Etherborn | PS4 Review - Elle May

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Thursday, 18 July 2019

Etherborn | PS4 Review


Publisher: Altered Matter
Developer: Altered Matter
PS4 Review


*Disclaimer: I was sent the code for this game in return for a review, all opinions are mine and mine alone. 

Do you ever come across a game and keep track of it like a hawk? I have been that way when it comes to Etherborn, I'm not quite sure what one thing drew me towards it but the beautiful atmosphere that surrounds it and puzzles definitely helped. Etherborn is from an indie games development company called Altered Matter, they're a group for 4 from Barcelona who came together thanks for their love for video games. Their goal is simple and effective, it's to use entertainment as a vehicle for artistic expression which they have done perfectly with Etherborn.

As a lot of you are aware I have slowly been getting into more puzzle games which were surprising for me because I sometimes I like to play it safe and stick with genres I'm comfortable with because getting stuck on a puzzle for ages frustrates me and puts me off a game. Fortunately, that was different when it came to Etherborn, I actually found enjoyment out of being frustrated because I wanted to see what challenge I would face next. 


Etherborn is an anti-gravity puzzle 3D game so it pushes you to find the right path, in the process I found myself looking for curved surfaced to walk on top of in order to find a way around the puzzle to grab floating orbs to play upon platforms, these platforms will either add more to the puzzle to connect to a bridge which takes you towards the next level you face. Along the way, you're on a journey of self-discovery and to find out who you're and the meaning to your existence, your character is in the shape of a see-through human being where you can see your brain, heart, lungs, and veins. Whilst making your way through different environments a bodiless voice will continue to call to you and is waiting for you to get through each puzzle and arrive at your destination, in order to understand what this voice wants you must tackle each puzzle to the best of your abilities.


The game is supposed to be between 2-3 hours to complete and I won't lie, it took me much longer than that because I would get the hang of how a puzzle worked and then would completely forget about it when I moved on to the next one. My partner and I both watched each other take turns playing it and were both impressed with the mechanics of the 3D puzzles, especially the way gravity would shift and make you go flying to your death (luckily it doesn't make you start over again when you die). The music is calming yet thought-provoking making me scratch my head over what I'm missing in order to get passed the puzzle, once I realise it's actually so simple.


Even though you're not surrounded by much a lot of detail has gone into making this game beautiful and stand out, the vast amount of colours and world that surround you make you feel tiny in this 3D puzzle world but also very weightless whilst making your way through your journey. Etherborn is one of those games that forces you to think out of the box and take a step back in order to work out what to do next, although it was frustrating at times I enjoyed the challenge. Once I was able to find the orbs I needed to move on to the next puzzle I was relieved, especially because I got past constantly dying on the same part of a puzzle thanks to the ever-shifting anti-gravity world and be taken towards a tree which opened the next level and helped me get a step closer to my destination.


I was impressed with the options menu as there are a variety of options for subtitle size as well as an option for both text and voice language, it's important that players who don't speak English are able to enjoy the game too. The controls are very easy to use, there isn't much to them if I'm honest the only issue was the zoom out button only let you zoom out a certain amount but I think this was to make it a little harder to see how you need to work out the level, they can't give it all away now can they it would make it far too easy would they?


As I said before the playtime for this game is meant to be 2-3 hours but once you finish it for the first time it has the option of a hard mode to play through which will easily make the game 6 hours long if you're like me and was stumped at some points throughout the game, Etherborn is out from today (July 18th) and is available on PS4, Xbox One, PC and Nintendo Switch for £13.99 which is a very reasonable price for how long the game takes to complete. Overall I loved this game, I highly recommend it to my friends, family, and followers, I would love to see what parts they get stuck on, I give this game 5/5 stars.






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