When one gives up living and using his soul, he can't only lose the soul but can also devote it to death... Before souls completely die they stick in The Void - an odd space between life and death. There is an outside chance to survive in The Void and even to come back from it. This chance is The Color - the only food of a dying soul wandering through the mournful realms of The Void, governed by monstrous Brothers and malicious Sisters, who are desperately struggling for the last drops of it. The Color is not only the sense of life of these mysterious creatures but also gives power and vital force to the whole Void. The Color gives you power to do almost everything even to get out of death clutches if you gain enough Color, but there is a great lack of it in the arid deserts of The Void. There is Color only for one. Be the one, get your lost soul back!
This game is an odd one, presenting you with a complex, sometimes scary and morbid world and an equally complex and morbid character gallery. What begins as an adventure of exploration with a handful of spells at your disposal soon expands to involve some rather difficult strategy as you, the player, travel the game space, attempting to build up power by setting up farms and mining.
The narrative is one of the more involved ones I have encountered in playing games, although it's complexity and the fact that you often have to forgive how rambling some of the sisters and brothers of the void are, like oracles, they speak not in straightforward messages. Nor will the game be anywhere near obvious in what it wants you to do or what the "good thing" to do is. This will test the patience of gamers spoiled with straightforward "white knight kills black knight" narratives. The deception, not knowing whom to support and the world are, in my mind, two of the games key features. It is a fantastic journey to walk through the void and experience it. It is especially different from most other games I ever played. It is a very innovative game which tries hard to create an actually meaningful expression which is different.
The main drawback, in my mind, is the difficulty of the game, which isn't helped by the quite complicated spell system and the difficulty in using it properly, especially in combat, when stressed.
With the problems and weird, unusual things mentioned above, which likely will deter people, this is still a warmly recommended experience.
Do note that the developer has released an "easy mode" patch.
This game's selling point is its use of Okami style painting to accomplish most tasks. Amongst the intricate art style, the haunting tracks, and the cryptic characters, I have to say, this is NOT a game for the mainstream.
While there are many avenues to discover, and explore in the different realms, you constantly have to make sure you have "color" in one of you many hearts. Obviously, you start off with one, which hinders you quite a bit, but as the game progresses you are given more "hearts" that get placed throughout your body, each with a different encompassing ability. You have to attain color from lympha plants, trees, etc, and take them to the sister of the void to appease the brothers in a deceptive ploy to overtake the Void. Combat consists of using your Nerva (usable) colors to stop creature/enemy advance, but not much other than that. While you are limited to that for combat, you can use Brush techniques to give yourself a boost in defense, a charge of speed, etc to give yourself the advantage you need over your opponent or obstacle.
Again, the game is very cryptic, yet enchanting, and not for the faint of mind/heart.
Another bizarre game by the Russian developers at Ice-pick Lodge (makers of Pathologic). Unique and surreal, The Void has an excellent and unsettling atmosphere. The Void is difficult to categorize, but it has strong survival aspects. The rules for the game are poorly explained, but that's because discovering the way things work is part of the game's experience. The difficulty is just as punishing as you would expect from a Russian developer, so you may want to play on the lower difficulty levels.
Overall I loved it, but this game is clearly not for everyone. If you're interested in games as art this is a prime example. If you want something a little more straightforward then give this a pass.