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Fe review for Xbox One, PS4, Switch


Platform: Xbox One
Also On: PS4, Nintendo Switch, PC
Publisher: EA
Developer: Zoink Games
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: E

Artsy, Journey-esque games tend to be hit-or-miss. When they’re done well, they’re…well, they’re Journey. When they’re done not so well, the results tend to be more like Abzû, Brut@l, or Bound: which is to say, nice to look at, not nearly as nice to play, and mostly forgettable.

To be sure, there’s value in games that are visually pleasant, and that certainly goes for Fe. From a purely aesthetic perspective, it’s lovely. Everywhere your little woodland creature travels, it discovers places that show how much variety there can be in monochromatic colours. You wouldn’t think, for example, that the colour purple contains a wide enough range of gradients to populate an entire world, but this game shows that an all-purple world can be surprisingly varied, not to mention breathtaking.

Fe is pretty aurally appealing, too. A major part of the game is the eponymous creature singing to other woodland creatures and making friends, which is a) adorable, and b) delightful to listen to.

The thing is, once you get past those two (admittedly major) upsides, it doesn’t feel like there’s a whole lot more to the game. Minus the colours and the singing, Fe is basically just a standard 3D platformer with a slightly annoying camera. The worlds here may be a delight to look at, but they’re not all that interesting to explore. On top of that, the game doesn’t give you all that much to do: there are the odd quests and puzzles, but for the most part, you’re just wandering around the forest, looking at the pretty colours and singing to your animal friends.

Which, again, is pretty cute. But there’s a world of difference between “pretty cute” and “worth playing.” Fe does a tremendous job of the former, but as far as the latter goes, it leaves quite a bit to be desired.

Electronic Arts provided us with a Fe Xbox One code for review purposes.

Grade: B-