Lost Ember | Ps4 Review
Updated: Nov 19, 2021
Lost Ember is developed and published by Mooneye Studios and is a beautiful story-based indie adventure game set with a stunning backdrop of flowing grasslands, beautiful ponds and lakes. You play primarily as a wolf but you quickly discover there's more to it than that. Lost Ember was released in 2019 on Windows PC, PlayStation, XBox and Nintendo Switch.
Lost Ember tells the tale of the Yanrana Tribe and what was once a beautiful city. You begin the game as a wolf awakening in a cave with a ball of light talking to you. You quickly learn that this ball of light is your spirit guide who will essentially lead you to your objectives and will be your narrator throughout the game. It is here that you learn that you’re not simply a wolf and that you are in fact, a shape-shifter and you can turn yourself into any animal that you see around the land and at various points in the adventure you need to take advantage of this to progress to the next area. For example, you’ll at some point find yourself needing to abandon your wolf form for the soul of a small bird to fly yourself over to a new area.
The story in Lost Ember is actually quite deep and I really appreciated a lot of the little nuances in it. The Yanrana tribe believe that when they give their deceased a traditional funeral, this allows their souls to pass over into the next life that is known as 'The City of Light'. So then all of the souls that are outside of 'The City' are ones that haven’t been able to pass over. This revelation really made me wonder what could have happened to myself and the other poor souls that didn’t receive the proper traditional burial so together with your spirit guide, you have to set out on your adventure to re-discover your story.
I really enjoyed the backdrop of Lost Ember. The scenery was absolutely stunning and I found the controls nice and easy to use, allowing me to spend lots of time roaming around fluidly exploring the lands unhindered by the controls that despite being simple, they simply work. I found Lost Ember very relaxing and chilled and was a really pleasant game to unwind with and whilst the gameplay wasn’t very demanding there were lots of collectables to be found throughout the game, such as mushrooms and artifacts that were left behind. As I said, it was very graphically impressive, however there were a few moments where the graphics didn’t render correctly, some minor visual bugs but nothing overly significant or damaging to the experience.
My biggest critique of Lost Ember is that at times I couldn’t quite tell if I was progressing or not. I would have liked some more obvious goals or more tangible puzzles to figure out how to use the shapeshifting aspect, however in saying that, that’s more my personal preference than anything else because the exploration and the story itself was an absolute joy to play. As you traverse the landscape you come across smoke signals that, when you interact with them, you trigger another memory/dream that acts as the carrier for the storyline. As you unlock these dreams you break down the barriers that I presume gets you closer to the 'City of Light'. The more memories that I uncovered the more I wondered what had happened to me and who I really was. There’s a lot more that I can say here about the story and the depth of it but I would rather leave it there for now and leave as much for you to discover yourself because it really is a wonderful game that is worth playing.
If you're looking for a relaxing and scenic game, combined with a deep intertwining storyline that will really make you think and at some parts tug on your heart strings - Lost Ember is for you. It’s very clear to see that the creators really put a lot of love into Lost Ember and that really translated into a beautiful game for me. With a relatively short time to beat - only a few hours - Lost Ember is a stunning escape from reality into a beautiful serene landscape and it takes your mind into a really deep and almost philosophical adventure where it explores the perspectives of many others through the eyes of your main character.
Lj's Rating: 3.5 hidden mushrooms out of 5.
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Many thanks to Mooneye Studios for the Review Key.