Oxenfree - PC Game Review - PushingUpRoses

Oxenfree – PC Game Review – PushingUpRoses

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Let’s take a look at Oxenfree. This is an exploration, narrative driven indie game that has multiple endings based on the decisions you make throughout the game. It has a mystery and suspense tone goin’ on. There are some minor spoilers in this review. #RENDROWNED

hey everyone pushing up roses here today I'm going to be taking a look at a new indie adventure game called oxen-free which was released on January 14th this game is described as a supernatural thriller after watching the trailer I was immediately impressed by the art and overall aesthetic and very interested in the concept you play a character named Alex who is sporting some lovely teal hair which is in my humble opinion one of the best colors for hair and you and a small group of friends decide to spend the night at Edwards Island which everyone quickly finds out is inhabited by ghosts listen the reason I was so initially enticed by this title is that it was giving me some Agatha Christie inspired vibes I really like stories that involve a small group of people stranded in a remote area such as the mansion on the island in and then there were none or in the Leyendecker Museum and the dagger of Amon rah or even the Research Station in the adventure game enclosure there's just something compelling about being trapped somewhere unfamiliar or eerie with just a few other people and then when you introduce a paranormal aspect or some kind of threat that my friends is an algebraic equation for success remote location plus a few people divided by a threat of some kind equals suspenseful thriller based on my rudimentary mathematical solution I figured oxen-free would be a game I could easily fall in love with but let's just say love is a strong word and I'm not ready for that kind of commitment I would say I fell in like with this game but not in love it's like when you see someone cute and automatically you have some insane infatuation towards them all because they have blond hair and blue eyes and then you get to know that person and they turn out to be really bland while oxen-free wasn't quite bland it was actually almost something I really liked but it was just on that cusp there was something missing that didn't push me over the puppy crush phase I want to start out by telling you everything I favorite about this game first because you know let's just start with the happy stuff and then end on a shitty note for an indie title this game has really good voice acting we started a fire down the way Nonna wanted to play beach nanny so yeah everyone this is Jonas Jonas everyone Hey hi and Jonas that were you again Jonas I can't say I was a fan of the written dialogue itself but the voice acting for each character was actually very good and that's an important thing to have when your game is dialogue heavy as I said before the game looks great I was truly impressed by how gorgeous and detailed all the places on the map really are I highly enjoyed the location for this game and I found it mysterious and creepy I really liked exploring the characters are pretty small on screen as you can see and you're looking at large settings from a distance but despite that the characters do look good and their animations are of great quality nothing appears sloppy and everything has a nice artistic flow the music also sets the mood perfectly ranging from eerie ambience to simplistic little tunes that never distract from the gameplay or the voice acting the gameplay mechanics themselves are really interesting and I wall between loving them and feeling like they're slightly irritating let me give you some context here so I can explain how the gameplay works when you and your friends get to the island you enter a cave tune a radio that Alex's friend Wren told her to bring and it opens up a rift that leads to a poltergeist haunting and sometimes possessing people we are an island rush into all our times the sea has ruled our bridge ah poltergeists gotta love the scheming pranksters poltergeist if you didn't know is German for rumbling ghosts poltroon means to rumble or to make a sound and Geist translates to spirit or ghost it's very rare that you see a poltergeist historically they are known more for causing disturbances like levitating items and throwing them across rooms opening doors or windows and in general just being noisy and bothersome this game depicts the ghost as possessing the characters and using them as puppets to communicate through them which isn't a thing poltergeists are usually known for but whatever it works besides there was an incident back in 1949 where a boy named Robbie Mannheim claimed he was possessed by one after using a Ouija board typically though human possession isn't as commonly documented as moving objects and making noises regarding the poltergeist whew tangent alright back to the game to communicate with these ghosts you can tune in to certain areas using a radio at first I really liked this mechanic the radio is really the only thing you use frequently in the game to figure things out like tuning into points where you can hear important tidbits and then later in the game using it to unlock doors it was a really cool mechanic at first but after finding the second radio which has about a hundred channels on it it became rather dull and monotonous especially when I didn't know which station to tune into to do something and I found myself scrolling back and forth multiple times just to find it it got old kind of quick and near the end of the game I no longer enjoyed using the radio a mechanic I did really like is the ability to choose how Alex responds to dialogue trees which does impact the game and how your characters evolve yeah red about Nona what did she say anything because if she said anything you should tell me but I think you should go for it and not only are you able to choose between these options you can also talk to other characters while you're exploring this was a brilliant move to me because I'm exploring a setting the dialogue doesn't seem sluggish I'm not just sitting there stuck listening to dialogue I can actually continue to my location while going through it that way the dialogue doesn't become tiring and it flows very well and it keeps me occupied during my exploration sometimes the characters cut each other off which I found kind of weird but I did like this mechanic overall oxen-free also has some really cool visual effects they work really well with this game the VCR screen warp specifically was done really well and the possession and time loop scenes are perfectly weird what's wrong with rent he he drowned wait a minute Wren drowned like been drowned so yeah this title has a lot of pros especially when it comes to quality a few redundant things here and there but looking at the big picture it's crafted very well so with all this delicious eye candy why did an oxen free result in a full-on FEM boner well I wasn't stimulated by the story to be honest maybe this just isn't a game targeted towards me but I can't relate to these characters who are teenagers with a lot of drama some of them have serious problems but I can honestly say I don't want to listen to characters bitch at each other for long spans of time the voice acting is really good but the scripting itself is a little annoying so I had a hard time empathizing again it could be because I'm not a teenager anymore so teenagers by their very nature annoy the piss out of me as I said previously the radio mechanic is overused and because it's really the only thing that contributes puzzles to the game it also becomes annoying in terms of being a suspense driven thriller it doesn't okay a job on that I wouldn't call it scary but there were some legitimately creepy moments maybe a couple startled scares here and there once you experience these startles however they lose their effect the story is adequate if not a little hard to comprehend you can find out more about the story by finding letters on the island left behind by a deceased woman who is trying to fix the rift herself how many officers died in the sinking of the USS cannibal the story also describes a submarine explosion which killed its crew and the ghosts who are communicating with via radio were the victims of that tragedy wanting justice I think because I wasn't terribly taken by the characters I cared less about the story I didn't dislike it though like I said for me it was just on that edge of being something really amazing a lot of people compared oxen-free to life is strange and I would say that's a good comparison your choices reflect the games ending in which there are multiple and I think it's fairly obvious that this game has an intention to challenge the player I can see this game spawning a lot of theory videos because it's very easy to want to dissect the story and the ghosts intent it is meant to be played multiple times so you can find new things and try different scenarios my first playthrough took about seven and a half hours it runs for about 20 bucks on Steam which some people say is too steep for the seven to eight hours but to be very honest with you I find it incredibly difficult to judge prices based on time spent it doesn't make too much sense to me I mean we pay $11 to see a two hour movie right sometimes an hour and a half and we don't get to take it home and to get another theater experience you pay another 11 bucks unlike an interactive experience like a game in which you can keep and replay some movies I like and some I hate and it has little to do with how long it was and everything to do with the quality I would say 20 bucks is just a little steep just based on quality alone I would say it's fair but I do wish it were more around the fifteen dollar price point based on the kind of gameplay I got keep in mind the majority of people do like this game a whole lot so this is clearly a personal taste deal I still recommend it because I did like it I think people who liked life is strange will also like oxen-free though personally I did find life is strange more engaging and now I shall leave you with Wren he talks a lot a lot enjoy okay speed redefinition of Edwards Island this is a tourist trap with shops at a beach nobody lives here except for some geriatric named mrs. Adler as God is my witness we'll never mention her or any other old person's name again we are here to drink and be stupid a tradition apparently started by board recruits in the 1950s hey everyone thanks for watching my review on oxen-free if you want to see another review I have one linked in the annotations called that dragon cancer probably want to get a tissue box ready for that one before you watch if you want to talk about Agatha Christie hit me up on my social networks if you want to support me in a non emotional monetary sense I also have a patreon campaign thanks again and see you guys in the next one

29 Replies to “Oxenfree – PC Game Review – PushingUpRoses”

  1. PixellatedEpiphany

    Can't believe that I hadn't discovered this channel sooner! This video has proven to be a fine starting point.

  2. ElvanLady

    Some of the visual stuff was cool but were effects I wish I could turn off because they were distracting and/or made me a bit seasick.

  3. Jericho Pelous

    I actually liked the art style but I think I agree with you about the character and story development. Glad is was free on Xbox live

  4. Bea Kind

    I personally love Oxenfree and as someone who loves the game TOTALLY agree with you on the repetitiveness of the radio and the annoyance of the characters. To me I was mostly annoyed because the only character we really connect to (and the only one I cared about as a result) is Jonas. Ren is Alex's best friend but we don't really see the two interact and he acts like more of nuisance than a help most of the time, like his character requires a background we don't have in the game?? We don't get to talk to Nona much and getting her and Ren together seems a bit shallow since we don't know anything about them really?

    I remember being surprised after Ren drowned and Nona said she liked him bc I hadn't seen any of that development. Maybe the game should of traded off who we were with or even who we WERE? Like playing as Ren and Nona to further their characters and romance. It would also help with learning more about…Clarrisa. (Like playing as Nona and Clarissa)

    And Clarrisa was honestly AWFUL. I was never compelled to talk to her in any of my playthroughs in any positive way because she is so needlessly cruel without pause to Alex. We HEAR about her being nice from Alex's brother and Nona but we don't see it on screen, we just see Clarrisa being rude to and antagonizing Ren (our best friend) and Jonas (our stepbrother). Oh and telling Alex she was responsible for her brother's death!! I understand she's grieving but Alex is too and it's very off-putting!! I remember feeling HAPPY when I sacrificed her to get off the island despite Alex's apparent sorrow, which is…not good!!

    The story being largely dependent on finding notes was a bit dissappointing to me since there was a lot of dialogue on this game, I felt it would have been more followable if the sunken gave more away about their purpose and wants and story. And if we could interact with or help the sunken more?? Or if there were more interesting puzzles where having different companions mattered?? Like I love Jonas but he doesn't really do anything to help, and he doesn't need to since Alex is the only one who can…do things, since every puzzle needs a radio. I hesitate to even call them puzzles since I just randomly moved my radio until it worked. The most enjoyable puzzles where when the ghosts tested me, I felt a real sense of urgency and fear!! And the ren drowned time loop!! I wish there was more of that in the game, where the ghosts confronted you and tried to stop your progress or add conflict!!

    All that said I still love the game!!! The atmosphere and what we know of the characters I love (-cough- except maybe Clarissa -cough-) and the time loop aspect was AMAZING!!!! I love it so much I feel like I want the game to have MORE!! (This is the longest comment I've ever left on anything!!)

  5. 0Lottee0

    I went into Oxenfree not knowing anything about it, I was just down to jam and my fiance got it free on a sale on steam so I figured it was gonna be some shitty game. I ended up loving it and played through it twice to see all that changed and get a 'true' ending. I do agree that the radio scrolling could have been changed or simplified since it becomes tedious when you get the expanded channels to access but I was still engaged and excited searching for the right channel and felt rewarded with little secrets and tid bits found throughout the game. I can also see how teenager banter might not be for everyone, but for me it reminded me of some really painful and difficult situations I went through at that age so I related to things on a personal level. I don't think I would call it a strictly horror/scary game either, it's more thriller than horror even with a supernatural aspect to things. I felt like Oxenfree was at its core a story about grief and how different people handle it.

  6. Maureen

    I know you don't do as many RPGs, but you really should give Vampire the Masquerade Bloodlines a try. It's a gem of the game (terrible fighting mechanics not withstanding) and I think you'd enjoy playing it multiple times as certain classes really do change the game. But fair warning. Malkavians are best saved for a second play for full effect.

  7. Michal Danek

    I'm really surprised that you didn't bring up Clarissa's story in this, especially considering that you said the choices "challenge" the player. When I learned about her relationship with Michael I felt so bad for disliking her at first (even though yeah she does weirdly blame Alex for his death). Like I legitimately went to go help Ren first because I just didn't want to deal with her, but later on I found myself struggling with the decision to sell her out to the ghosts or not.

    Also, I guess this doesn't apply to you, but I found Ren to be extremely relatable as I am also a young guy who talks too much and a little weirdly and also really likes over-explaining things to people.

    In any case, I mostly agree with your ultimate assessment of this game: looked amazing, but was just a little disappointing.

  8. Jackson Webb

    This game is a master-piece. The story, the characters, the feelings, the atmosphere, oh my goodness it's beautiful.
    It's in my top 10 favourite games ever.

  9. Soph L.

    Oxenfree isn't my favorite game ever made, but I really enjoyed the take on the ghosts. They were legitimately creepy and the take on possession was terrifying. The thing that sort of annoyed me though was that of all of the games to have voice acting, this one really shouldn't have. The voice acting is great, don't get me wrong, but they never stop talking and sometimes the dialogue overlaps itself and gets confusing due to just how frequently the characters speak. Regardless, I still really enjoyed this game.

  10. sagesaria

    One thing I didn't really get about this game is how your steam friends can leave you hints and vice versa. What's the point? There doesn't seem to be that much punishment for not following their advice as far as I can tell, aside from maybe tweaking the ending a bit, and honestly seeing somebody's name on the screen suddenly kind of took me out of the moment rather than give me anything interesting.

  11. Piero Serra

    I'm a year late to this game but I absolutely agree with your review. Great visuals, voices and music, and an intruiging setting, but lacking puzzles and depth. The replay value through the looping ending is good though.

  12. H. G.

    I think the thing I liked the most was actually the story and characters, I really don't relate a lot about the drama comment, the only character who constantly bitches is Clarissa, and after a few snippets of background she is kind of justified, to me the story was all about the USS Kanaloa, perhaps the reason for this was that was instinctively both trying to both keep peace among the characters and saving the ghosts, to me the main disappointment so far, are the endings, I played twice, and got two very different "outcomes" plus an epilogue, but nothing I did in the final part seemed to have affected what I saw in the end at all, like for instance and SPOILERS, the first time around I decided to sacrifice myself to save everyone, except, I was on the bote at the end, and the second time I tried to convince the ghost to leave, which seems to not have worked according to the dialogue, but I did not close the tear, I was excepting then that we all would be possesed in the ending, and we were not, the only think that changed is how much my relationships improved, to me that was a bit of a downer, perhaps I havent done what is really needed to see something different yet.

  13. Abbey Bominable

    human posessions are kind of a regular thing in my province, Bali. it happens often, but it still kinda freaks me out. it often happens in my school too, only to girls. Its cool and terrifying at the same time

  14. Ian Morgan

    How many times has Roses said eerie ambiance on her channel by now. I should start counting… Someone should start counting.

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