In an industry where large productions tend to reduce risks and propose IP, the existence of indie is the most valued and varied innovation channel, to which large distribution companies are beginning to provide support in recent years directed just to be able to offer unique experiences to their players.
The Artful Escape of Francis Vendetti is part of the ID @ Xbox program, which collects a unique Xbox One indie games park where Redmond’s home is relying on a driving role, with no Triple A ads outside Forza Motorsport 7 .
If the indies are the innovative video game, the uncertainty of their outcome is likely to move the webbing needle from “winning” to “forgetting” very quickly and we wanted to try them out of hand to get an idea of how much these securities can keep the promises made to this E3.
Art in the center of the world
Catapulting into a dream world, our character, a musician in the soul, begins to move the first steps while the game explains the mechanics. The first minutes continue between jumps, double jumps and guitar riffs that allow us to plan between a rock and the other with horizontal slides, interwoven by some multiple-choice conversations that convey the real sense of this “artistic getaway”.
The spirit that appears to Francis seems to have the task of guiding him on this journey of interior maturation during which the protagonist has to understand what he wants to become, what is his idea of artist and how much he is willing to push further to realize it.
The first encounter with an “alien” being like a mega spider with five eyes introduces us to the deeper mechanics of gameplay: with a quick scroll of the right analogue Francis can make his guitar appear and start mini rythm games where the dorsal and three of the four buttons on the right of the controller become known to be played in the order that comes out of the mega spider.
To succeed in the company starts another swap exchange that puts Francis back in the face of an introspection that confirms the style of the game: the “Artful Escape” of the title is precisely this metaphorical, dreamlike journey into a world that is probably the Francis himself, or anyway, the projection of his artistic discomfort, which manifests itself in his help to bring him to the maturation that will make him the artist he wants to become.
Multiple responses are welcomed each with different responses from the guide spirit and the spider we encountered, with reproach or approval depending on the artistic depth of our response, allowing us to imagine a truly guided path for which we still do not know if these can lead to roads and different finals.
With the music you fly
From a horizontal scroll jump game, The Artful Escape turns into a fun rythm game when Francis takes on his guitar and lets us start playing to overcome some trials, but also to fly on some light rays by repeating note of its color.
In the background a vast world full of lights, dazzling flashes and dominated by our music , lived at a slow pace, suspended, confirming the dream feeling of this journey.
Our test lasted too little to fully understand the dynamics of the whole game, but The Artful Escape is the title of ID @ Xbox that hit us more, the most unique and innovative, the only one that at this time seems to be in able to offer a unique experience, although at the moment we do not know when it will be released.