Oure was Paris Games Week surprise PS4 fantasy game. Developed by Heavy Spectrum, the footage showcased in Paris intrigued and the announcement that the game would be released only a few hours later was a marketing masterstroke.
Oure’s story unfolds in a world ravaged by dusk and devoid of hope. A young girl who dreams of soaring above the clouds and gliding alongside mighty titans (ancient sky creatures tasked with keeping peace over the world below) is mysteriously gifted with the power to transform into a flying dragon and tasked with trying to bring an end to this time of darkness.
Oure’s format and design style is similar to that of other indie games such as Journey, ABZÛ and RiME. The story unfolds in a wordless, emotional manner rather than being directed by constant dialogue. The world is also completely open to exploration. I couldn’t help but draw comparisons to Aer: Memories of Old as I floated freely above the clouds with little direction.
Visually the game is stunning. Set high in the sky, the environment is suitably blurred to give the effect of frolicking amongst realistic wispy clouds. As the game progresses, the day transitions, showcasing both the orange hues of morning and the deep blue tones of a clear night sky. The soundtrack is mellow and relaxing and carries the adventurous tone of the game with it. Unfortunately, the score fails to be powerful enough to leave a significant impact and often just fades into the background.
After a quick tutorial the game begins and you’re left to your own devices. There’s no timer to achieve tasks so it’s easy to spend the opening part of the game getting to grips with the controls and collecting the hundreds of blue orbs that are littered over the surface of the clouds. With over seven-hundred of these orbs to collect the task can seem off-putting, but thankfully you’ll only need a handful of these mysterious spheres to unlock gates, pillars and modifications, leaving the reminder of the orbs optional for trophy hunters.
Oure’s story is a little repetitive as powering up beacons to call Titans is at the heart of every sequence. Each encounter with these behemoths is essentially a non-violent boss fight in the sky. Each of the eight titans will present you with a new challenge as you navigate laser beams and try to match sudden bursts of speed to reach the puzzle crystals protruding from the titan’s backs. Unfortunately, the game suffers here as after your encounter with the first titan everything undergoes a huge difficulty spike in terms of either keeping up with these ginormous stone guardians, or trying to find the correct pattern when it comes to breaking off the crystals. Instead of a relaxing experience, I found Oure’s boss battles to either be boringly simplistic or frustratingly difficult; there was no middle ground.
However, it is the controls that are the most testing part of the game. Controlling the dragon requires using at least four buttons on the dual shock four and your extremely limited stamina during flight makes for an irritating ride. This flaw is particularly apparent during the interactions with the titans as simply maintaining the same speed as them is a chore which can easily lead to irritation.
As for the story, it’s quite limited. It cycles tediously between collecting orbs and returning the titans to their original state. Oure embraces its childlike perspective but, unfortunately, this doesn’t pay off in any meaningful way and what we’re left with is a repetitive drone of a fantasy game.
A peaceful soundtrack and a visually pleasing background all allude to a relaxing game experience. However, confusing controls and frustrating interactions with the Titans means that Oure never quite takes flight.