Review – Greak: Memories of Azur
Greak: Memories of Azur is a brand-new side-scrolling platform adventure and the debut title from developers Navegante Entertainment. The game takes the players on a 6-to-8-hour adventure as they take on the role of three siblings whose aim is defeating those who have invaded Azur in hopes of escape through the construction of an airship.
The game is set in Azur, a world inhabited by a magical race known as the ‘Courine’ and players start out as one of the Courines known as Greak. Greak is the youngest of his family and his adventures take players on a journey in search of his 2 older siblings in Raydel (brother) and Adara (sister) who’s unique skill sets work together to tackle the more difficult challenges that lay ahead.
From the opening, the beauty of the world of Azur was present, showcasing the hand drawn art style and bringing an introduction reminiscent of Ori and the Blind Forrest with a dull run-down world, flowing text progression as the player moves and a feeling that all is lost. Once the introduction is complete, the player finds themselves in a little run down town whose inhabitants are preparing for the pending battles against the Urlags who have invaded their lands. This town will become central to a lot of the events in Greak: Memories of Azur. This is where the true adventure begins as the player sets off from the town in search of their siblings, with little assistance to guide them on their journey outside a few basic tutorials (jump, climb, attack) and side quests that players will want to remember to collect from townsfolk. Some of these side quests offer rewards in the form of new attack techniques and it is best to complete and turn in as soon as you can. With this being a puzzle game, the expectation is on the player to work out what to do and how to do it, but I personally would have loved to have seen a slightly more detailed map to assist in these adventures, as I regularly found myself running around in circles. A map similar to the Ori games would have done wonders.
The exploration is fun with one character, but one thing that sets this game apart from many others is the unique style of play when there is more than one character on screen. While this is a fun, and sometimes interesting experience, it does bring with it a few challenges and the player really needs to control and pay attention to all characters. On character control, the player has a few specific control options available when utilising more than one character. They are:
- D-Pad – a different direction on the D-Pad selects a different character to control
- LT tomove them as a group
- RT to callall characters within close proximity to the controlled character
While unique, this can get frustrating at times as the non-player controller characters come with a few issues including not moving to avoid incoming attacks and some group movement activities like jumping and vertical traversal. The later taking some practice on the players part, the other is something that would be great to see implemented within the game. This regularly saw myself resort to individual actions, or leaving characters behind instead of utilising the joys of joint movement mechanics. The positive being that the AI do attack enemies, but this does cause issues during boss fights as the AI characters will stand there and take a beating as well, and with only 4 health points, it can lead to an abrupt end. Especially as one characters death brings an immediate end to the game with no opportunity for revives. Luckily, there are many save points scattered throughout the world and as long as the player has saved then a respawn isn’t too far away.
Throughout the adventures in the world of Azur the player will encounter a number of different normal and boss level enemies and the control scheme to slaying them is pretty straight forward. Each character has a main attack and an aimed attack for example, a crossbow used by Greak, which is utilised to take down the creatures that have invaded Azur. While the controls are straight forward, some of the aiming of the attacks felt a bit cumbersome, especially when it comes to the basic sword attacks of Greak, and the need for an early upgrade for Greak’s attacks is there and important.
As with other games of the genre, this game is single player only and doesn’t bring any online or couch co-op with it to enjoy with friends and the need to have one player control all three characters could also have something to do with that. The overall design of the game is family friendly, and the puzzles won’t present as too much of a challenge for anyone that can think logically through a problem. It will be the control of the three characters at once that may challenge the younger audiences.
Xbox Gamer Dad for One More Game
7 – Good – This is an all-round solid game that delivers some features really well. It’s a game that most gamers will likely enjoy. If you’re not a fan of the game or genre then you may want to wait for a deal before picking it up.
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Greak: Memories of Azur was reviewed on an Xbox Series X. It is also available on Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 5.
The publisher kindly provided code for this game. All thoughts on this game are ours and ours alone.