Vesper Zero Light Edition | Review

Vesper Zero Light Edition | Review

When one analyzes a production coming from the same nation, one always runs the risk of seeming oriented towards a form of "patriotic favoritism". It does not matter if you sit on the side of criticism or that of the users, in both cases the risk is to turn a blind eye to imperfections, or to over-praise some aspects that, in other contexts, could simply be well done. The Zero Light Edition of Vesper, however, leaves no room for any doubt about it, as Cordens Interactive has shown us, as few other developers have been able to do over the years, how to develop a port.

If you are wondering why, even before talking about its general qualities, we focused on praising the conversion of Vesper for Nintendo Switch, just know that the care shown by its creators is on a par with that presented by Moon Study with the porting of Ori's dilogy, or what Studio MDHR did with Cuphead.

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The story of Vesper, however, is not an end to itself and knowing it does nothing but emphasize every moment of the adventure that will be experienced, making us perceive how much complexity can be hidden in making a product, only in appearance, simple and linear. The comparison with Limbo, often mistakenly associated with the work of Cordens Interactive, arises precisely from that apparently not very complex setting, capable of concealing, within it, a whole world to be discovered, and understood, through one's eyes. Vesper is not Limbo, nor any of the works that have inherited its peculiar characteristics, but with them it shares the mastery of a development team capable of creating a visual experience like few exist on the market.

Everything can be enclosed in Cordens' decision to let the play of light and shadow offered by Vesper, is the beating heart of the entire play system, using the shades to entertain and satisfy the player, just enough. A classic of the past, as stated on several occasions by Cordens, but adorned with a sufficient number of innovative intuitions capable of not making it look like yet another "nostalgia operation" dressed in a different way.

Net of a few less inspired moments, in which the game dynamics settle on themselves, Vesper is a videogame solid experience from start to finish and describing how, and how much, it is possible to interact with the elements present within it, would only end to ruin the experience.

Yes, you can play a lot, as well as face enemies, and situations, similar to other productions of the action / platform genre of memorable caliber, as well as having to work your way up in the exploratory phases thanks to some puzzles well thought-out but never really complex environments or ends in themselves.

Vesper will never invite you to stay still on the spot, although focusing on the backgrounds of the world in which you will wander and collecting, and above all reading, the texts you will stumble upon in the remote areas you will explore, will allow you to immerse yourself completely in what the production of Cordens Interactive has to offer, as its greatest value is precisely that of being, first of all, an environmental story capable of insinuating itself into your mind and constantly transmitting emotions.

Leaving from an introduction that subtly quotes the opening credits of Ridley Scott's historian Alien, one immediately takes control of someone who has just done something potentially big but whose consequences are unknown. Full of questions, you end up in a world of debris and torn apart iron giants. Mechanical beings of various kinds who have ended their existence and who, like you, cannot help but ask themselves "why?" among the now inaudible echoes.

You, as survivors of the unknown, will be able to seek, only if you wish, the answers to those questions within your mind. Vesper, in fact, can also be experienced while remaining completely unaware of its history, jumping from one platform to another, enjoying the inspired setting and not caring about the stories that world might tell you.

Vesper is a constant Show & Tell that makes it impossible to separate its playful nature from its artistic one and that succeeds in the arduous task of rebalancing those delicate dynamics, now abused in the Indie scene, which increasingly tend to amaze the player with artistic directions unbelievable that are, however, devoid of that playful concreteness necessary to entertain the player.

We are obviously not at the level of that "author's painting" situation offered by productions such as Narita Boy or The Artful Escape but we are very close to that current inclined to give more prominence to places than to characters, so much so that, in Vesper, the characters are outlined by darkness rather than light, an element or artistic justified by the stealth mechanics we mentioned earlier.

In even poorer words, Vesper is to be understood as a journey into artistry. Because of the way in which player transport is aroused at each level, or most of the time if you prefer, we are faced with a project that requires not only your full attention, but also an interpretative effort in being able to connect elements. visual, contextual and textual.

The level of what is observable by the player is much higher than one might expect, thanks to landscapes rich in detail and with specific narrative messages that go beyond the simple wonder for the beauty they are able to express. Everything has a meaning, a role and a musical accompaniment, joint efforts when Vesper proposes what we can define as "cinematic situations" in key moments for the development of the "plot".

The real wonder, however, is the it is only felt when you connect all the dots and observe the most important scenes of Vesper during the second playtrough. It is there that you really appreciate the journey made by the protagonist, when, remembering that innocence with which you looked at the various landscapes, you will realize how bitter the reality of the facts is.

Finally, coming to the reasons why we praised the work done by Cordens Interactive with the Nintendo Switch version of Vesper Zero Light Edition, the developers have not limited themselves to creating a hasty port, downsizing the technical sector of their work but they wanted to optimize the title around the Nintendo Switch hardware and the result is phenomenal.

Excluding the mere resolution, which settles with the limits imposed by the hybrid console, Vesper Zero Light Edition returns the same sensations offered by productions such as Hades, Cuphead and Ori's dilogy. Everything is perfectly optimized, there are no uncertainties on the technical side, and, constantly, it seems to play a title conceived around the Nintendo console.

In addition to painstaking optimization work, Vesper Zero Light Edition offers a whole series of improvements, and news, which can be obtained totally free even by those who already bought the title on PC last August. Gameplay refinements, new game areas, improved sprites, a greater number of animations and the very welcome addition of a substantial in-game unlockable artbook are just some of the many new features introduced by the development team.

In conclusion, it is right to remind you that Vesper Zero Light Edition is only available in digital format at a very low price (€ 9.99 or € 7.99 if you booked it before the release). Completing the story the first time can keep you busy between 4 and 5 hours, although to understand all aspects of the plot it will be highly recommended to play it a second time. Finally, the title presents each line of text completely localized in Italian.

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