I LOVE Metroidvania games. So, for those unaware, a Metroidvania is a sub-genre of video games that focus on large interconnected worlds that gradually open up as you have more abilities. They often involve backtracking into different areas for various items and power-ups. The Metroid series itself is a long standing love of mine with it’s design in this field and engaging gameplay, another fantastic Metroidvania I’ve played is Ori and the Blind Forest, an engaging game in the genre with fantastic visuals and gameplay design.
Fe is my latest addiction in this sub-genre. Created by the studio Zoink! and then published by EA as an EA Originals. In Fe you play as… “Fe” a small fox like creature in a Nordic style forest in which creatures known as The Silent Ones are damaging this precious ecosystem. The games core features are Fe’s movement arsenal and the different songs you get. Each song lets you connect with a different species of animal as well as a flower that can impact your ability to get places. You can also jump up trees and do other various talents as you make your way through this word.
Something Fe does better than most Metroidvania is the fact that its power ups and unlockables have linked game-play features. Most of the time in Metroid, you get a slightly more powerful beam weapon that opens a different colour door. However, in Fe the equivalent to a beam weapon is a flower, and these often have a game-play feature linked to them. This means that you still feel like you’re playing a game when you unlock these various powers, which makes exploring the world of Fe that much more interesting and engaging.
Without going too much into spoilers, the game’s story (whilst a little difficult to get) is told in a very interesting way where you either read monoliths or engage in cut-scenes as various Silent Ones.
The game’s areas generally follow the same rule as well, which is saving the tribal leader of each race of animal. While this does start to feel a little samey, the way in which you save them is always different and always presents an interesting challenge.
Fe also boasts a fantastic visual design that quite frankly blew me away. It’s use of polygonal art style and interesting colour design create an aesthetic you’ll rarely find in the current age. The game’s sound design is also masterful: using ambient music and sound to really make you feel a part of this forest.
Fe’s main drawback is that if you’re just doing the main story it is very short lasting; probably around 6 hours. But if you’re bothering to find everything the world has to offer it can easily exceed that and for a game sold at around £18 I didn’t think this is too bad. Another gripe with the game is that whilst the movement pool is nice, some of the abilities that Fe gets feel a little redundant or filler-like. For instance, you get one ability that makes you.. run fast. You don’t get to control the order in which you get this ability so you grind through that one in the hopes that the next one is really good and honestly the two best abilities in the game you get really early. The game also suffers from a lack of warp points, I know I said part of the fun of Metroidvania is back-tracking but the fun bit of that that is that you get to explore new areas in the old areas you’ve already explored. The actual act of traversing half of the map to get there can be very tedious.
I also felt some features were lacking: the ability to place map markers would have been useful to remember where certain things I wanted to get later were.
All in all I really enjoyed Fe. I think £18 is fantastic for this game and I think it has a lot to offer and is truly fantastic; the game has made for a fun game on my bus journeys to and from work and I look forward to playing more in the future.
I give this game an 8/10 recommendation.
But what about you, have you played Fe? Remember to tweet us to give us your thoughts on the game!