Olija, from the Japanese studio Skeleton crew, and under the seal Digital feedback, gives us a title with a great artistic design and frame behind which manages to surprise us with its quality and simplicity. We will embody Lord Faraday, ship’s captain and lord of a small village sailors. In his effort to rregain economic power from his city, he leaves with his crew in search of new riches. How could it be otherwise, shipwrecks and we will strand on the shores of an archipelago called Terrafagia. With this premise, our epic begins to pick up our crew and go home safe.
Olija it’s a game of platforms and action in two dimensionsIt might sound like another “metroidvania”, but it’s more contained in its depth and mechanics. It’s not necessarily bad, in fact I think it’s really good to be so blunt. The title gets fully introduce ourselves into a dark history of sailors, legendary weapons, cursed lands and a mysterious lady. There is a certain romanticism and melancholy in its way of telling things, in its characters and its scenography, or in its soundtrack.
Regarding the graphic aspect, some may be feel cheated. In his trailer we were shown an old fashioned style of animation, traditional hand drawing, with Faraday handling the harpoon. If you expected this style, nothing could be further from reality, the title shows quite strong pixels, which do not stand out so much for their quality in themselves, but for their design, animations and fluidity of movements
The legend of the cursed harpoon
Speaking of its playable mechanics, the aforementioned harpoon is of great importance in the title. The game puts all its systems at the service of the harpoon: the plot, the puzzles, the exploration of the scenery and of course the fights.
Like it’s Thor’s hammer, we can throw it, teleport to where it got stuck, or let it come back in our hands at the push of a button. In this way, almost all of the title’s platform puzzles and challenges they are solved using the harpoon, either to save a fall, or to reach that object which, under normal circumstances, would be impossible.
The fight is fast and visceral, and the harpoon allows us, for example, to reach a distant enemy, then launch ourselves towards it and keep hitting it. We also have more “land” secondary weapons, like a blunderbuss or a foil, allowing us to combine their attacks with that of our primary weapon. This could give rise to some strategic component in the fights, but most of the time we will find ourselves hitting the attack buttons, because the game is quite simple and it doesn’t take much more to defeat the enemies.
Captain Faraday to the rescue
The exploration of the scene is fundamental, because to advance we will need the help of several objects and the characters. Faraday will not be able to return home without save your crew, which we will have to find in the different islands that we visit. To move around these islands, we will use the port of Vertiginous as a base, where the lost souls that roam the archipelago are located, and where our crew will go once we save them. We can improve the harbor with buildings and find characters on our travels, like the hatter. As the name suggests, will make us hats
To reach the other islands, we will have to take the boatman map fragments, which we will find by exploring. Once the boatman sees them, we will unlock access to these new islands. The golden keys, which we will need to open some doors, are also essential to move forward, and they almost always give us access to the confrontation with the final boss of each zone. These last bosses, although very well designed and with remarkable stagingThey are not demanding at all and we will end them by attacking with everything we have. Too bad, since these meetings are quite rare and they could have been further exploited, both in difficulty and in numbers. Special mention for the final boss, that if that supposes an important peak of difficulty compared to the others.
Sound and cinematographic decor
The sound section is one of the brighter and more polished aspects of the title. Its soundtrack is inspired by flamenco and traditional Japanese folklore, according to its developers. A music very well implemented, whether it is putting Spanish picks in solemn and relaxing moments or saxophone sounds in our meetings with Olija, giving each scene the narrative force necessary to impact us
I want to highlight the cutscenes in the title, especially the meetings with Olija, the mysterious lady who gives her name to the title. The relationship that Faraday will develop with the woman is one of the points we liked the most. His strong sentimental component makes them the moments that will leave the most impression on the memory of the player.
Olija’s final conclusions
Olija it’s a blow of fresh air in these times of triple AAA with gigantic budgets, games with many hours ahead or with complex internal systems. An action platform that is very pleasant precisely because of its simplicity, with a large artistic, narrative and sound section. It’s a game we could ask for more, more final bosses, more depth in their fight, more conversations with other characters … but in its brevity is the key to its good work. We can say that the Skeleton Crew has measured its ambitions very well, the game offers what it offers, and allows to be brief and concise for not losing strength or rhythm at any time adventure. All he offers Olija It is very careful and measured, and it is a very satisfying adventure that leaves a great taste in the mouth. If you want to be on top of more analytics and all the news, be sure to visit our website, Xbox Area.
- Large artistic and narrative section
- Great rhythm throughout the plot
- Captivating soundtrack
- Undemanding combat
- Low exploration depth
- Final untapped bosses