectly slotting in great humour and interesting yet freaky characters as you move along.
Its not all such a perfect streamlined experience though. As with a lot of games an almost unnecessary amount of enemies and action are thrown in, presumably to shake up the constant conversations and puzzle solving but in a way that really doesn’t add so much as detracts.
As the title suggest, Ray is under threat from The Man, the head of an evil syndicate, who has made the obvious choice to send his worst agents into the field in order to track him down. If you come face to face with these Jason Statham lookalikes, expect them to come hurtling towards you and kill you instantly. Unless of course, you can trick them to go around you, as you fly across platforms using those handy pins that are dotted around the map.
Dying doesn’t mean what it should in Rays world, as his one advantage of being a 2.5D character means that you’ll be shot out of local printers at nearby checkpoints, so these threats aren’t anything too serious but if you get stuck and end up dying alot, you’ll quickly find yourself getting rather annoyed. This is simply because, while Rays newly sprouted hand is great for its intended purpose of slapping stickers around the screen and reading peoples thoughts, its pretty hit or miss when it comes to using pins for platforming. Even the slightest nudge of the trigger or control stick will send you flying in the wrong direction, usually smack bang into the heart of danger.
It doesn’t stop with the agents either, amongst other pesky enemies, you’ll face off against some rather persistent nurses in an insane asylum (don’t ask) but while its not a great or original battle mechanic, if you can bear to push on you’ll be richly rewarded as the more difficult puzzles are hugely rewarding! During one level, I helped 3 intriguing mental patients, a ghost, a sailor and made a boat out of a dead whale! That’s a good day out in my books! (I’ll try not to talk about the scary child with the invisible friend who happens to be a serial killer and a Rabbit)
In short, Stick It to the Man, while not utterly perfect, is definitely a must have indie title as you’re simply just not likely to experience anything else like it!
Sometimes we are a little late to the party… sorry Zoink! Games and Ripstone Publishing, we totally forgot to shout out about this one. Announced back on Friday Stick It To The Man! is available to download now from the Xbox One Games Store priced at £6.39 / €7.99 / $9.99. Fans can also look forward to exclusive unlocks from the team at Zoink! as they progress through the game and earn achievements.
Stick It To The Man! centres around hardhat tester; Ray – who has a bizarre accident at work and wakes up with a giant pink spaghetti arm sticking out of his brain. This fluorescent arm, invisible to others, gives Ray strange powers, allowing him to hear people’s thoughts and change the paper world around him with stickers. Digging into the brains of his fellow citizens, including the likes of Santa Claus, Captain Ahab and Elvis to name but a few; it’s up to Ray to gather clues from countless insane characters and solve mind-boggling puzzles – all while trying to escape the evil clutches of The Man! Can you help Ray out of this sticky situation?