Maquette is a new member of the Annapurna team and the first game from the young studio Graceful Decay. On the occasion, the American team saw things in a big way, but also in a very small way. The title is a puzzle game in which the player can manipulate the size of various objects thanks to a miniature reproduction of the play area. An interesting concept that lets you bring up puzzles, but also a great story. It’s also free on PS5 through PS Plus through April 1st.
Because this whole story of a miniature environment is not an end-of-year architectural project. Maquette tells the story of Kenzie’s and Michael’s relationship, which they met on the curve of a café. The couple quickly becomes inseparable, but will experience ups and downs. So the title makes us travel from memory to memory, with puzzles that reflect this romance, but also thanks to sketches in which the very good acting of the actors is presented, both believable and touching at the same time (voice in English and subtitles in French).
The epic of Kenzie and Michael is pretty much in agreement, but its simplicity touches the heart, especially thanks to the talent of the speakers and the situations portrayed. But the other strengths of Maquette accompany this success: The excellent artistic direction, detailed and colorful, and the soundtrack play a very important role
Model – A bit of storytelling and puzzles (gameplay)
It turns in Maquette
To draw a thread between these different moments, Graceful Decay relies on thoughts that appear on the walls in the game. These little words will also help you know if you are going in the right direction. That’s not too much as the concept at the heart of Maquette can be pretty confusing. The puzzles revolve around a miniature version of your game room located in the middle of the level, the two are linked. The title therefore asks you to think in different scales in order to move forward: a key of your size is used, for example, to open a door of your height, but can also be used as a bridge to cross an abyss once it is placed on the model is.
During our testing period, we encountered jerks or even a drop in frame rate several times, no doubt due to the complexity of the concept of Maquette, which simulates the same margin on multiple scales. Nothing punishing in that the pace of the title is pretty slow. But it doesn’t matter to report.
The different ways to use the mechanics in the center of Maquette will evolve as the adventure progresses (between 4 and 6 hours, depending on your success in the face of the puzzles). As far as we are concerned, we believe it Many puzzles are not intuitive enough, often because the way to solve them was not suggested beforehand or the indications for success are missing. As a result, some players may face a major misunderstanding or even feel that the entire game is not working properly (as in the second part dedicated to crystals). Note that Maquette does not have a help system.
Model – The first 15 minutes of the adventure (gameplay)
These little problems – which depend on each player’s reasoning, however – are likely to betray the rhythm of Maquette, which is too narrative-focused for walks of this nature to go like a letter in the mail. But the whole thing is never really bad because of Solving a puzzle is always fun and helps move forward in the storyespecially about the aforementioned sketches. Most importantly, the team does not expand when new mechanics join the dance and often varies both the moods and the reasoning. That makes Maquette an ingenious and eye-catching adventure.
- Very successful artistic direction
- High-end synchronization
- Simple and touching story
- Ingenious and well used concept
- Very nice moments of the staging
- Very nice soundtrack
– –Negative points
- Some puzzles are not intuitive enough
- Some bugs here and there
It will be easy to rail against Maquette’s puzzles, some of which are clearly not intuitive enough, but the title stands out so in other areas that these errors quickly go away. With his very successful storytelling and artistic direction as well as his ingenious concept, Graceful Decay manages to put the player in a touching love story without difficulty, all in simplicity. A story that is supported in particular by excellent dubbing (in English only) and gives the plot of the game credibility and a form of reality. Maquette’s universe is thus a metaphorical representation of this relationship. To move forward on this case very often it is necessary to manipulate a miniature representation of your play space and change the size of the objects that are available to you. The whole thing will sometimes take surprising turns, like the love story between Kenzie and Michael that will captivate you over the 4 to 6 hours of the adventure (depending on your efficiency in the face of the puzzles). Graceful Decay never does too much and knows how to change moods if necessary. In the end, Maquette is an engaging and quite unique experience, even if it suffers from a few shortcomings.
March 04, 2021 at 9:02:51 am
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