Platform(s): Xbox Live Arcade
When playing Fez, you might think you know everything there is to know about the game. On the surface, it looks like a typical indie platformer with a neat hook (in this case, the ability to change perspectives). That in and of itself is enough to make most people interested. However, there are deeper meanings behind Fez that have been carefully crafted by designer Phil Fish who may or may not be racist. After you have discovered how the world of Fez works, you will understand that there is more to this game than what you originally thought. The only way you will see everything it has to offer, however, is if you possess the patience and determination to discover it all.
|You start the game in this small hub, but you will see varying locations throughout the adventure.|
There is very little story to speak of here. You wake up as a little sprite dude named Gomez, who is a drummer, obviously. An eyepatched fellow informs you that "adventure is ready" and grants you the almighty fez, allowing you to rotate the world like any good fez should. Gomez reawakens and is joined by a rainbow cube thing named Dot (not the Warner sister) who tells you that you must collect 32 cubes in order to make the world stable again. That's about as much narrative structure as you're going to get. Don't view this as a negative, though. The fact that there is little context to what is going on is part of what makes Fez special. Also, this is a game that doesn't necessarily need a strong narrative in order to deliver an amazing experience.
|Disasterpeace is an awesome name.|
Fez's soundtrack is absolutely incredible (I'm actually listening to it as I write this review). Each track fits the mood of the many environments perfectly, creating a sense of ambiance. Some tunes are jaunty and exciting while others sound ominous and slightly depressing. One of the amazing parts about the soundtrack is how well it compliments the game without being overbearing. You will recognize many of the songs while traveling to different locations, but they are integrated seamlessly into the world in a way that hearing them is almost secondary. It is a perfect blend of atmosphere and great songwriting. In addition, the sound effects, as few as they may be, also fit with the style of the soundtrack adding to the overall aesthetic.
|This bell is important. Why it's important is something you'll have to figure out.|
|OBEY YOUR OWL OVERLORDS!|
Visuals/Presentation: The 2D world rendered in 3D is pleasing to look at, and visual clues help in solving puzzles.
Music/Sound: The soundtrack beautifully compliments the environments while also being a fantastic collection of tunes. Go buy it!
Gameplay: Rotating the world and collecting cubes is fun, but its everything surrounding the core gameplay that makes Fez truly unique.