By nature, flowers are a very feminine and delicate subject matter, and as such, a video game where you play as a flower petal doesn’t sound very exciting at all, especially compared to everything else that you can find on Sony’s PlayStation consoles. However, if you are the in the sadly rare minority who don’t want to shoot people and are looking for a unique yet beautiful experience, then look no further than Flower.
Flowers are entwined with the idea of natural beauty, breathtaking landscapes and amazing, vivid scenes where emotions can flare and run wild…and that’s, rather cleverly, what the purpose of the game is all about. As a sad, rouge petal of a flower that’s all on it’s own, using the power of the wind the mission is for you to twirl and dance daintily across these large, sprawling landscapes and bring nature back to the worlds that you play as. Whilst initially you start in fields and hilly landscapes, you quickly move on to more man-made environments, where the many blades of grass that you used to fly through are now dark and grey, overshadowed by wind turbines and pylons which have been given the role of “enemy”.
Through the moments of beauty and wonder, you gather many other flower petals on your quest, slowly but surely turning into a majestic spiral of sound, music and pleasant windy sounds, and all of this is inwardly supported by the outstanding composer that’s behind the soundtrack to the game, with the music adding to the sense of wonder that you’re meant to experience, gliding across the landscape.
See, Flower is, for lack of a better term, one of those video games that can genuinely get away with calling themselves an art form, be it through the moments of natural beauty or the moments of terrifying beauty, like the moment and the feeling that arrives when you first run into an obstacle, or the feeling you get from rushing underneath falling buildings, and the terrific use of motion controls just make this experience all the stronger and all the more stunning and engaging.
However, the player gets told next to nothing about the world. The instructions are near empty and essentially just tell the player to get on with it and find out for themselves, and that you do, and that is strangely empowering. Discovering the secrets in the game for yourself, or finding a quicker and easier passage through the level adds to this feeling, and then you’ve got the last level which magnifies the intensive feelings that you’ve got inside; it all just makes you think that this game is about the feels and the vibes that you get from it, and as such, some people will obviously not have the experience that others do.
However, even then, when you get down to it nobody can deny that Flower utilizes amazing visuals, visuals which you would be more than happy to just float around and experience along with a soundtrack that’s outstanding and easily worth listening to even on it’s own; it all adds up to display exactly why the PlayStation is more than a console to shoot people on and a console to kill people with, it’s a console that can and occasionally does deliver unique and fascinating experiences that nobody should ignore.