Thursday, 25 August 2016

Odin Sphere Leifthrasir

There are many types of visually magnificent games available on any system, usually stemming from an excellent collaboration between the art team and those who work on the game's engine. When technical and art come together perfectly it’s sometimes enough to get your attention and even play it. I say this because Odin Sphere Leifthrasir is possibly the most beautiful game you will see on any system this year, but it’s not what you might think when you hear “best looking game”.

Developed by Vanillaware and out now on PlayStation 4, Odin Sphere is a painting in motion with colours dancing round the screen and detail found in the greatest paintings. What might be surprising is that this is a game that originally released on PlayStation 2 and it proves that some art styles are timeless. The 1080p resolution and silky 60fps makes every frame a work of art and every movement a dream.

If that wasn’t good enough, the gameplay is like a hyperactive kid who decided to down a can of Monster of energy drink while it’s parents weren’t looking and is now vibrating. Odin Sphere Leifthrasir looks frantic but it’s simplistic enough gameplay means you are the one pulling off magnificent displays of swooshing colours and effects all across the screen, eliminating multiple enemies at a time. You move around any combat scenario at a blistering pace but you never lose your place or momentum. It’s simply poetry in motion.

To keep the combat moving flawlessly I was expecting not much depth but Odin Sphere is incredibly deep and well-realised. There are plenty of areas on the map that offer loot to upgrade equipment which is essential when the game starts throwing incredibly tough enemies your way. You have a great selection of abilities which can be mapped to a series of directions and buttons. These can be improved by earning Photons in battle while brand new abilities can be obtained by exploring the map and finding Photon Prisms. There is a surprisingly deep and customisable gameplay experience to be found in Odin Sphere Leifthrasir.

This isn’t a very short experience either. This is a full-fledged Role Playing Game that has a deep story that will last around forty hours and the dialogue itself is decent enough and has enough enjoyable moments to never feel like it gets in the way and actually enhances the overall experience which is a nice surprise given just how impressive the actual game is to play. I was always looking forward to getting back into the action but never felt frustrated that I had to wait sometimes.

There are very few games that you could claim look like perfection but this is one of them. One of the most visually arresting games I have ever witnessed that’s also backed up with deep RPG elements and a decent story. There’s honestly very little I can find a fault with. I don't know, the frame rate dipped slightly a couple of times but only lasted seconds and was barely noticeable. That's the only negative I could find.

A masterpiece in so many ways 5/5


Jason Redmond

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