Stop me if you've heard this one before, adventure gamers: Child runs across vast, desert-like landscapes and can occasionally transform into a bird. The elevator pitch isn't terribly compelling, I know. But in this ruined land, your transformations will further transform the vast and (oh so) mysterious land around you.
Vane appeals to my more primitive instincts. Not primitive in a cave-painting sense—though I bet we'll get to see some cave paintings—but in a way that somehow triggers the more artful side of my survival instinct. Yes, the kind of primitive that stretches a boy's long shadow across desaturated sand dunes and tosses it up against sheer cliffs rising like a giant's causeway in the middle of a wasteland. Flat stretches of land that never seem to end except in a sandstorm.
Also, it's still difficult to get me to take a second look at polygonal artwork. I'm okay with it in landscapes and architecture, but it's still nearly impossible to convince me that it looks good on character models. On a person, flatly polygonal shapes look unfinished rather than open to the imagination. But these puzzling interiors look great. Like a race of ancients that were building monolithic computers, with digitized angles cut right out of the sandstone. Also, I'm definitely okay with Vane's dusty sepia-toned hints towards being a 3D Inside. Or how stepping stones and ledges glitch into place like a less abstract Bound.
At first glance, I wasn't excited. But before I'd finished the trailer, there was something about Vane that proved to me it was aiming for something a bit different.
Vane is a PS4 exclusive launching in one month on January 15.
Mesmerizing exploratory adventure Vane premieres exclusively on PlayStation 4 January 15th
Witness its awe-inspiring new trailer as debuted on the Kinda Funny Showcase and pre-order today on the PlayStation Store
Tokyo, Japan - December 10th, 2018 - Tokyo-based independent studio Friend & Foe is proud to announce that after more than four years in development it will finally be releasing its hallucinatory adventure Vane on January 15th, 2019 on PlayStation 4. As of today it’s available for pre-order on the PlayStation Store. Pre-orders retail at $24.99 / €21.99 / £17.99 and include a dynamic Vane theme.
Set in a ruined desert, Vane is an exploratory journey, where players will transform between bird and child form to unravel the land’s mysteries and create a path forward through this expansive landscape filled with ominous caves, mysterious machinery and harrowing storms. As they roam this mythical wasteland, the world reacts to their passage, evolving and building into something altogether different.
Vane is the culmination of more than four years of development by the Tokyo-based expat studio Friend & Foe Games, a team with AAA experience spanning titles like The Last Guardian, Killzone, Battlefield 3, and Bionic Commando. Developed with the conviction that players should find their own path through the world, Vane is an enigmatic and unnerving game that aims to leave an impact. The result is a minimalistic, stark environment that encourages exploration just to the edge of getting lost, all set to an all-original brooding synth soundtrack.
“With Vane, we wanted to make a game that emphasizes mood and atmosphere over more conventional mechanics,” said Art Director Rasmus Deguchi. “While loosely inspired by titles like Journey and Ico, we wanted to make something different. A little more unsettling. A little more surprising. A little more primal. It’s been a long and wild journey making Vane and we can’t wait for the world to experience what we’ve cooked up!”