After finishing the Spirit of the North campaign we are ready to take stock, listing what we liked and what, instead, made us turn up our noses, in our review
Video game development is by no means an easy job. There are now galore indie studies and it happens very often that the latter are incorporated by very large studies, already established in the videogame sector. The title at the center of this review is built on commitment and the desire to get involved. Spirit of the North was created by Infuse Studio, an independent reality formed by two developers 3D and a music composer. Could such a small group be able to convince us with his work or not? You just have to find out through our review.
In Spirit of the North, there are no clearly narrated dialogues or plots, just a journey where our protagonist is at the center: a fox. Our adventure begins in a cold snowy terrain, from which our fox will seek shelter in a cave. Here we will meet another fox, this time female (as opposed to the protagonist) and very different from what we would expect. The incorporeal creature, in fact, represents him Spirit of the North and therefore enjoys very special powers.
Following the spirit we will soon understand that despite the absence of lines of text or narration whatsoever, the plot is present. In a world ravaged by a very powerful type of spores, we will be called to find the source of evil for later save the whole territory struck and to put in peace the spirits of the ancient inhabitants, now far from earthly life.
Although the premises may seem sensationally simple, the way in which the events that led to the ruin of the population are made present to the player makes it all more interesting and engaging. The title is divided into chapters, 8 to be precise, and become more and more interesting.
Too easy? - Review Spirit of the North
Spirit of the North is to all intents and purposes a platformer, complete with "puzzles" and jumps to be performed to the millimeter, but it does not stand out for such mechanics. After a fairly preliminary point in the campaign, our fox will take on its own spiritual form. This special form will be embodied by our protagonist every time we interact with special blue colored flowers: what is good is left in the magnificent landscapes engulfed by nature and by the corruption of spores.
The version halfway between earthly and spiritual will allow us to assume certain powers. First of all it will be of vital importance since thanks to it we will be able to interact with the various ones rune present in the different scenarios, in order to continue and solve the puzzles. The latter are really simple, very guided and often the only difficulty is finding these runes in the larger map sections.
In addition to being able to interact with engraved rocks, we will learn how to perform one later quick shot, to eliminate malignant spores that infest the environments and to to be able to impersonate the otherworldly form for a certain period of time: other mechanics aimed at the success of simple environmental puzzles.
Armonia e caos – Review Spirit of the North
The real focus of Spirit of the North are the environments in which it expands. We will leave (as we have already said at the beginning) in a snowy territory, with glaciers and cold streams, until we reach green expanses, typical of the Icelandic territory. The air of apocalypse that you breathe in this journey is not dictated by human nature, but natural, which has however upset the balance that was originally present.
There are two in the title secondary activities. The first is to find "scepters" to be placed on the bodies of the lifeless former inhabitants, in order to redeem their spirits from evil, while the other activity consists in interacting with large engravings, so as to be able to discover of more on the origin of the events. All this can be found quite easily by exploring the various settings and, therefore, does not absolutely raise the difficulty of the title.
The trophies of Spirit of the North are, in fact, pursuable in a very simple way and Platinum is gracefully obtainable.
Comparto tecnico – Review Spirit of the North
The characterization of the various scenarios has a really interesting and harmonious glance. The developers seem to have paid particular attention to the coordination of everything and this is also perceived through the music used. With a change of environment, the atmosphere also changes thanks to the changing melodies. This involves, in addition to greater immersion, a variation in the player's mood which, in our case, made us become more attached to the events of the fox.
Such a poorly staffed studio, However, obviously cannot cover every mistake and this is noticeable several times. Often and gladly we will find ourselves missing a rock because of poorly sized hitbox. Numerous fox animations are too cumbersome and (sometimes) spoil the mood. Although overall the settings are very beautiful to look at, analyzing them in detail you can see several uncertainties and sometimes the title (especially in the final stages) tends to snap ... perhaps the fault of our smooth PS4 or an optimization not so successful.
Despite these problems and some bugs, the game manages to tell a really interesting story and we decided not to base our final vote on the many uncertainties present. Obviously, however, that the latter was negatively influenced, but let's sum it up!
To conclude ...
Spirit of the North is part of that kind of adventure that should be enjoyed to relax, without too many fuss, perhaps after a particularly stressful day. Through the events of the fox, the guys from Infuse Studio made us perceive their passion and dedication despite the only two members who actually worked on it. The title unfortunately suffers from numerous problems, but it must be played taking into account the staff behind it. This experience which lasts about 4 hours (in our case) deserves to be deepened by the proponents of the genre without a shadow of a doubt.7.3 A beautiful adventure
Points in favor
- The general atmosphere
- The music
- The picturesque environments
- Easy to platinum
- Really simple platform steps
- Several uncertainties on the graphics and optimization side
- Many hitboxes are badly sized
- Cumbersome animations