Entwined: PS4 Review
A fish and a bird in love and inextricably linked in their journey?
Sounds a bit mad, but it's the premise of the truly gorgeous new title Entwined, a PSN release, launched in the wake of E3.
Using both sticks of the controller, you control a fish on one side, and a bird on the other, of a vortex of light that spirals in front of them. As they spiral through this light tunnel, you have to dual-control them to head to collect the coloured orbs that lie on their respective side of the tunnel (their paths never crossing). The fish collects orange orbs and the bird the blue, fuelling up dual colour meters ahead of them.
When both meters are full, the pair are linked via the L1 and R1 buttons and swirl together ending the level.
It's a simplistic idea, and is gorgeously executed but Entwined can be quite difficult and frustrating to play. The game occasionally freezes mid-action as it sorts a glitch out (this happened on every level of the story, and in some cases, two or three times) and it really prevents a flow from engrossing you within. Also the dual controls can, at times, prove difficult to fully master with you having to think in opposite ways sometimes and causing you no end of frustration.
A failure to match the controls to the patterns of the colours means the light bars above your players drops, making the intertwining part of the game occasionally hard to achieve. One simple mistake and you have to start all over again - which is fine, given the beautiful aesthetics of the game and the sound, but proves to be annoying if you're determined to try and beat it.
And the reason for doing all of this over a series of levels (nine to be precise) doesn't become clear until the end (it's a rather short piece) with each level's achievement seemingly being a chance to intertwine the fish and the bird into a dragon and to take it spiralling and sky write before heading into another vortex.
Granted, Entwined is easy to pick up, looks truly gorgeous and has a wonderful soundtrack, but its wispy premise and airy fairy aims do little to give you an in-depth experience when compared to the likes of Journey which was a truly minimal yet magical affair.
Lush neon colours aside, Entwined could have done with a simpler mechanic to play or perhaps a chance to bring in a second player if it was proving too frustrating. While it's pretty to look at, the beauty is soon marred, sadly, by a red mist of frustration that's difficult to see through.