Meditative and beautiful – but where is the challenge?
When a soul remains on earth, it becomes a so-called Lost Ember. We get the opportunity to through our host animal, which is one wolf, bring such a soul back to its proper place. During the journey, we find out more and more about who we were and why it went as it went.
Lost Ember is a very different game from many others I have played. That this would be a more meditative and calming game I realized from the beginning, when this screen was shown.
There is thus an opportunity to completely turn off the comments and only rely on the visual that tells an exciting story about who we have been. I kept the voice and I think it added a dimension to have a narrator’s voice that takes us through the landscape and history.
We control our wolf over a giant map of beautiful nature. If you want to be a little picky, the graphics are quite angular, but that’s something I quickly forget when I start to get into the story. To reach certain places, however, we can no longer be a wolf, but then we can take over the form from other animals that are nearby. Being able to fly over the landscape, free as a bird, is really extremely meditative.
But Lost Ember lacks a basic – and important – detail that is present in all games: it basically lacks any challenge. There was never a time when it felt like it was difficult to figure out how to reach the next part of my story. If you run and fall down a precipice, the game reloads and you stand on the edge again, and you have to find a bird to fly over or maybe walk around. There will be no punishment, no trouble. In this way, the game resembles another, beloved and meditative adventure – Journey.
Lost Ember has extremely large tracks and, when it is now released for Nintendo’s hybrid console, I experienced some charging breaks when I played it in portable mode on the Nintendo Switch. In docked mode it went better, but it was still tough and dropped frames here and there.
In summary, that is Lost Ember a very relaxing game, with nice music and sound effects that really gives an immersive experience. Without any real challenge and with some technical limitations on the Switch, the grade is approved with praise, but without really reaching a clear recommendation.
Footnote: When Lost Ember is released today on Switch, there is a Day 1 patch that will fix “technical problems”. We will update the review if it turns out to solve the problems above.