Fez has been around for a while but, with its release on PlayStation platforms it may have found the perfect home. Polytron has been working hard with Blitworks to bring the indie hit to the PS4, PS3 and PS Vita all at the same time and there are some rather excellent benefits to this endeavour.
The work that has gone into bringing Fez to Sony's consoles has been totally worthwhile.
For anyone unfamiliar with Fez, it's a puzzle-platforming title that follows the adventures of a cute little fellow by the name of Gomez. He must save his particular corner of the gaming universe from total annihilation by locating all of the cube shards scattered around the world and rebuilding a massive mystical cube that holds the universe together.
The whole game revolves around the idea of cubes. It's rendered in exquisitely cute pixel art that works perfectly with the way Polytron has enabled players to explore the world.
It begins with a message from one of the old men in Gomez's village. He is invited to the top of the village to encounter the old man and the mystical cube. It shatters and the old man presents Gomez with a magical Fez to wear. The hat enables him to travel into the mystical third dimension to find the pieces of the shattered cube and restore it before the universe is torn apart.
This powers one of the most simple and refreshing gameplay mechanics of the outgoing console generation. Alongside the usual running and jumping of most other platform games Gomez can rotate each level using the power of the Fez to explore this third dimension. Each push of a shoulder button rotates the level through 90 degrees horizontally opening up new avenues for exploration.
There's around 32 cubes hidden around the world some whole and some are broken up into pieces. There are anti-cubes too that are hidden behind puzzles, each of which make interesting use of the world-rotation mechanic to challenge your puzzle-solving skills and spatial awareness.
Gomez's world is all the more beautiful on the PS4. The pixel-art style was always a perfect counter-foil to the gameplay but the added screen resolution that the PS4 affords developers has been fully exploited to make Fez look truly exquisite.
That's not to say it looks bad on the PS Vita, because it looks amazing on Sony's handheld as well. And it plays every bit as well on the Vita as it does on the PS4.
Individually these are both superb versions of Fez. But it's how they link up together that really makes the PlayStation versions of Fez so special. Fez is Cross-Buy enabled to one purchase gets you the game on the PS4, PS3 and PS Vita. It's also Cross-Save enabled so you can play on PS Vita and pick up where you left off on the PS3 or the PS4.
There are plenty of games that are Cross-Save enabled but Fez does it so simply. When you start playing, you get the option of three local savegame slots and one Cross-Save slot. Select the Cross-Save slot on every platform you play the game on and, as long as you're connected to the internet when the game saves, you can pick up where you left off when you last played.
It adds a whole new dimension to Fez by just being able to play the save game, seamlessly on the PS Vita, the PS4 and the PS3 makes the game that much more accessible.
Fez has been around for a while. It was a great game on the Xbox 360. Then it arrived on the PC, and it was every bit as good as it was on the 360. On the PS4 it has blossomed with updated 1080p visuals and Cross-Save support with the PS Vita making it one of the finest games of Sony's platforms. You may have missed it on the 360 or the PC but the PS4 version is sublime and is easily one of the first unmissable games on this new console generation.
Fez is out now on the PlayStation Store for PS4, PS3 and PS Vita. It's also available on the PC and Xbox 360.
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