ARY & THE SE­CRET OF SEA­SONS

Ful­fil your des­tiny in this nos­tal­gic plat­former

XBox: The Official Magazine - - CONTENTS - Adam Bryant

PUB­LISHER MODUS GAMES DE­VEL­OPER EXIIN ETA 2019

There’s some­thing quite mag­i­cal about this plat­form ad­ven­ture game. It isn’t the fact that the pro­tag­o­nist uses ac­tual magic to control the sea­sons, but in­stead that the game does a won­der­ful job of recre­at­ing that feel­ing of play­ing plat­form games of old, while at the same time of­fer­ing up some­thing new al­to­gether. What makes it all the more sur­pris­ing is that it’s be­ing made by only eight peo­ple.

You play as Ary, who is tasked with bring­ing bal­ance to the world. 1,000 years ago an evil mage threat­ened the world of Valdi, but it was al­right in the end: a mighty war­rior de­feated the mage and sealed him up deep within a vault. To en­sure that he would never be re­leased, four men were ap­pointed pro­tec­tors of the vault with each made re­spon­si­ble for pro­tect­ing a dif­fer­ent sea­son. Now a mys­te­ri­ous force has started to mess about with the world, caus­ing sea­sons to pop up in the wrong places, prompt­ing an emer­gency meet­ing of the Guardians. Ary goes to at­tend the meet­ing in se­cret and ar­rives to find the Guardians un­con­scious and all of the sea­son crys­tals stolen.

Ary’s fa­ther was Guardian Of Win­ter, as was his fa­ther be­fore him, and as per tra­di­tion that re­spon­si­bil­ity is to pass on to his first-born son, in this case Ary’s brother. Un­for­tu­nately, her brother died in a ter­ri­ble in­ci­dent and so the role falls to Ary. With the fate of Valdi rest­ing in her hands, she must jour­ney to the four cor­ners of the land, each be­long­ing to a dif­fer­ent Guardian, and put a stop to the chaos.

Cli­mate change

Af­ter be­com­ing the new Guardian Of Win­ter, Ary ac­quires the abil­ity to control the sea­sons, which you use by cast­ing mag­i­cal spheres that con­tain a par­tic­u­lar sea­son in­side. In the be­gin­ning you can only har­ness win­ter, but as you progress you gain the power of all four.

This is how you nav­i­gate the world and solve en­vi­ron­men­tal puz­zles. For ex­am­ple, cast­ing the win­ter sea­son sphere might freeze over the wa­ter in a lake and al­low you to ac­cess new ar­eas, or gen­er­ate plat­forms that you can use to reach hid­den caves. The only rules with cast­ing the sea­son spheres is that you can only use three at any given time, and only one sea­son for each. Also, they can never cross each other or be com­bined – so if you cast a sum­mer sphere and cast one for win­ter right next to it the two domes will sit side by side. Stone mono­liths scat­tered through­out the land can be used to am­plify your spells, mak­ing your spheres even big­ger, with some be­ing more po­tent than oth­ers.

The spheres don’t just help you solve puz­zles, they can also be used to help you in com­bat. Some en­e­mies are sus­cep­ti­ble to cer­tain weather con­di­tions, and cast­ing the right one might just stop them in their tracks long enough to take them out, or maybe even strike them with light­ning. But you’ll need to be care­ful. Some en­e­mies may end up be­com­ing more pow­er­ful, so you’ll need to choose the right sea­son for the cir­cum­stance.

Where other devel­op­ers have tried and failed, eXiin might suc­ceed: the team has man­aged to bot­tle up that ’90s plat­form­ing nos­tal­gia and created a beau­ti­ful and vi­brant world. The story might seem a lit­tle cliched but the idea of play­ing around with the sea­sons to help you nav­i­gate the world and de­feat your en­e­mies is in­cred­i­bly unique and re­ally fun to do. We can’t wait to get our hands on the fin­ished game later this year.

“The team has man­aged to bot­tle up that ’90s plat­form­ing nos­tal­gia”

Above Ary can even­tu­ally utilise the power of all four sea­sons.

far left Our hero has to jour­ney across the four cor­ners of her world to avert a catas­tro­phe.

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