Ode - Analysis

Author: Jose A. Rodríguez
Date: 2020-07-31 00:30:24
Ubisoft brings us Ode. A strange audiovisual experiment for PC that we cannot classify as a game. In fact, this is one of those products that make us seriously consider where the limit is between what we understand by "game" and a "walk simulator", although the latter must be qualified: here we are not going to walk through forests and empty houses flaunting how deep we are. Here we will wander through dreamlike environments in which music gradually appears, as we play some elements.

This time we are not going to start talking about plot, and there really is not. It all starts with heartfelt phrases that appear just after a brief visual explanation: with the arrow keys W, A, S and D we move, with the mouse we turn around the protagonist ... which by the way, is a kind of Star tucked inside a transparting ball that runs and bounces like a Monkey Ball , only here we can control it well. With the right button of it, we launch. With the other, we attract. And is that one of our functions in this "experience" is to start up some spheres- fragments of the environment that come to follow us and to follow our order to disperse or to meet.

This little "cute" star falls from the sky and begins to run around, colliding with plants typical of an extraterrestrial world that react to its contact , throwing lights and making the environment revive, while each of the elements with which it has friction begins to emit a series of musical notes that, together, cause a strangely relaxing and at the same time bearable melody. Everything is dressed in color, and sometimes there are simple puzzles in which we activate some plants and / or substances.

We began to move freely through open spaces and caves that seem typical of a platform title, but here the skill is quite secondary.

The purpose of the game is only to experiment , collide with things, see how they react, listen to their sounds and create a kind of musical work based on wandering, because each touch is equivalent to a new sound emission. Without fixed rhythm, recreating ourselves. No hurry. It is a visual show (quite bizarre at times), and also a performance on a musical level. Everything to acclimate us and give us a deep feeling of satisfaction and joy that comes into the eyes and ears of the player. And all this with no other purpose than to delight us.

We can retrace our steps at times, roll at high speed, bounce and notice how gravity is not ours. We are in an impossible place, with links that cannot be. There are areas to hang from, others to jump on, dangerous walkways from which, if we fall ... absolutely nothing happens. Just go back. There is no "life" bar, there are no "checkspoints", they are not necessary . We must think that we are in a ball pit and we are going to run around everywhere, having fun.

All this makes the game last ... whatever we want. In the absence of a fixed argument, our journey can be as fast, slow or repetitive as we want . There is also no limit to the objects on the stage, and of course, there is no what we can understand as "enemies". There are objects to experiment with. In fact, given the set that we tell you, we assure you that it would not hurt to use it for a while before sleeping. There is no difficulty, it is a " tour " for our senses . Or maybe the fantasy of someone who has ingested ... let's leave it in "something in a bad state".

Graphically we are facing a work of good taste. A colorful game, with nice and rounded shapes, which renounces all realism in favor of a feeling of fullness and of being in a safe place, a familiar place, a safe environment to run around. A kind of "playground". Muted colors abound until we pass over objects, when they will turn shrill and shrill. Everything is covered in exceptional plasticity. It is a game that could very well have appeared 4 years ago without looking very different ... and I would not need it either. In fact, we are facing the most "indie" that we could think of. Worthy of an alternative band-level video clip in which we are the singer and we don't even know the name of the bassist.

In the musical section ... we are going to take off our hats, with your permission. For the record, the title does not have a series of "great songs" for the ear, in fact it is quite prudent musically speaking. Instead, it "builds" a symphony based on soft, harmonic sounds that "hug" each other to create an unforgettable atmosphere. Quite a success to make a musical game such an experience.