After a six-month exclusivity deal on PlayStation 4, Vane is coming to PC. Truth be told, Vane should've been on my list of Favorite Games of the Year (So Far). But broken gameplay and inconsiderate checkpointing had both made tough arguments against its inclusion.
And yet. Just looking at this PC launch video one more time has stirred up something in me. This is a parched and cracked world, with monumental architecture slamming against the fragility of childhood and a dream of flight. Even now, as dull and unimaginative bird simulators trickle into the market, Vane still grabs you by the scruff and makes flight feel dangerous. It's like you're barely holding onto your tail feathers as the wind whip-cracks past your ears. Coupled with your ability to become a child and the fear, mixed with surprising agility and ability, that comes with inhabiting such a fragile body.
Hold up. So, if Vane snuck past you on PS4, it's an adventure game fraught with puzzles, pieced together in a broken—and breaking—world of polygonal art and architecture. It's got a great look. Vane has an eye for both sweeping, deserted vistas, and cramped, cagey ruins. Your mission is to rejoin your people. Or to at least rejoin the bird-masked elders that have shut the door on your return. If you loved Journey but would like a world and gameplay that are balanced on more of a knife edge, maybe like a more mythologized Inside? Then Vane is the diversion you're looking for.
We gave it a 6.5 out of 10. But that's more of an effect of the incessant bugs and glitch-ridden gameplay at launch. Looking at a 6.5 doesn't begin to inform you of how enveloping and weirdly rich this dying world is. The video below is the same video from earlier this year, plus a Steam logo at the end, but it's worth another look.
You can Wishlist the game on Steam now. Planned release is July 23, in less than two weeks. If indeed the bug fixes and improved checkpointing made it into this PC version—which developer Friend & Foe Games says they certainly have—then I would be remiss if I told you to skip this one.
Mesmerizing exploratory adventure Vane arrives on Steam July 23rd
Explore the skies, caves, and forgotten cities in this surreal fever dream
Tokyo, Japan - July 9, 2018 - Tokyo-based independent studio Friend & Foe is proud to announce that after more than four years in development it will finally be releasing its hallucinatory adventure Vane on July 23, 2019, on Steam for $19.99. Additionally, the soundtrack will be on sale on Steam and Bandcamp for $6.99.
Vane initially launched on PlayStation 4 this past January, where it was praised by outlets such as Eurogamer, Frieze, VG247 and The Verge for its awe-inspiring art direction, themes of human evolution, and evocative synthy soundtrack.
Set in a ruined desert, Vane is an exploratory journey, where players will transform between bird and child form to unravel the land’s mysteries and create a path forward through this expansive landscape filled with ominous caves, mysterious machinery and harrowing storms. As they roam this mythical wasteland, the world reacts to their passage, evolving and building into something altogether different.
Vane is the culmination of more than four years of development by the Tokyo-based expat studio Friend & Foe Games, a team with AAA experience spanning titles like The Last Guardian, Killzone, Battlefield 3, and Bionic Commando. Developed with the conviction that players should find their own path through the world, Vane is an enigmatic and unnerving game that aims to leave an impact. The result is a minimalistic, stark environment that encourages exploration just to the edge of getting lost, all set to an all-original brooding synth soundtrack.
This PC release of Vane includes all the updates added to the PS4 version, including more forgiving checkpointing, better performances, and numerous bug fixes.