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Review | Arise: A Simple Story

"A simple story. That’s it. They said it, they’ve done it. If you are a fan of games like Rime, Shadow of the Colossus or something in that area, Arise is worth your time."

by Foggy, 23-12-2019, Edited by: Jim Tepedino

While I was in a short-game spree, Arise had to be played. It’s one of those art games where you enjoy the peaceful and sorrowful music, while admiring the view as you venture through the story. Usually, it’s hard for me to enjoy those games as much as I do the “big” ones, but here and there something worth your time arises. Simple story, as they titled it, is just that dose of energy you need.

The main hub, a beautiful mountain which will make you not want to leave.

First of all, it’s developed by Techland. You know those guys that did Dying Lights? Yep, they are to blame. But not blame in a bad sense. When they don’t load zombies and shoot them at as, they create flowers and dandies. And all for our pleasure.

Just look how pretty.

This little sweet candy is an adventure through the changing landscapes of memories lush with feelings of love and loss. Every moment of this rollercoaster ride is a new challenge and a chance to see your life in a different light. Or so the description says. It’s a journey where you will beat those memories and finally be free. Everything you see is after the moment of no return.

Each level is a surreal representation of meaningful moments in your character’s life that explores falling in love or mourning the loss of a loved one.

And we just miss the double jump now. Give it back.

When it comes to gameplay, it’s really a typical adventure where you need to reach certain areas by using what game offers while trying not to die. Be prepared for 10 different levels, all unique and pretty. The best thing about this game is that you can rewind time, but in both directions.

So, how does that work? Simple, it’s a simple story after all. Each level is presented in different season. For example, the first level is a mix between the spring and the winter, where you control them with your right analog stick. Rewind to the winter, the snow will cover the area and create different paths. Fast forward to the spring - water levels rise and create yet different path.

Poor oldy, flying at this age.

There you go, that is the main attribute of this game. Fun is what you will encounter and your brain is what you will use. There are many mechanics created, which are given to you to use, so that you can reach that finale. You can also stop time just in the right moment when a boulder hits the ledge, jump on it, rewind and voila! You are progressing. Apart from that, don’t expect much variety. It’s all in all very basic.

Sometimes, I just don't see his eyes. You look through the forehead.

Expect roughly 5-8 hours of gameplay, if you aim to maybe collect a platinum trophy here. If not, you can do it even under that lower number. Short but sweet.

The music is great, the feeling it presents just hits the spot. It is a bit depressing, but hey, you cannot play Irish drinking music while mourning and going through loss. Well, you can, but probably not here.

Expect romantic rides. Love them.

Don’t expect a story which will blow you away. Nothing of the sort.

When we say collectibles and side content, there are memories, rather sketches of them that you will collect and collect more depression. Some can be tricky to find, they really used good spots on some levels. Always think of the ways that you can reach opposite directions if certain time flow allows it. I was repeating some levels to collect what I’d missed and boy it was a pain in the ass to find them.

Colorful indeed. And that's not a bad thing.

Unfortunately, no good rewards will come your way if you collect them all. Shame, it would be good if they added some bonus levels or some fun side content. Maybe even a weapon. Ol’ grandpa would be a real badass with a sword. I like to cut things instead of running away from them.

Nevertheless, the amount if fun is just enough. Mostly you will admire the landscapes and tiny mechanics packed well into the experience. Jumping on flowers is always fun, right?

Drag that cunt closer. Yes, that's it.

When I think about Conrete Genie and compare these two titles in a sense, I really see Arise as the champion. Maybe it’s because of the development studio, but hearing all the praise and awe that Genies got, I can just say that the job was done better in all segments.

Man deserved it. Out of respect, I went for a lunch to give him more rest.

I’m keeping this review simple. Get this game and enjoy it. I really liked it, it gave me peace and energy to lose my mind with The Surge 2.

If you like the genre, you like art games, Rime, Colossus, Ico and the like – Arise, A Simple Grandpa will show you the way. Oh right, don’t jump from high ledges, you will not survive. If you do, you will witness our hero holding onto his back. So, be very gentle. The hero is old.

So much to love and admire.

"Nothing spectacular, just decent and pretty. Still, a better love story than Twilight."
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