Greak: Memories of Azur | PS5 Review
Updated: Nov 19, 2021
Greak: Memories of Azur is a hand-drawn, 2D metroidvania with lots of puzzles and stunning landscape to accompany it. Developed by Navegante Entertainment and published by Team17, it is available on Windows PC, PlayStation 5, XBox Series X/S and Nintendo Switch. For the purposes of my review I was playing the PlayStation 5 version. I will be trying to keep this review as spoiler free as possible because it really is a great game with a fantastic story to experience.
You play (initially) as Greak, a young child separated from his siblings in a world filled with monsters and a curse that's ever spreading further. You must find your brother and sister and use them to your advantage to solve puzzles and navigate areas together but before you can do this properly, you need to spend a significant time alone and wandering. You're found by a group of friendly scouts, alone and injured during an attack from an enemy race known as the Urlags. I don't want to say too much more about the story because of spoilers but there really is a very powerful and prominent story throughout Greak: Memories of Azur.
One of my favourite things about Greak: Memories of Azur is the art style. It is just simply stunning. The hand-drawn metroidvania felt very reminiscent of other titles like Hollow Knight and Ori and the Blind Forest and it really captivated me for hours. In fact, I spent around an hour painfully stuck and I truly didn't notice how much time had passed because I was so engrossed in the atmosphere provided. The incredible artwork is accompanied by a great soundtrack that just left me wanting more - sometimes there would be areas that were too quiet and a gentle orchestral melody would have complemented it perfectly, but then when the music kicked back in again it was such a welcome change.
The puzzle aspect of Greak: Memories of Azur is handled relatively well. The puzzles are a reasonable challenge but not unattainable so far so I'd say in that respect it's well balanced. One of the most frustrating things about the game, however, is how few hit points you have to contend with during the ever so slightly clunky combat. I think it felt like I played worse at the game than I actually was, I just think the controls could have been smoother to accommodate the combat. Other than that key complaint, the rest of the game is very well made and I appreciated just how smooth a platformer it was and the depth of the story.
As previously mentioned, your main character is Greak, but to complete most of the puzzles throughout you'll have to take control of his siblings, Adara and Raydel. This mechanic works well and was generally effective in bringing another dimension to puzzles that would have been a fair bit easier without this dynamic. I do feel however that the game could really have benefitted nicely from some form of co-op mode to figure out the puzzles and progress through together, similar to titles like It Takes Two. I love playing puzzle games with friends where you have to rely on each other and work together to figure things out. Perhaps some food for thought for later updates or sequels, because I do feel like this game and its format would work really well with this.
Despite feeling a little bit stuck at present (in game), Greak: Memories of Azur is a great game. It has a lot to offer someone who is a fan of platform puzzles games or someone who's simply looking for a beautiful experience. It's not necessarily a perfect game but I feel it achieves what it sets out to do and is mostly inoffensive with its flaws. With a roughly 8-10 hour time to beat, there is plenty of gaming and story for you in Greak: Memories of Azur.
Lj's Rating: 3.5 silly deaths out of 5.
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