Game news We tested Tchia, the adventure video game for the whole family on PS5
Published on 03/21/2023 at 18:15
We tested for you Tchia, an incredible family adventure inspired by the lands of New Caledonia.
SCRIPT FROM THE VIDEO
A nice breath of fresh air, what do you say? We tested for you Tchia, a tropical open-world adventure game developed by a small team of nine people from New Caledonia
The studio is called Awaceb, a name that comes from New Caledonian slang that roughly translates to “everything is fine” or “no worries”, and it fits the atmosphere of Tchia so well.
It’s available on March 21 on PC PS4 and PS5 and we’re telling you about it now!
Your adventure begins on the small island of Uma (pronounced “ouma”) where Tchia and her father live peacefully sheltered from everything. But then one fine day, a stranger lands in a helicopter and breaks the mood by kidnapping the nice dad. Little Tchia will have to muster her courage in both hands to set off in search of her and cross an entire archipelago.
From beginning to end, the player is embarked on a truly touching and fabulous story. And don’t be fooled by this cute artistic direction, the story has quite dark parts to tell. And to illustrate this, we are entitled to a shovelful of cutscenes, each more adorable than the other. The game is full of them and it’s a treat every moment as they are as touching as possible.
If the narrative unfolding is generally quite expected, it remains damn effective and concise since the main adventure will occupy you less than 10 hours in a straight line. There is also a very nice gallery of really endearing characters doubled by super warm voices. Awaceb has called on local talents from New Caledonia to dub the characters in the game and we are entitled to dialogues in French but also in drehu, the Kanak language of Lifou, located in the Archipelago of the Loyalty Islands and that is frankly very very nice to hear. Tchia has two main assets that made us particularly vibrate and her story is clearly one of them, we’ll tell you about the second at the end.
Tchia can explore a whole open world that is large and varied enough to make you feel out of place from time to time. There are as many beautiful colors as pretty biomes to explore, whether on land or in the ocean! And then we love the very immersive side of the exploration: we can find our bearings simply by following the indications of directional signs or we can climb mountains with bare hands so that Tchia can take her bearings from the highest peak of the island, a way to update our compass and add points of interest on the map, it’s super clever! We also really appreciate the beautiful sunsets that enhance our walks. The only small flaws: a bit of clipping and long loading times which affect the fluidity of the walk which, moreover, as you will see, is very peaceful.
To make your trip easier, Tchia has a most remarkable gift: she is able to control any cross beast, in addition to a few objects such as stones and lanterns. We can therefore slip into the skin of a shark to quickly cross the currents or choose to embody a bird for a few moments to fly. Owning creatures consumes an automatically recharging stamina gauge that also appears when you climb rather steep heights or hover above villages by parachuting using a giant leaf. Tchia is able to climb almost any surface and can even swing from the tops of trees to pounce. And then it also has a cute little customizable makeshift raft that allows you to take beautiful walks at sea and to music. Basically, there are lots of little exploration-related mechanics that make it really cool. All of this works very well and necessarily makes travel more pleasant.
Also be aware that the world of Tchia is not really the most hostile: you will occasionally come across camps of cloth soldiers created by the villain of the game, Meavora, who stand ready for fights that you can very easily flee.. Afterwards, eliminating them will often allow you to unlock sets of clothes to customize your Tchia, whose wardrobe grows over the course of the adventure. But in any case, do not count on Tchia to embark on crazy action phases, it is not at all specific to the adventure.
Of course, there are still fights to undertake during the main adventure and we appreciate the inventiveness. Tchia must take possession of explosives, lanterns or anything flammable in addition to being in her line of sight to eliminate fabric enemies. A system on which depends the player who has an interest in always being placed in the right place and which requires him to be very lively despite a relatively slow character. The aesthetics of the fights are not really fabulous but hey, we salute the general idea
When you don’t have to fight, your journey will often consist of gathering offerings or bringing a tasty crab to the matriarch of a quiet tribe. Beyond that, you will also have some surprises in terms of level design that we will not reveal to you to preserve the experience. Finally, count on a few additional activities: photography, stacking stones, racing challenges in the skin of a shark or even the sculpture of totems, which open the doors of sacred temples where certain advantages are based. But all that is quite light, and it’s still quite difficult to find the interest to drag on in the world of Tchia once the main story is over, to our greatest regret.
No side quest to the rendezvous of this open world, and the many crossed passers-by are content to drop a predefined sentence that includes a tip or the request to leave him alone. In short, to fully appreciate Tchia, focus on the beauty of its main story, after which you can take off.
But more than anything, what absolutely won us over in the game was the super generous music from the start. And we’re not just talking about the incredibly catchy soundtrack that takes us through the exploration with its traditional sung music and beautiful percussion. Throughout the game, we are entitled to a lot of musical sessions during which we can play with our ukulele or just let the music scroll automatically to fully enjoy the moment. There are plenty of magical moments like that – from the game’s intro, we are entitled to a few minutes of happiness by the fire during which Tchia rubs ferns and her father sings a song. Frankly, we could have continued to rub leaves for hours just for fun, we let you listen to an extract. Clearly, you might want to buy the game’s original soundtrack even if it only exists on vinyl and you don’t have a record player, just to give you an idea. In fact, beyond the very simple joy it brings, the music plays a rather important role in the game. With her ukulele, Tchia can strum the strings to change the time of day; better still, by unlocking new melodies, you will be able to summon animals that will serve as your rapid means of transport! In short, the music in Tchia is useful, and it alone creates such a warm atmosphere. Good for the warm atmosphere, the panoramas explored have something to do with it.
Tchia is an adventure that exudes good humor and that will undoubtedly warm your heart. The story is as touching as it is effective and the general atmosphere is enhanced by brilliant music and very warm characters. It’s also a game full of nice little ideas that make exploration devilishly effective. We only regret that the content is not sufficient to keep us long in the extent of its open world. And for all these reasons, we give it a score of 16/20.
About PlayStation 5
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