Oure showed up from out of nowhere during Sony’s Paris Games Week presentation. A game suited for the PS4 audience, an audience that loves to embrace games like Journey, Bound, Ico, Abzu, and many more. With the idea of just letting you explore a vast world without ever touching a single enemy, does the non-violent and supposedly “artsy” vibe of the game make it boring to the average gamer or does it have enough content and interesting gameplay to make it enjoyable for everyone?
Oure starts off in a very confusing way. After a brief cutscene (poorly) narrated by some British girl (or someone really forcing a British accent), your parents leave you in front of a weird temple and, just before you can ask yourself what the heck is going on, shazam, you’re now a dragon (that looks a lot like a fox, for some reason). Once you go full Animorphs and become an orange version of Spirited Away‘s Haku, you’re set free in a gigantic cloudy world with a nonsensically immense amount of things to collect, be it blue orbs (there are more than 700 of them), powerups, or gallery art, as well as having to find a handful of titans to “heal” in a process I can only describe as “reverse Shadow of the Colossus.”
Oure is a very laid back experience. Given the fact I cared very little about the game’s story, all I was doing was exploring the immense scenery at my own pace, hoping to find as many items as possible and collect them all in a pseudo-OCD fashion. This can either be a plus or a tremendous flaw depending on your play style. Despite the main objective being finding those titans, you can do anything and everything at your will, as there is little guidance besides a radar function. It’s very easy to get lost in Oure, given the size of the map, the fact it’s a gigantic cloud level with little visual variety, and the fact there is no map to help you throughout the game. Sure, the game is beautiful, but you’ll mostly be looking at a blue sky and white clouds for the entirety of your run.
If there’s one thing I need to praise, it’s the controls. I’ve seen a lot of criticism directed towards them but I have to admit I haven’t had many issues with the controls. Yes, it takes a few minutes for you to get used to the button layout, but flying around through the trees was easy and very enjoyable. If I had something to actually criticise about the gameplay, that’d be the camera.
Despite being, in theory and practice, the typical kind of artsy game I’m definitely not fond of, I have to say I did have some good times with Oure, even if they were in sporadic, small doses. While the nonexistent level design and repetitive environments were exhaustive to human eyes, the game’s collectathon nature is enjoyable for those, like me, into games like Yooka-Laylee and Super Mario Odyssey, as there are tons of items to collect and a lot to explore. Despite all the setbacks, I did have more fun with Oure than with games like Abzu or Journey. And in comes the lynch mob with pitchforks.
Also available on: PC
Copy of Oure provided by publisher