Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Maize PS4 Review

A-maize-ing or just plain corny?

Everyone likes a bit of weirdness in their lives, be it Monty Python, Dali paintings or one of those random sandwiches you might end up making when finances are know the ones with sugar puffs and brown sauce and feta cheese, just me? Well anyway, the point is that Maize is really very weird and that weirdness is by far it's strongest feature. If only the rest of the game had received as much attention as the surreal design choices.

Maize dumps the player in a middle of a corn field where you must find your way through a maze of maize (as it were) to various points of interest such as a farmhouse, a silo, an outhouse and so on. Here you'll need to scour every inch of the environment for various items to use in other highlighted places...essentially Maize is a first person point and click game as you gather items and then work out where to use them. Thing is that due to illogical puzzles of similar nature to the Discworld point and click games you'll end up just using every item in every viable place until you stubble on the solution. Fortunately Maize is pretty linear with each area being relatively small (in spite of long trapses between locations of note) as you transfer from the maize field to explore an underground base.

The point of all this exploring and puzzle solving slowly becomes.....some what clearer as you realise that the base and field where the game is set were the locations of a science experiment that, due to miscommunication, created a small army of sentient corn. More details can be found through various clues in the environment most of which revolve around a rivalry between two work colleagues, Ted and Bob. There are some mild twists and some characters of interest...but the humour isn't quite as clever as the game thinks and some characters are very irritating, most notably a teddy bear who follows you around and makes repetitive quips throughout more than half the game.

Visually the game is both good and bad. The world is actually very pretty and detailed, especially the outdoor sections...but the game is frankly a bit stuttery and the frame rate can be pretty poor at times. Most notable however is the fact that maize made me feel mildly motion sick...something that has never happened to me in any game before, so if you are someone who gets a bit sick when playing FPS then maize may cause you to make your living room look like a Friday night out in Hull.

Ultimately Maize is a game that will only appeal to those who are desperate for quirky humour in their games or people who hoover up anything point and click related. The game is pretty when you're not moving about and the surreal humour gives it an identity of its own. But the obscure puzzles, the unnecessary long walks back and fourth as you hunt for items tucked away, the motion sickness causing visuals and the weird sound design that just seems strangely off and bare bones mean that Maize is like an unpopped kernel at the bottom of a tub of popcorn.

That's it for this DELIGHTFUL review, time for the clean up.

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Catch ya later, yeah!

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