Fe is for better or for worse, a simple game. While it has a gorgeous aesthetic, it sometimes gets lost in what it wants to be. Leaving the player disjointed, and unsatisfied with a lack of focus on the game’s originality. Thankfully these feelings don’t detract for the games charm and its easy playability.
Fe is a charming 3D platformer set in a beautifully rendered forest with adorable creatures and environments to interact with.
The player assumes the role of a Fe, a small fox like creature that is tasked with preserving the forest and saving it from the villains of the game, known as the silent ones.
The game at its core is a very soothing experience. Nothing gets too challenging in the game, aside for 1 or 2 difficulty spikes caused by puzzles during key story points. But due to its ambient music, and simple yet beautiful art style, it allows the player to feel comfortable and relaxed while playing.
There is little to no combat in the game, whenever you encounter an enemy, the best solution is to hide in a bush and wait for it to pass. There are options to have other creatures aid you and ward off these enemies. But those opportunities can not be relied on, due to them being encountered 2 or 3 times in the entire game.
The most fun the player will have in the game is scurrying from tree to tree, and gliding in-between obstacles, which feels tight when it comes to the controls, and fun to do. But unfortunately, the game doesn’t lean into these strengths. Some areas have a complete lack of trees, which seriously disable the players fluid and quick paced movement. And when on the ground, fe Is slow and clunky. The ability to run however is eventually gained, but not until the last level. And when the game is only about 5 hours of playtime total, this leaves the player feeling cheated out of a rich experience. This made me wonder, did the developers purposefully slow the player character down to drag out the game play?
Even when the player does encounter tree filled areas to jump and fly through, the camera will sometimes short you of a satisfying leap, due to bad positioning. This coupled with the games serious frame rate issues, can make the player completely miss the mark and force the player to start from the stage again. I’m all for challenge in a platformer, but when I messed up on a leap or a climb, I always felt cheated, and it lessened the experience greatly.
Thankfully, it is hard to get around the great mechanics in the game, whether you are singing to bond with other creatures, or experiencing a new area, the wonder and wow factor still exists within the game.
Fe at its core should be a great game. Its beauty and charm coupled with its original ideas really create something fresh for the industry. It’s just too bad it doesn’t lean into its strengths much more. Its platforming controls well, but the camera and frame rate issues leave much to be desired.
So, if the developers came out with an update to improve the frame drops and wonky camera, Fe would automatically be increased in rating to an 8. Fe hits a chord that has a potential, so hopefully the game will get a sequel and flex its platforming muscles and lean into its strengths much more.