Briefiew – Bound

The first time I got to know that this game existed was with a trailer back at this year’s E3 and it impressed me so much that I couldn’t NOT mention it in the article where we talked about our favourite ones.
I wasn’t really sure how the game would play out but it was sure that it was gorgeous and unique and for those reasons alone I knew I had to try it. The time has come now and I’ve had the chance to experience the final game first hand. Read my impressions below.

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Bound is a 3D adventure game that plays pretty much like a platformer. A pretty forgiving one though. The game by default has enabled the option to make your character unable to slip off the platforms and, even if you do, you’ll be put back instantly in the last solid platform you’ve been standing.
So, with that in mind and looking at the gorgeous artstyle you might be thinking that this is just a Journey clone and, while the game has some similarities to a game like that, it’s not that simple.
You see, this game can actually be played in three different ways. You can chill and just enjoy the ride taking the levels at your own pace and simply enjoying the vistas and feeding into the story of the game. You might want to be more of an explorer and completitionist and look for every secret within the levels, uncovering every memory shard that the developers have hidden in the surreal backgrounds of the game. And the third way you might want to play would be as if it was a speedrun kind of game. Because, “the enemies” can’t kill you, they just overwhelm you and slow you down. Platforming sections aren’t that hard but falling from a platform will certainly make you waste some precious seconds. So there are actually some good foundations (and a well developed mode) for this to be a speedrun game.

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Now regarding the story. This is a kind of game that it’s better that you delve into without any idea on what the game’s story is about and discover it for yourself. I’ll just mention that the overall theme of the game would be family relationships and memories.
The story in the game is good but more importantly it’s told in a interesting way. Drawing some metaphors between two worlds that are both visual and narrative as well.

Let’s talk now about the elephant in the room which would be the visual aspect of this game which is simply superb. The game’s cubist artstyle is gorgeous on still images but it looks even better in motion. The super polygonal scenery is constantly moving and crumbling around you like memories do and it depicts a surreal world that it’s both intriguing and straight up beautiful.
The sound department doesn’t fall behind however and it’s probably one of my favourite soundtracks of the year. Props to the composer.

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Things I liked

  • Photo worthy: The imagery in this game is as abstract as it is gorgeous. And it should be noted too that the game features a pretty robust photo mode that, if you’re like me, you’ll be using pretty often.
  • Three-flavoured game: I mentioned it before, you can play this game in three different ways. One would be at your own leisure, casually. You could also explore every inch of the environments to uncover every memory shard. Or you can try to speedrun it, making use of every shortcut possible and trying to be as precise with your platforming as possible.
  • Soundtrack: The game’s original soundtrack was composed by an ukranian musician called Heinali so now you have the information to go and look for his work on youtube. You’re welcome.
  • 3D Stuff: The game can be played on stereoscopic 3D and in VR. Had the chance to play with the former enabled and it was quite an experience but then again, playing in 2D is quite an experience too.

Things I didn’t

  • Ballerina moves: This is nitpicking at its finest because I had to find something to put into this category but I don’t really care that much about this and neither should you. It’s just that during the game your character moves like a ballerina, it’s quite amusing to watch and quite unique too but… never in the game it’s explained why and it’d be kinda lame if it was just to make the game look more artsy.

Who’d like this?

If you like beautiful games with amazing soundtracks and not much challenge like Journey and such you’ll absolutely love this game. But, even if you don’t usually like games like this, this could be your entry point for the genre because of the speedrun mode so you may want to try it too.
Also, if you bought one of those expensive playstation VR you will also want to get this game to enjoy that mode as well.

<The pictures in the article were taken making use of the game’s photo mode><You can also check this game in motion here>

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