Fez - Review

Author: Fabio "Kenobit" Bortolotti
Date: 2020-07-31 00:08:51
Fez. Fez. Fez. Let me say it again: Fez. The review is over. Scroll down a little, watch the vote, gas and spin on the PlayStation Store. Fez is not a matter of taste. It's Fez, and if you don't like it a little, you're like Ken's Souther, with the heart mounted upside down. Without going around too much, I think it is the most beautiful and exciting game of the last generation, and that its arrival in the PlayStation world is an event for all those who have not yet had the opportunity to play it. It is not the usual indie game with fanciful gameplay and retro-graphic aftertaste: it is a monumental, ambitious work, with that spark of madness that makes the difference between art and entertainment. It is a game that is not afraid to hide its secrets and reveal them only to a very small percentage of its audience. A game that makes you take a sheet of paper, the real ones, made with trees, and makes you scribble symbols, numbers, alphabets, not even if we were in Loom's time. Fez's aesthetic does not fossilize on nostalgia, and rather uses video game classics to experiment, innovate, explore. I had screamed at the masterpiece two years ago, on Xbox 360, and I'm happy to be able to do it again, on PS Vita, PS4 and PS3.

The idea behind the adventure of the friendly Gomez is very simple: the world we see is in two dimensions, but there is a third, a mysterious Z direction that the creatures of the world cannot even imagine. A bit like the Flatlandia square, our hero encounters an inconceivable entity, an hexahedron, which reveals the existence of a phantom 3D and assigns him the task of saving the world from a cosmic collapse. From these premises a platform / puzzle / adventure is born, all centered on a very particular mechanics, rotation. To save some digital ink and not get tangled up in spurious explanations, I invite you to look at figure A.

(figure A)

The world we see is 2D, but it is actually the projection of a 3D landscape, the result "crushed on the screen" of a reality made of cubes and not squares. When we turn it, Gomez remains in the same position, but the world rotates, changing the point of view and revealing platforms, doors and chests. On paper it is brainy, but in practice ten seconds are enough, both to understand and to be amazed by the beauty of the effect. This mechanic, in the expert hands of Phil Fish, creates an intelligent platformer, with ingenious puzzles that often and willingly break the fourth wall, violating the conventions of modern games and asking for a healthy dose of lateral thinking to those who hold the controller in their hands .

Fun fact: I broke up so much with Fez that a friend gave me a Fez. In the real world.

The greatest achievement of Fez, however, is linked in double thread to the genius of its creator, to that spark of madness mentioned above. To describe it, I have to do a little spoiler, so if you want to keep yourself free, go directly to the next paragraph. Done? I go? OK. From the outset, you can see how the game world is full of symbols on the wall, written in an incomprehensible alphabet. In my twenty-first century innocence as a player, I expected them to be a simple decoration, a note of color. But no. After a couple of hours of play I realize that they have a meaning, a relevance for the adventure and the plot. Once again, in my innocence, I expected to find a magical object, something that said to me: "Congratulations! You got grandma's glasses! Now you can read all those written in an intelligible format! " It would be normal, wouldn't it? Here, however, the key to understanding those symbols, some of which are actually used to continue the story, is hidden in small details of the game world. Walls to look at from different perspectives, blackboards, cubes ... The moment I deciphered the very first part of this puzzle I understood that Fez was serious, that he was crazier than I had imagined, and that everything I had seen and believed it had to be looked at with different eyes, with an almost scientific spirit. The thrill of being in such a coherent world, the result of such a particular fantasy, is and remains one of the revelations of the latest generation of gaming. This is the reason why Fez, beyond controversy and chatter, is a classic of the future, a gem, a masterpiece in the fullest sense of the word.

Graphics are much more than just a repechage of pixels. There is art.

These wonders are perfectly found at home PlayStation, both on home consoles, where it is easier to enjoy the fantastic soundtrack of Disasterpiece, and on PS Vita, thanks to which the obsession of puzzles can also follow you on the subway, with the increasingly indispensable cross-save (the real flagship of the Sony ecosystem, in my opinion). If you've never played Fez, this is the time to do it. Forget the chatter from Beautiful that surrounded its eccentric creator, and if you are part of the detractors of Phil Fish and his poor diplomatic skills make an abstraction effort. If you go to Cracco to eat, you don't do it because he is a nice and affable man: you do it because he is a great cook and because his style in the kitchen is special. The same goes for Fez: Phil Fish is a particular character, but the beauty of his work deserves three stars on the 2014 Michelin / Kenobit guide.