AereA is an intriguing game on paper with music as both its inspiration and foundation. Looking at the trailer alone you can see it has elements from titles such as Diablo and Gauntlet but bringing the RPG gaming style into the mix to round things off. I was not really sure how it would play but it certainly had my attention, but did the game have a Mozart moment or more flat notes to it?
Set in the world of Aezir where music is at its core as it sustains the world but a threat is looming over the horizon and four heroes are called upon to go out into the world to retrieve power musical instruments to prevent the world from ending. Four heroes; Claude, Jacques, Wolff and Jules are sent out on missions to battle through enemies in maze like locations to reach and defeat monstrous bosses to collect powerful musical instruments to protect and save Aezir.
The first thing to say about AereA is just how beautiful the visuals are, it has an art style that is bright and vibrant unlike other combative RPG’s that have a gritty and dark world to them. The main characters have a very animation style to them although not a big fan of three of the four having a Beiber hair style with fringes that cover their eyes, which you would think make fighting monsters a little hard. The art style welcomes players into the world in a nice chilled out and soothing way giving it a rather cute look that would appeal to a young audience.
The combat is very simplistic as well, with each hero having their own fighting style based on the instrument they use so Claude and Wolff are more range style fighters with Jacques a more melee focused support character and Jules uses magic. Each has two attacks and in the style of Gauntlet, are sent on missions to various dungeon style rooms which players will have to explore to find items such as potions and solving gate puzzles to further explore and find the boss of that mission. I found the combat really basic and repetitive and dragged far too much to keep it fun. I did play this solo and being honest; AereA is really designed to be a co-op played game with at least one friend or more to really bring it to life. In solo the slowness of exploring, fighting and getting new missions sucks the enjoyment from this title way too much which may find those more experienced in titles such as Diablo finding this way too ‘entry level’ to really invest time in to any extent.
The story itself is also really told in the background via interactions with NPCs back at the academy. Missions do not reveal anything and the game even drops you into the action right away without explaining the world you find yourself in at all and simply puts you on the path to get your first mission. The game also does little in really explaining how things work but instead relies on the simplicity of it all and to just let players find their way around it, which is ok for those who do not like be held by the hands through gaming but for me just adds to the emptiness you can feel in this game.
The biggest issue I have is the pricing of this game, which for what this game offers is baffling. It is so high that it is going to be hard to have more than one friend to have it for the co-op to really shine through and this game wants it to be played by more than one player. If it had been priced at a more sensible level it certainly would have been more attractive but it is so simplistic and empty an experience at times it just cannot justify its pricing when compared to other RPG games available now. If you design a game to be co-operative you got to make it more accessible for friends to pick it up without breaking the bank.
AereA uses music very cleverly in how it is threaded throughout and the musical score alone is something very beautiful. Visuals do make it stand out enough from other RPG titles but the shallow combat and over simplistic approach detracts from the game leaving the player wanting more from it then the occasional fun boss battle. I would even go as far as to say it was very much designed for a younger audience or those not familiar with Diablo style games but the pricing is a big stumbling block for this title right now, offering little for the asking price.
One for the sales but those looking for a more meaty experience will need to look elsewhere.