Welcome to EXPlay, (Explain & Play) the review series where we care not for scores but tell it how it is when it comes to every game we get our hands on, whilst also taking the time to include some lengthy gameplay, to give you the reader, the chance to shape your own impressions and views whilst watching and reading. In this installment, we’re covering Greak: Memories of Azur by developer Storybird Games.
Greak: Memories of Azur: (The Explanation)
Greak: Memories of Azur tells a story of a trio of siblings, Greak, Adara, and Raydel across the world of Azur. The main premise of the game is the control you have over each character together or individually to solve puzzles and traverse the game world. Greak features hand-drawn artwork and painterly backdrops that are reminiscent of Hollow Knight.
Starting off the game, you play as Greak wielding a sword, a crossbow, and the ability to double jump. As you move through the first areas of the game you will come across various enemy types that are part of the Urlag army. There are varied enemies types you will encounter from decrepit zombie-like walkers, balls of sludge that move across the ground, giant rats with a chain-like whip, and more.
Your basic attacks will be enough to dispatch the early enemies you will meet in the game. It doesn’t take long for you to encounter tougher enemies that require a mix of sword slashes, dodges, and crossbow bolts. Once you find your siblings you can switch between them using the D-Pad. Each character is assigned to either left, right, or up, whereas, down is a quick jump to the last assigned character. You will need to switch between multiple characters to solve puzzles, move blocks, and activate switches and levers.
Your initial task is to help find the parts to build an Airship to escape the Urlags. A few of the townspeople, the Courines, are looking to flee the destruction. While tasked with recovering the pieces needed, you will also find your siblings, and come across bosses to fight that stand in your way.
The game is a bit difficult, even in the early game, as enemies take life from you and things can turn for the worse quickly. There are food items you can find that you can eat to recover health. Eating an item takes time to restore life points and most only restore one or two. There are fireplaces with pots to cook items in that you find during your journey. Placing three items in a pot will result in variations of prepared food each with various effects on your character.
In the hub village you will find a variety of quests which you can take on. Some will result in unlocking new character abilities for the fight ahead; others will get you closer to the main quest of leaving Azur in the airship. Since you won’t have all three siblings from the start of the game some areas are locked behind puzzles that require the use of two or three of the siblings to work together. Greak, therefore, has a Metroid-vania like approach to how the world opens up.
Greak: Memories of Azur has a terrific orchestral soundtrack that guides you along your journey. The bombastic instrumental riffs and subtle melodic mix is a great addition in the game. I did encounter some audio bugs in the early game notably while diving in water the sound would sometimes completely drop out. Another time I experienced all of the audio stopping after a loading screen into a new area. I was able to remedy these issues by restarting the game.
While I did not get further than the allocated embargoed area in my EXPlay, I look forward to playing more of Greak: Memories of Azur to see how the story opens up and the map reveals more areas and quests for the trio.
Greak: Memories of Azur: (The Gameplay)
Developer: Navegante Entertainment
Platform: Nintendo Switch (eShop)
Category: Action, Puzzle, Platformer, Adventure
No. of Players: 1 player
Release Date: August 17, 2021 (EU & NA)
File Size: 1.6 GB