Cions of Vega XSX Review 5.5/10 "He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother" 🏘️ @eastasiasoft #IndieGame #GameDev

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I’m a big fan of walking simulators, some can be quite affecting and haunting, such as Dear Esther or What Remains of Edith Finch, whilst others can perhaps not connect as deeply with the player, but still be positive and fun experiences as you get lost in the atmosphere and chill out for a few hours.

Cions of Vega is unfortunately a very scattered and tonally uneven game, and this affects the way that I reacted to the story, that of a man searching for his missing daughter through rural countryside and small, forgotten villages – with his brother tagging along, spouting exposition to our silent protagonist.

The visuals are quite striking, the mountainous region that the characters are making their way through really conjures the images of a hike, especially as the occasional animal darts out of your way, the aching orchestral score lulling in the background as you progress, these are the parts that stand out the most, and I feel that if the story and game mechanics were smoother, then the game would have been more affecting overall.

Whilst the music and visuals are highlights, it’s the way in which the narrative unfolds, and the puzzles that feel tired. The main loop of the game is that you walk down a linear path - your brother chatting as you do so – and you’ll come across a more open area with a smattering of buildings, in which there may be an obtuse sketch or note hinting at the overall arc of the story and a simple puzzle that needs to be solved in order to proceed.

Wandering around these areas tends to reveal no secrets or hidden areas and with much blocked off - so again it’s down to the pretty locale and views to hold your attention. Your character’s brother - and his dialogue especially – seem tonally at odds with the story, in that your daughter is missing in this area, and it’s populated by children with dead or absent parents standing outside bare homes that feature strange child-like scrawls of ominous imagery, and your brother is cheerfully regaling you with reminiscences of your childhood together and light-hearted banter of how close he is with your daughter, as well as telling of how much of a firecracker she is, all the while the violin rolls along mournfully, the soundtrack to your journey. This tonal narrative mishmash took away any sense of dread or emotional connection that could have been there for me.


A mechanically sound walking simulator that features a great atmospheric score and ‘ooo, I’d love to visit there’ visuals, Cions of Vega’s forced-in puzzles and jumbled narrative make for an experience that, although short,  feels a slightly missed opportunity. If you adore walking simulators, this is fairly priced and has some nice moments, but it’s unlikely to satisfy any newcomers to the genre.

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