Char­iot

And you thought you had daddy is­sues

XBox: The Official Magazine - - REVIEW - OXM

Char­iot is the charm­ing, char­ac­ter­ful tale of a dom­i­neer­ing dad boss­ing around his du­ti­ful daugh­ter from beyond the grave – or rather, from within it. De­cid­ing that his fi­nal rest­ing place isn’t grand enough for his re­gal re­quire­ments, the re­cently de­ceased king de­mands that his daugh­ter and her fi­ancé drag his two-wheeled cof­fin to some­where a lit­tle more fit­ting. What en­sues is part-puz­zle, part-plat­former and all physics, as you lug around this bulky bier through bat-in­fested caves and dark, damp tun­nels. Power-ups are gen­tly in­tro­duced, un­locked with hid­den col­lectibles found in each level - like pegs to an­chor the cof­fin in place - and as such are use­ful, but not all vi­tal to progress. The lovely, weighty physics make the cof­fin feel gen­uinely heavy as you push, pull and tug it along, but this can also be a hin­drance as you find your­self pulled off a plat­form for the umpteenth time by the bal­last of your fu­ne­real cargo. Hap­tic feed­back adds to the im­mer­sion, with con­stant vi­bra­tions to mimic the feel­ing of rope in your hand. Char­iot’s so clearly made for coop – ar­eas only ac­ces­si­ble with two play­ers, two ropes dan­gling from the cof­fin, and when the dad’s not talk­ing (com­plain­ing) there’s a si­lence wait­ing to be filled with bick­er­ing – that play­ing solo has a con­spic­u­ous ab­sence of life. Fid­dly con­trols and dif­fi­cult plat­form­ing are irk­some alone, but with a friend hang­ing from a sec­ond rope, they re­veal their ac­ro­batic po­ten­tial as you take it in turns to hun­ker down and lower cof­fin and chum over deadly drops. The game has much go­ing for it in terms of its ut­terly won­der­ful aes­thetic – lu­mi­nes­cent flow­ers bloom as you go past, wa­ter­falls cas­cade in the back­ground of cav­erns – as well as its unique take on plat­form­ing me­chan­ics and some sur­pris­ingly great voice act­ing, but solo play just feels a bit like it’s not meant to be. It’s like re­ceiv­ing an ex­pen­sive, but re-gifted present. It’s ex­cel­lent, but it was bought with some­one else in mind.

Swing low, sweet char­iot. Oh no, not that low! Restart! Pub­lisher Frima Stu­dio / De­vel­oper Frima Stu­dio For­mat Xbox One / re­lease date out now

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