[PS4 Review] Toren
A good game that could have been great7.5
You are the Moon Child born in Toren. You must to climb to the top to find your purpose and freedom. Are you up for the many challenges?
Experience the mysterious, timeless world of Toren, the first adventure game from Brazilian indie developer Swordtales. You are Moonchild, destined to climb the tower (known as Toren) on a hauntingly solitary journey to find your purpose. You must solve puzzles and face monsters as you struggle to climb to the top of this beautiful, yet treacherous environment, driven by the will to find your freedom.
This is the first adventure game from Brazilian indie developer Swordtales. Already recognized for its beautiful and unique art with several awards, the game has the backing of Brazil’s Ministry of Culture. As your journey unfolds you will discover scrolls of poetry, which reveal the story and true origins behind Toren. As the story progresses your character will age from a mere infant to grown woman creating new mechanics and challenges for each learning experience and phase of her life.
Toren – Trailer | PS4/strong>
Welcome to the world of Toren, where you play as the moon child, destined to climb the tower and solve its puzzles to gain your freedom. The game is a 3-D hack n slash puzzle/platformer. It’s a lot to throw in all at once. When playing it, I thought back to similar games I had played before like ICO, Shadow of the Colossus (one of my favorite all-time games) and even to a point Journey. Unfortunately even though it shows some resemblance to these titles, some issues hold the game back from being great.
The game starts you off as a child, and you have you learn to control tour motions as a small baby getting to know how to navigate around. You are then suddenly transformed into an older girl who receives a sword and begins traveling up the tower. This is your rough introduction into the world, and it’s not a lot to go on.
The first striking thing about the game is the art style. It’s different than what’s out there, yet it reminded me of something. It looks like an HD stylized PS2 game. Don’t take that the wrong way since the game is blocky by design and the texture work is excellent. It’s definitely a unique art style that makes the game feel artsy, which I loved. However, it’s the floating camera that is the issue. As you navigate the world, you are consistently experiencing things from one viewpoint with the camera looking at you. You can use your right stick to move the angle the camera slightly to the left or right, but it really doesn’t do much to improve your viewing angle.
The controls are another sticking point, which could break people’s appreciation for the game. It just doesn’t control perfectly, and you must practice to be able to control things right. I found jumping to not be as accurate as needed, and I often fell to my doom and had to start over. Swinging your weapons did not feel good, and it was a bit sluggish that lead to my death. For the type of game this is, controls need to be more precise and accurate.
One of the great things about the game I found was the actual story & lore within the game. This was a world that I definitely wanted to explore. It was unique, mysterious, and dangerous. You don’t get a lot of in the beginning, but as you start to play more lore fills in the gaps, giving you a complete picture of the story. These are what remind me of some of those great titles that I mention earlier. It’s really difficult to establish a unique world filled with things you want to explore, but Toren nailed it.
There are 12 trophies and throughout the course of the game you will unlock most of them naturally. It’s not hard to 100% the game if you play it until the end. Even if you miss a trophy or two, you can use the chapter select to go back and clean up the trophies you don’t have.
Toren as a game is a very divisive one. I really wanted to like it because I do feel there are some strong positives mainly the world building, which could make this game really awesome. There are some technical issues holding it back though, including the controls and the camera. These really do make it seem likes it’s stuck in the PS2 era, which I think was the main inspiration for the game. It’s worth a play to see what the game and world are about.
This review is based on a copy of Toren provided by Versus Evil.
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