Vane is a 3D puzzle platformer by Friend & Foe, a collection of former Team Ico developers. Players control a bird that transforms into a human or a human that transforms into a bird. That level of intentional ambiguity shapes your experience as you travel a shifting landscape on the verge of destruction or rebirth.
There is no spoken or written dialogue, so the game feels like less of a story than an abstract series of events, starting with a storm ripping apart the world around you while a shadowy figure keeps you from retreating to the only safe area. As you navigate a serene desertscape in the form of a crow, it’s unclear whether the storm happened in the past or is yet to come.
The mechanics of flight are translated well, and the environmental puzzles are simple, but not obvious. Movement can be sluggish though. Ultimately, Vane excels at drawing out emotions. The abstract plot never felt alienating and the minor technical issues did little to deter my enjoyment of this short experience. Vane is available on Steam starting July 23.
Watch our full Review in 3 Minutes for Vane, by KC Nwosu.
Review copy provided by the publisher. Reviewed on PC.