Keeping a game under wraps during development is tricky business, but Ubisoft has managed to surprise us with a previously-unheard-of new IP: the musical, whimsical Ode. The launch trailer shows off the player character, Joy, bouncing through neon-tinged magical gardens like a mesmerising LSD flashback. Apparently. I wouldn’t know about those things, because it’s illegal, okay.
You play as Joy, a fallen star who weaves through these landscapes triggering layers of sound and colour. There seems to be a point to it, something about collecting stars and bringing the world back to life, but developer Ubisoft Reflections has made Ode more about the sensory experience than trying to grind through a narrative. Expect lots of freedom, and little in the way of challenges or complications.
It’s definitely unique, and something about it is reminiscent of Flower/Journey developer Thatgamecompany’s design ethos. In a world filled with games about shooting Nazis and other nefarious types in the face, Ode’s “make love not war” style should be refreshing. It’s out right now on PC via the Ubisoft store.