For anyone unaware, Fe is an indie title recently released from EA Originals, and developed by the Swedish studio, Zoink. EA Originals is program that’s supposed to bring unique and memorable game experiences from the best indie studios.
In Fe, you play as what I can only describe as a otherworldly fox, which sings its way through the forest. Foreign creatures (monsters or whatever you want to call them) appear to be taking over the land. They capture innocent animals and send them through a portal to an unknown location. In the beginning, the entire story is a mystery, which isn’t only unlocked through cutscenes, but through a couple of collectables throughout the game.
The only element of the story that was quite an annoyance was the anti-climatic ending, which seemed to be rather cliche to me.
Surprisingly, Fe has well-rounded platformer mechanics. If you are relatively decent at this type of game, it’s extremely easy to get a hang of the controls and zip around the forest. Although there is no double jump (like many other platformers), there are plenty of ways to traverse each area. Among them is a glide mechanic, which definitely assists you while maneuvering around. The skill to climb trees is just as important as the glide, both work in tandem and greatly complement each other. You can also adjust you camera when making a long or complicated jump, so you’re less likely to miss your target.
Singing is rather interesting, as your bottom right trigger allows for how strong your vocals will be. Lightly pressing down on the trigger gives you a completely different sound then when you go full throttle. There are many types of forest creatures and objects you can interact with, simply by singing to each ones specific tune.
There is no actual combat, but there are enemies and they can catch you. To avoid being set back to a prior position, your best bet is the hide in taller grass so you don’t draw attention and sneak by. If an enemy does spot you, it will attempt to encase you in some black muck. It’s possible to escape the spitting gaze by running to the nearest tall grass.
Skills and Abilities
To unlock skills in Fe, you must collect these purple crystals that are located around the entire map. The first skill you will receive allows you to climb trees. As mentioned above, it’s a rather important skill. There is one skill you can only acquire by finding another fox creature and learn from it, but the majority of them are learned when acquiring crystals.
Abilities in Fe are cinched in with the different types of songs you can play. Each song is taught to you by other creatures that habitat the forest, after you help them accomplish one goal or another. There are a total of 6 songs you can obtain, each giving you another ability to use to get to items and move through the map easier.
When first starting Fe, I was transfixed by the crazy colors of the opening area. However, after playing for several hours it felt muddied up with each sections colors blending together. There also seems to be a constant fog that’s rolling through every environment.
When looking at objects that are not the sky, the art style is rather appealing, and every object/creature seems to have defined lines. It makes for a nice crisp looking forest.
There’s also no way to adjust your brightness, because the game doesn’t offer it. Also, Fe is supposed to run at 30 FPS, but even on a PS4 Pro it has frame drop when coming into areas with a lot of water and “fog”.
Fe’s map is probably the most frustrating map I’ve had to deal with in a long time. There are 9 different sections to the map, which you can only view by opening the World Map. The problem is you can’t zoom in to see exactly where you want to go next. Same goes for the Open World Map, which you can’t move at all to see the entire section you are in. It’s rather odd this would be part of a game that has such a vast space to roam through.
Fe has a rather interesting experience to offer, and is similar to other platformers (like Journey and Unravel), but does still have an appeal. It’s got a rather mysterious story, with great platform mechanics. It also becomes extremely fun to play once beating the story, allow you to travel the map to your hearts content without enemies in your way. Although you can finish the story in a little over four hours, it stills has plenty to offer for it’s $20 price tag.