Evergate | PS5 Review
Updated: Nov 19, 2021
Evergate is a platform puzzle game developed by Stone Lantern Games and published by PQube. It is currently available on Windows PC, PlayStation, XBox, and Nintendo Switch. For the purpose of this review I was playing the PlayStation 5 version.
In Evergate you take on the role of Ki, a little ghost/sprite looking creature who is trying to return to Earth but a massive catastrophe happens that places these plans into jeopardy and threatens the existence of not just Ki, but also the entire afterlife region. The game itself is very heavy in lore and terms that are very specific to the world it's set in, however the game just throws the terms at you and doesn’t really explicitly lay the story out in front of you so you need to give Evergate a few hours to really tell you the story.
Initially, Evergate looked to me like another beautiful metroidvania, however it feels quite different and has a very unique way of playing which creates a really lovely balance between a platform game and a physics based puzzle game. Accompanied by the stunning art style, Evergate was a beautiful adventure that I really enjoyed. Essentially, you have a power called the Soulflame which is your main tool throughout the game and as you progress through each level you find out the different ways to use the Soulflame. At its core the Soulflame is a beam of light and if it hits one of the nodes it reacts allowing you to progress through the level. Sometimes the nodes when hit with the Soulflame can propel you forward or in the air and as you advance through the levels you have to incorporate the new ways in which the Soulflame can help your journey.
Evergate was a bit of a surprise to me as I really expected it to be similar to other games like Ori and the Blind Forest or Hollow Knight however it was very different and the mechanics really took me by surprise with how unique they were. Initially, I found the game to be quite difficult and borderline frustrating despite how beautiful and friendly it appeared, however after some perseverance I started to feel so intrigued by it that I couldn’t help but keep playing to see what the developers were going to add in next. In part, a significant part of what kept me playing in the early stages was to try and suss out the storyline because as mentioned, it really doesn’t provide any direct exposition as such and the story is very much given in a show don’t tell kind of way which as someone whos always been a fan of creative writing, this is one of the biggest things I was taught and that was reiterated to me heavily.
Another thing that I really liked about Evergate was that as you progressed it didn’t feel like there was simply one solution to many of the levels which really leaves the player in control of how they use the game's mechanics to progress. Sometimes I feel like I could see the clear path to complete it but the execution was a struggle whereas on other levels I spotted other ways that were perhaps not the intended direction for you to go in but still produce the same outcome.
Overall, I’d question at times whether perhaps Evergate was slightly too ambitious and had a little bit too much going on; however if you're willing to see past these early teething problems, you’ll perfect the mechanics and find a really charming story with some fairly intuitive gameplay. I certainly had to give Evergate a little bit more of a chance before I felt remotely competent, however it is a well made game paying homage to many other games in the platform and puzzle genre, but with its own unique spin that I don’t think I’ve seen done very often, if not at all.
Lj’s Rating: 3 adorably fairy sprites out of 5.
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Many thanks to PQube for the Review Key.