Annapurna Interactive returns to mark a masterstroke. Collaboration with the independent team of Beethoven & Dinosaur, go up PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series X | S the very successful The Artificial Escape by Francis Vendetti. A psychedelic adventure which with its vibrant colors intrigued us since the first unveiling and which now joins the Day One catalog Xbox Game Pass. From Thursday, September 9, Microsoft users will be able to pick up the electric guitar and go to the most absurd corners of the universe, among artistic suggestions that will delight rock fans.
Our sidereal journey took place on an Xbox Series X, which perfectly met our thirst for sonic virtuosity. Closed (for now) the guitar in the case, this is why we advise you to let yourself be carried away in the Wonder of Francis Vendetti.
A rock story
The adolescent Francis Vendetti he is known to his fellow citizens mainly as the grandson of the great Johnson vendetti, a true legend of folk music.
To celebrate the anniversary of the publication of “pine trees, The maestro’s most famous album, the country is hosting a commemorative festival, which sees thousands of fans heading to the hill station. Another reason for excitement, the imminent debut of Francis Vendetti, grandson of the musician and guitarist prodigy who will perform for the first time at the music fair. An opportunity not to be missed for the fans and for the municipality, who hope to find in the boy the same vocation as the talented uncle.
But being a committed folk musician doesn’t seem too comfortable to the young Francis, music lover, but also passionate about science fiction Serie B. For him (almost) without his knowledge, the boy is in the midst of an artistic and identity crisis, seized by the fear of disappointing those around him, but also eager to freely seek his musical vocation. And what better way to find yourself than to leave for an epic intergalactic journey aboard an absurd spaceship?
In the middle of the night, the guitarist’s wildest sci-fi fantasies show up at the front door, convincing him to embark on an unprecedented adventure like Lightman’s opening artist, one of the most famous artists in all of Stupefacosm. Eccentric and talented, the musician has indeed decided to go on a new sidereal tour, and wishes to take the young Francis Vendetti with him.
The prospect of an interstellar journey in the company of a star rock legend, coupled with the solemn promise of being brought back in time for the festival, is all our protagonist needs to be convinced. Thus begins the “artistic escape” which gives the title to the production Beethoven & Dinosaurs, for an adventure which is also and above all a path of growth and inner research, which will lead Francis to understand what kind of artist he really wants to be: he is really folk to the Bob Dylan his destiny, or perhaps we are rather facing a David Bowie who has not yet given in to the call of glam rock?
A show of lights and colors on Xbox Game Pass
From these premises an extraordinary interactive spectacle comes to life, in which the player is constantly exposed to a kaleidoscope of sounds, colors and vibrations. The extraterrestrial environments evoked by Francis Vendetti’s Artistic Escape are simply awe-inspiring, animated with extraordinary inspiration and, above all, incredibly alive.
The alien species that inhabit the Stupefacosm seem to have come out of the best feathers of great science fiction, so in their surreal essence or anatomy they manage to be perfectly believable, never grotesque or ridiculous. Among immense deserts capable of rivaling glimpses of dunes, snow-capped landscapes and lush jungles, the visual power of the Annapurna Indie is unmistakable. Bewitching, the scenarios of the title capture the player, who is seduced by them when he is called to cross them to the rhythm of the music. Each level will see us constantly holding our faithful guitar, whose notes blend perfectly with the sounds produced by the natural environment of each planet visited. François’ musical approach generates renewed vitality in the surrounding world, among animal creatures that engage in sinuous dances, flowers that bloom to the rhythm of the music or sources of light that illuminate as they pass.
Between spaceships that seem ready to leave the screen and a very inspired alien fauna, The artistic escape he does not put aside the story, proposing excellent writing. With a good English dubbing and an Italian localization which comes up against some negligible stumbling, the work stages with simplicity – but never banality – the growth path of Francis Vendetti. Gradually, the young man becomes aware of himself and his own musical tastes, forging his own unique style and transforming himself into a real stage animal.
With him, the player is also part of a world where expressing oneself is the only thing that matters, even if a whole planet of critics and fashion designers will try to convince us otherwise. An individual expression which also finds its manifestation in very welcome character look editor and in delightful narrative moments, one of all an exhilarating late show in which Francis recounts his own galactic genesis. Were we captains of an epic heavy metal space crew? Are we coming from a planet whose axis moves according to the mathematical imperatives established by the filling of a candy? Are we irrational, dreamy, arrogant or enthusiastic? In amazement everything is possible, and all our fantasies will find the right way to consolidate the personality of the still adolescent guitarist.
How is it i
At the center of the experience which is undoubtedly represented by the constant construction of an explosive audiovisual spectacle, supported by the aforementioned writing quality, The artistic escape don’t forget to line up an adequate dose of gameplay. At the strictly video game level, the work is configured as a rhythm game with fairly basic platform elements.
François’ walk among the celestial bodies rests above all on the spectacular and the harmony that emerges between music and decor, and for this reason the development team did not insert – rightly, in our opinion – articulated platform phases that would have risked breaking its rhythm. Simple jumps in quick succession, swaying through the air and gliding at supersonic speed are the only things that distinguish a platform component that is certainly not overwhelming.
Much more present is the soul of the rhythm game, which sees the player perform short musical sequences using five buttons on the controller. A simple control system, but which at certain stages, especially the last ones boss fight, he also manages to offer a certain challenge. On this front, however, it must be admitted, the authors of Beethoven & Dinosaurs they could have offered more diversified or articulated solutions, to offer a The artistic escape greater playful depth. A criticism that fades, however, by recognizing that during the entire adventure, which lasts about four hours, no feeling of boredom has ever manifested itself.
Finally, great credit must be given to the software company’s ability to complete the entire campaign of an incredible number of references to great musical legends. Always well studied and never too flashy, references to Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd or Guns N ‘Roses are constant goodies that brighten up the trip with Francis. Between well-crafted comic moments and reflections on the importance of clearing a path, in short, the adventure of young Vendetti is absolutely successful.