Oure review for PS4, PC

Platform: PS4
Also On: PC
Publisher: Heavy Spectrum
Developer: Heavy Spectrum
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No

It’s not hard to tell what games Oure’s creators are trying to invoke. Take something artsy, like Journey or Rime, add in a dose of Shadow of the Colossus, and you’ve got a pretty good idea of what they’re going for.

What they’re going for and what they achieve, unfortunately, are two different things. You’ll spend the bulk of your time with Oure flying around as a dragon, either collecting orbs that serve too much of a purpose (you use them to unlock certain things, but at no point does it feel like anything other than mindless collecting) or solving environmental puzzles that consist entirely of flying near landmarks. Neither is particularly challenging, and the sheer repetition of it gets old pretty quickly.

Things aren’t helped by the fact that it often feels like Oure is working against you. The camera is stiff and unresponsive, and prone to the most unhelpful angles imaginable. Likewise, the controls will become a chore really quickly when you realize your dragon doesn’t fly so much as she glides — and not even particularly well, since the moment you let up on the controls, she immediately sinks like a stone. Given that there are a great many spots where you need to fly upwards, you can imagine how much of a chore this soon becomes.

The good news, if there is any, is that the Shadow of the Colossus aspect of the game isn’t too bad. The boss fights — though perhaps boss ?puzzles” would be the more accurate term — consist of your character soaring through the air on top of a giant titan, periodically latching onto weak points and solving fairly simple puzzles. If ever there’s a point during which Oure achieves the epic feeling that it tries so hard to cultivate throughout, it’s during these titan spots.

Unsurprisingly, though, the problems that exist throughout the rest of the game exist here, too. The camera angles become even more of a pain, particularly when you’re trying to weave your way around small obstacles on the backs of a titan — it’s awfully difficult to situate yourself, let alone latch onto a weak spot at just the right moment, when the camera remains stuck behind walls and resolutely refuses to move. Similarly, if flying is a chore elsewhere in the game, it’s downright painful here, especially when you have to try and weave your way around those aforementioned walls while timing it so that you aren’t flung into the air and forced to play catch-up when the titan speeds up. And, of course, the repetition problem exists here, too — it may be cool to be soaring atop a titan the first couple of times, but it still finds a way to get old fast.

To some extent, Oure reminds me a lot of AER, another flight-heavy that seems like a bit of a wasted opportunity. In fact, they almost feel like two halves of a really great game: where AER was great at the flying bits but not so great at giving you something interesting to do, Oure sucks at the flying bits but has something moderately compelling to look forward to with its titan sections. Unfortunately, for now the two games remain separate, doomed to be incomplete without the other present to fill in its weak spots. Until the day when Heavy Spectrum and Daedalic Entertainment get together and make a really great flying game with a purpose, then, you’re stuck with what’s on offer here — and right now, that’s not enough to make Oure worth your time.

Heavy Spectrum provided us with an Oure PS4 code for review purposes.

Grade: C-