With a movie and game release on the same day, “Disney Pixar” is really looking to capitalize on some profit! Yet the question remains: does BRAVE have what it takes to spend your ever so valuable money on? Times a wasting, so lets find out!
Now, I’m not exactly known for playing to many “family friendly” games that often. So, I went out on a limb with BRAVE, to see how it stood up against the shoot-em-up and action games I’m used to. The story of this game is fairly simple: Merida (your character), is on a quest to rid the forests and enchanted lands of Mordu’s Blight. With the help of a witch, you set off into the world, trying to cleanse it of evil.
There is an abundant supply of enemies to fight off with your Bow(s) and Sword(s). Thankfully, the fighting isn’t a simple hack and slash style. With enemies being vulnerable to certain charms you posses (such as Earth, Wind, Fire, and Ice), you can play strategically and plan out your attacks to end a fight with simple ease. The addition of these tactics helps to break up the button smashing and arrow flinging in every direction. The simple act of changing charms and using the right power-up on the right enemy can really make the difference.
The worlds in which you travel to are very intricate and designed for optimum viewing pleasure. Disney Pixar really showcased the environment around your character, from plants and trees, to molten lava and unfriendly looking swamps. The most noticeable trait was the lighting in-game. Each charm you chose would send out a different hue into the world, casting shadows and causing light to bounce off the walls. These details made it well worth the look around, from time to time.
In BRAVE, your fighting style really depends on how you like to play these types of games. I preferred my long range attack with arrows. Let me tell you what, little Merida could have even given Legolas a run for his money! You have the ability to spend your hard-earned money on upgrades to help you out a long the way. Some of these powers are time allotted power attacks, shooting multiple arrows at once or charging up an icy blast to stop enemies in their tracks. Each charm has a unique charged attack: with Air, you shoot about 10 arrows at once, and Fire sends a big burst of flames when it hits. My favorite would have to be the Earth ability, which sends out arrows that form into little exploding minions which help you fight! For a while, you could almost feel like Ang from Avatar with all of these abilities!
You also get Arena fighting scenes with Queen Elinor in bear form. When Merida can’t handle the fight, like a good mom, she steps in! It was a good change of pace from being careful and selective with fighting, to a walking juggernaut bear that destroys everything in its sight. Speaking of little scenes that break up the game, the story is told in a great manner; the cutscenes are storybook fashioned scenes with art that truly comes to life on the screen. It doesn’t exactly give you a movie quality feel like most games, which i enjoyed. It kept itself original and fresh to the player.
Now, for all those people who have the one question deep inside begging to be answered…What about the achievements?! Well, on my first play-through, I scored 720/100o. The achievements are pretty easy to get, either collecting all swords and bows, or killing a certain amount of enemies with a type of charm. The only difficult one that I found was upgrading everything you have. It costs a lot of money and a lot of time to finally unlock the achievement “Gotta Snag Em’ All”, worth 40G. It’s possible to get all of them in one play, but I highly recommend doing it twice. Mostly so that you can enjoy the delightful experience of this game.
With all the good is there any negative to talk about in here? Not really, but if you must have something to gripe about…The non movable third person camera angle worked out wonderfully, except when you really just want to move it to see what’s just out of sight. Other than that, it’s golden. The voice acting was spot on, musical score brought you into the world, and you didn’t want to leave. The visual greatness of each level is worth exploring every inch.
All in all, this game is fun to play, doesn’t take long, and full of achievements to earn! It’s a game suitable for all ages, that doesn’t leave you wishing it could have been better. It filled and surpassed my expectations on all areas.
I Proudly Give BRAVE 5 “Fiery Redheads” out of 5
By Luke Wyatt