Fez PAX East Hands-On Preview -- A Long Awaited Look at a Brain-Twisting PlatformerBy Nikole Zivalich - Posted Mar 16, 2011
Polytron's puzzle-platformer Fez has been talked about and in development for what seems like forever. It was originally set to be released in 2010, after nearly 15 years of development, but it sadly didn’t hit that mark. However, at long last, we were able to finally get our hands on the first 20 minutes of the long, long awaited indie title during this year’s PAX East
You play as Gomez, a young white blob-boy. The game starts out in Villegeville, Gomez's home town. Villageville is a colorful, 2D, floating world that has yet to receive "the gift of 3D." As Gomez, you jump and climb your way to the highest point in town where "Geezer" is waiting for you. Once you get there, he trusts you with a magical fez with power to control 3D. Are there no original stories anymore?!
The magic fez, quite literally, changes everything. Not only are you suddenly hip with your stylish new hat, but you can also control the world. "Control the world" sounds a bit loaded, but that's exactly what you do. Using the right and left triggers, you can rotate your plane of vision to reveal three new sides of the level you couldn't see before.
So while Fez is a largely traditional platformer, you’ll have to harness the power of 3D to change how you look at the space around you. Places that are too far away for you to safely jump to will suddenly be within jumping distance if you rotate your perspective. Gamers will need to master this concept, for every part of the level you see has three more perspectives for you to explore and use.
At first glance, Fez may look retro or 16-bit, but there is no shortage of details in this game. Bright, vibrant colors fill each level, and those colors are only overshadowed by the NPCs, as each one has its own funny word bubbles, which rooted us on as we went on our adventure. You might think you'll be getting bleeps and bloops for audio, but, surprisingly, the game has crisp sounds that illustrate climbing vines, collecting little yellow squares, and even using the triggers to change your perspective.
Fez definitely caught/bent our eyes, and we look forward to seeing more as we get closer to its release on Xbox Live Arcade later this year.