If you don’t like music, you’re either dead on the inside or most definitely deceased on the outside. There’s something about music that moves us. A collection of notes, whether they be melodic orchestral arrangements or angry punk rock throwdowns, that have the power to move us to greater heights. Music is simply fantastic and I can’t imagine living in a world where tapping your foot to a beat doesn’t exist.
That’s the world of Ode, Ubisoft’s delightful little exploration of harmony and beats that puts you in the bubble of the titular main character as he bounces around, restoring the soul of his world one note at a time. On the surface, Ode is a combination of music and movement, as players bounce around stages and kickstart a symphony of song.
On an audio level, it’s amazing. Every interaction with the world around you ejects a beat of some sort, your actions eventually reaching a crescendo of musical notes that culminate in a fresh tune that would make Daft Punk proud. It’s genius stuff, as every sound fits in perfectly while a more dynamic background track subtly evolves in the background. You’d be hard-pressed not to find yourself humming to the music or tapping your foot as you bounce around a strange and alien landscape of bass-dropping mushrooms and colourful vistas.
All of this takes place across a quartet of strange levels, offering players new noises to jump around on and combine into a concert of victory. The setup to do so is easy enough: Ode can collect small orbs, instantly plug them into a nearby green lumps that will feed into a larger organism that pumps out the jams, signalling the end of a section.
Easy stuff at first, but made more challenging across the stages as access to these orchestral organisms start to become more and more difficult. Exploration is the key to success of course, as your collection of marbles can slot new abilities into Ode when discovered and allows the little fella to reach new heights.
It’s a simple enough structure to play around with, but Ode’s greatest strength lies in how it presents its audio odyssey. The world changes around you, the beat adapts and there’s a certain tangible feeling of triumph with each obstacle that is overcome. It’s a giddy sensation, feeling the music dance through you and yet never push to follow a linear path as you’re allowed more than enough freedom to explore at your own pace.
Ode is at its best when you find yourself absorbed by its beats. When you keep pushing forward with a goal in mind as the harmony guides you to a brighter future in the stars. It’s a passionate idea explored to its full potential, a charming adventure into the power of a strong melody and the power of music.
Last Updated: December 4, 2017