It may be spring, but the chill of winter can still be felt in the air for most people, but for the subject of this review, winter has just begun in winter ember, an isometric stealth sandbox action game taking players to the city of Anargal where they can hide in the shadows as a former Nobel-turned-vigilante. Many thanks to Blowfish and Skymachine Studios for making this review possible!
In winter ember you play as Arthur, a Nobel playboy turned hooded vigilante after going into hiding, leaving others to assume you suffered the same fate as your family after your mansion was destroyed. Arthur returns to the town he once called home to seek revenge and uncover a growing conspiracy involving cults, street gangs, and other evil enemies.
Now onto the game itself. There are just a few issues with the game which I will address first before getting into what I like about the game. grinds his teeth. The game’s frame rate is low, making for jerky camera movements as well as animation of movements made by characters and NPCs. The game’s combat is tough because there’s a parry move you can do but I can never get to work even after pressing the button when I’m supposed to, which leads to my final issue with the game being that the controls seem to be unresponsive when you need them.
The art of winter ember is intriguing with the world looking like a mix of Victorian and medieval periods. The city of Anargal is mostly open, but as your skills increase you can find your way around the city more easily and find hidden paths to take to avoid enemies. The game’s soundtrack matches the tone of the game although it could use some variety as it’s sometimes obvious that some songs are quite short and looping. The game is fully voiced which is good, but the NPC dialogue could be improved as I can only stand hearing them say “Bloody Freezing!” so many times in three different voices.
Overall gameplay is OK. I attribute much of my experience to frame rate and control issues, as I felt this issue affected my progress and made the game quickly boring. I’ll be honest and say that I don’t know if the issues I mentioned will be fixed on day one of launch, which I hope because I feel this game has potential, but it’s hard to enjoy. a game when some mechanics seem to be buggy.
Art and history being one of the few good things to do, winter ember is a 7/10 from me because the unresponsive controls, frame rate issue, and audio sync issues don’t lurk in the shadows like they should.
winter ember will come out of the shadows on April 19 on PlayStation 4 and 5, Xbox One and Series X/S and PC (STEAM and GOG).