Reviews - Updated on March 30, 2022

What is cooler – “pixels” or modern 3D? “Hand-drawn animation,” the authors of Greak: Memories of Azur answer, and give out a game that looks like a beautiful cartoon. And what advantages, besides the chic visual style (and great music), is there in this hand-drawn adventure?

Airship as salvation

The main characters of the game are the brothers Greak, Raydel and their sister Adara. They belong to the Courine race, whose representatives, under pressure from the Urlag faction and other disasters and monsters, flee Azur’s homelands. Lots of strange new letters? Don’t be scared, the “lore” is worked out well here, different characters gradually talk about what is happening and how they got to such a life.

But the essence of this does not change. There are bad ones, there are good ones, and we need to help the good ones complete the construction of the airship in order to fly away from this already inhospitable land together. In the central location, the camp, where, in fact, the airship is being built, there are various NPCs that give out main or side tasks.

Greak: Memories of Azur: Обзор

A cartoon from the game would come out stylish.

Quests, of course, are simple – find four ropes for the airship, collect three mushrooms for life-giving soup, kill five plague bats to complete the course of a young scout, and so on. It’s just that sometimes you need to do a lot to achieve them. The solution of plot tasks moves the story, and for side tasks we either learn the recipe for soup, or learn new skills, such as a dive strike in the air.

There are also merchants in the camp (although occasionally they are found in other places), from whom, for the crystals collected during the passage, you can buy useful consumables, increase inventory, or sell what we don’t need (for example, the fangs of defeated monsters).

Greak: Memories of Azur: Обзор

The blacksmith has stones that temporarily increase sword damage.

Heroes of the sword, cloak and grappling hook

There are three protagonists, but at first we play only for the youngest, titular Grik, after a while his sister joins him, and only closer to the finale does Reidel appear. And the mechanics is built on the interaction between the characters, using their unique abilities and even the ability to control everyone at once – this is especially useful in battles with bosses when we hit them at the same time. This does not mean that playing only for Grik is not interesting at first, but it is the interaction that is the main highlight of Greak: Memories of Azur.

Greak: Memories of Azur: Обзор

The youngest has practically no unique features – he knows how to hit with a sword, shoot from a bow and do a quick roll. But Adara shoots magic balls and is able to soar on her cloak for a limited time. Therefore, in one of the situations, it is with our brother that we twist the rays in such a way as to move the platform to the sister, on which she will be able to fly. And there are many such situations.

Greak: Memories of Azur: Обзор

This ray puzzle seems to be drawn out.

And Reidel has a shield with which he can beat off the blades thrown at us and block the deadly rays in order to let Grik and Adara through. In addition, the elder was given a hook-cat. That is, there are three unique abilities for three, and two of them appear only closer to the final, when the game begins to unfold in full.

Greak: Memories of Azur: Обзор

The older brother, as expected, protects the younger ones.

A lot of time is taken up by standard exercises, when, for example, we pull the lever with one character so that the other one goes through the opened door and stands on the pressure plate. We do about the same when we need to raise / lower the elevators – in the initial location, only in this way, after the appearance of the sister, it will be possible to get to the chest with crystals.

Greak: Memories of Azur: Обзор

Thank God, there are more interesting situations.

Only this is not enough

Although in general the elements of metroidvania in Greak: Memories of Azur are weak, there are few of them, backtracking is mostly forced, and we get to the right locations most often according to the plot – for example, the bridge that you dream of crossing from the start of the game will be built only when the writers will give us the appropriate quest.

Yes, it is possible to collect relics that unlock new skills or are just nice collectibles – often only certain characters are able to get to them. Only this is not enough. So I got to one of these relics of Adar, and they give her the ability to shoot reinforced charges, which are unlikely to be used.

Greak: Memories of Azur: Обзор

Grick in combat looks more effective.

And in general, there is not much in the game. The plot takes about three or four hours and, in fact, ends at the most interesting place, when the mechanics of interaction between all three characters is only revealed. Unique abilities of characters, interesting and difficult bosses, even slots in the inventory for consumables are also few.

Greak: Memories of Azur: Обзор

But the surroundings in battles with bosses are always unique.

There is cooking – you can mix found mushrooms-berries. But, as a rule, you still get food to restore health cells. There is a pumping of the same health, but if at the beginning Grik has four such cells, then in the final – five. And in your pocket – more than a thousand collected crystals that have nowhere to go. So-so pumping. But this is not surprising – the game simply does not have the scope, complexity and variety to build full-fledged role-playing mechanics.

And the main disadvantage for many is the inconvenient control when you move all three characters or beat bosses with them. You can get used to it, but hemorrhoids are still enough. In this situation, a cooperative mode would be ideal, but it just doesn’t exist. So are the minimaps. The hook-cat is also inconveniently implemented.

Greak: Memories of Azur: Обзор

Here I control two characters at once.

Greak: Memories of Azur looks and sounds great, there are touching moments in the plot (although the story is rather banal in general), and interesting situations in the gameplay. That is, you can play and get a share of pleasant impressions and aesthetic pleasure. But there would be even more of them if the authors brought the gameplay and controls to mind, made what is happening more ambitious and diverse.

Pros: good plot; interesting mechanics of interaction between heroes; there are interesting puzzles; hand-drawn animation looks very attractive, and in general the game is beautiful; orchestral soundtrack.

Cons: inconvenient control; no cooperative; lacks scale and variety; some puzzles are frankly tightened.

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