Ode is a brand new title by Ubisoft’s Reflections studio, and just came out of nowhere when it was launched this week. We played it on PC to see what this new title is about.
Coming from the developers of Grow Home, Ode is clearly a more “indie” title from Ubisoft, and priced accordingly at just under five dollars/euros. This is reflected in the game’s length as well, seeing as how you can get to the end in about two hours even though Ode’s casual gameplay/exploration style allows for a certain degree of replay value.
In Ode, you’re taking an audiovisual journey through music-infused landscapes – where collecting fallen stars will increase the intensity of the music (as well as the visuals). In this sense, Ode echoes small elements of games like Rez while staying true to the platforming elements of titles like Grow Home.
Playing as a lead character called Joy, you don’t get much of an introduction when the game starts – you discover by just playing and discovering/unlocking more music and, well, joy. Tackling the various elements in each level will result in a different soundtrack based on the order in which you collect stars, making for a “personal” flavor of music that can be changed during subsequent playthroughs.
In every game world, slight changes to your abilities are introduced, or new gameplay elements become part of the experience. This can include having to stand in specific spots or losing abilities you relied on before in exchange for others – but everything stays fairly casual and Ode never becomes a puzzle game because of these changes.
Ode is a pleasant game at a nice price point for those looking for something a little different and lighthearted to play over the holidays. With its cheerful tone and accessible gameplay, it’s a safe choice for the holidays.