Review

Flower Review (PS3)

Flower wants to take you on a journey. Not your everyday gun-toting, head popping journey, but one of courage, self-reflection and belief. In a world of stressful workloads and nagging chores, this PlayStation Network title has been designed to offer a form of escapism, as you enter a universe filled with natural beauty and rich splendour. Coming from the award winning team behind flOw, thatgamecompany once again excel at producing a formula that challenges the credentials of traditional gaming, creating a superbly serene set-up that surpasses our wildest dreams.

After the abundance of brash, aggressive and endlessly explosive games that arrived towards the end of last year and into 2009, itís exciting to play a game like Flower. Stripped of ghoulish enemies, an overly complicated narrative and a badass attitude, the title may fly over the heads of many. Offering a personal experience rather than a scripted and linear formula, the simplistic gameplay quickly entices deeper thoughts and an intelligent underlying message.


Don't worry. it won't be long until you are united with hundreds of other flowers.
Colour will be restored, thanks to the power of your dreams.

Starting out on a single windowsill, overlooking the dank dark greys of the city, youíll wonder what is going on around you. Sitting silently, a solitary flower droops, bowing its head in acceptance of its monochrome surroundings. Reaching a peaceful state of mind, the conspicuous blossom begins to flourish, heading into a dream world full of excitement and opportunity.

Itís this sense of calmness and peace that makes Flower such a joy to play. Entering a utopian world of lush greenland, your job is to guide a petal along a path that begins to attract other similar flowers. You control the wind via use of the Sixaxis controller, as the developers show that the previously mistreated and misused motion sensor is capable of delivering a staggering performance. In fact, without utilising the Sixaxis set-up, the flow and softness of Flower would be lost. As you make your way through the first beautiful landscape, youíll quickly work out how to control your ever-growing cluster of bloom and buds in a fashion that becomes as natural as the settings you gracefully caress. In fact, Flower can successfully be controlled with one hand; such is the ease of the Sixaxis this time round. Furthermore, with a hand free, you can sit comfortably stroking the hair on your chin, contemplating a vast assortment of thoughts and judgements that pop up into your mind throughout. If you hadnít guessed already, your task is to unite with other flowers that nestle below the wind, and to reinstate the world around you back to its innate status.


The world in Flower seeks to use nature's strength in any way possible.
As night hits, the nightmares begin.

In order to progress and to restore colour to the grass that sways under your god-like prowess, players must ensure they are making contact with the glowing attractiveness of flowers that are scattered across the scenery. The backdrop is very much part of the gameís charm, as youíll swoop and sweep through individual blades of grass in a delightfully vibrant and touching experience. After completing the first level, youíll notice that there is a hidden point to the game that is vitally apparent through subtle nods to the boundaries and limitations of life in the real world.

At the end of each level, youíll be shown a newly coloured shot of the city your petal seeks to escape. Initially highlighting an improvement, it isnít long before your dreams are turned to nightmares, and you are faced with fighting off the restrictions that plagued your mind in the first place. Flower quickly shows itself to be a delicate tale of self-belief and reflection, as you enter the darkness of night in order to destroy the torment of the authority that clamps down on any individuality in your life. The vast difference in sharp, stylish colours in under an hour of play is impressively refreshing, as youíll experience thriving greens, heart-warming reds, and neon-crested blues. Not only a visual pleasure for the eyes, this extensive colour palette also acts as a tracker for your progress, as youíll quickly advance through the shifting shading schemes and range of thoughts they all undoubtedly produce.


The range of colours are staggeringly vibrant and hugely appealing.
Flower allows you to soar through the sky without a trouble in the world.

As it reaches its conclusion, Flower notches up the pace and entertainment brilliantly. Finally breaking free of your troubles, youíll embellish the city with a banquet of colour, reminiscing titles such as de Blob and Okami. The game strives to make the player feel real emotions, as it presents a number of themes that can only be explained once it has been experienced. This kind of originality is entirely refreshing, as thatgamecompany highlight how there is room for something a little different, and something very special on the PlayStation 3.


As far as downloadable titles go, you wonít find anything as wonderfully mesmerising as Flower. With a simplistic outlook on the wider worries of life, youíll be reliving every moment as soon as you finish, squeezing meaning from every emotion that it riles through your body with such inescapable ease. Itíll be interesting to see where the developers go from here, as they have once again delivered perfectly. As a short but definitely sweet experience, Flower breaks free of conventional gameplay, and is not to be missed.

Top Game Moment:
Progressing through the game is a thought-provoking and beautiful experience.

Videos

Comments

By JustCommunication (SI Core) on Feb 19, 2009
JustCommunication
I have to say, this game intrigues me, and it would be one reason to buy a PS3 were it not so expensive. Say what you want about Sony, the fact that they can get people to produce material like this shows a real 'open-minded' attitude towards gaming and towards what people percieve 'games' to be. It also shows how crucial motion controllers and motion technology is to the future of game development.

I wonder how this game would work on the Wii? It probably wouldn't anywhere else, which is unfortunate.
By Call_of_duty_4_life (SI Newbie) on Feb 19, 2009
Call_of_duty_4_life
I thats the most stupid game ever cuz you dont get blow someones brains out
By JamieSI (SI Core) on Feb 19, 2009
JamieSI
Not all games are about blowing people's brains out :p
By lichlord (SI Core) on Feb 19, 2009
lichlord
special game ive gotta say never saw one like this could be fun tho :)

nice landscape and graphics
By Nakerman (SI Veteran Newbie) on Feb 20, 2009
Nakerman
Yeah, I'm glad the game doesn't involve blowing people's brains out. Would kinda take away from the experience. ;)
By senecaz (SI Newbie) on Feb 28, 2009
senecaz
this game is really interesting.. i wonder if this game will be available in psp coz its really intriguing hahah i never imagined a game that would be so peaceful.
By slaythat (SI Veteran Member) on Apr 14, 2009
slaythat
Flower is a gorgeously crafted fable, and though short, it's genuinely mesmerising.

The Good:
Superb artistic design Beautiful interactive audio Well-implemented control system Great diversity between levels.
The Bad:
Incredibly short Limited replay value.