Quickie Reviews are 500 word reviews designed to get across what makes a game great, or awful, in under 2 minutes. Today I am looking at – Greak: Memories of Azur, curtesy of Team17.
2D Action Platformers are all the rage at the moment – especially Metroidvanias. With games like Hollow Knight and Blasphemous entering the scene, it’s no surprise the genre is kicking right off. Greak: Memories of Azur is one of these games. Unfortunately, It narrowly misses the mark and, more often than not, fails to creep out of its peers’ shadows.
The Story So Far
The Courines and Urlags are at war, and it is up to you and your two siblings to put an end to the hostilities – one way or another. Due to an unfortunate turn of events, however, you’re separated from your kin and must track them down.
It doesn’t take long for Greak, Raydel, and Adara to be reunited, and from here the game truly starts. Each character has their strengths, weaknesses, and quirks, and one of the main gimmicks here is to use the right sibling for the right job.
This is easier said than done as you will be in control of all three characters at once. It takes a little while to get used to, but the game slowly introduces the concept over the first few hours and then expands upon it as you progress.
Puzzles and combat, as is to be expected, are the name of the game here, and where Greak shines. Having three characters under your command allows the game to introduce a bunch of mind-bending puzzles and interesting combat scenarios. Managing your dudes to attack bosses, in particular, is a lot of fun – if fiddly.
Unfortunately, Greak’s main draw doesn’t carry the game entirely, and the more I played, the more the veil was lifted. Long before the credits rolled, its gimmick had run a little dry and what remained was a fairly standard Metroidvania romp.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing of course. Greak is far from being a bad game, it just trundles through the swamp of mediocrity and comes out a smidge below the mark. There’s simply much better examples of the genre and it’s hard to ignore.
Somewhat unusually, Greak is a single-player experience. It felt like a bit of a missed opportunity that the game didn’t at least support local co-op. It would have ironed out the control clunk and breathed new life into the genre as a whole.
One thing Greak absolutely nails, however, are its graphics. Greak uses a hand-drawn art style, emphasising bright, colourful, and detailed environments. It doesn’t matter where you go, or who you meet, Greak’s style and overall fidelity is top-notch. The impressive visual feat is supported perfectly by a phenomenal orchestral soundtrack that lands every emotional note imaginable.
Greak is fine. I’d go as far as saying it’s good. It looks and sounds brilliant and its gimmick is pretty interesting. It’s just a shame once that initial scintillating curtain is drawn, you are left with a pretty standard jaunt through the genre. If you’ve exhausted the greats, then Greak is certainly worth a peek.
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