Developed by the French studio The Game Bakers (Montpellier), Haven takes us on a dreamlike and romantic adventure on an unknown planet. Ideal for Valentine’s Day.
Created in 2010 in Montpellier, by former Ubisoft employees, The Game Bakers studio was illustrated in 2016 with its fighting game “Furi”, as brilliant as it is difficult. The tricolour studio returns with an even more ambitious project.
Haven is a title that combines adventure, exploration and RPG (role-playing game), with a background of romance . And which shows that when it comes to video games, “French” know-how does indeed exist! Something to have fun on the occasion of Valentine’s Day.
Yu and Kay are on a ship
Haven offers players to play as Yu and Kay, two teenage lovers who fled their fellows so as not to be separated. They went into exile on an unknown planet called “Source”.
Therefore, by alternating between the two protagonists (but we can also play two in cooperation), the player will have to explore this fragmented planet, to find resources , clean it of a curious “rust” and fight enemies. At the end of each day, you can recharge your batteries in “Le Nid”, your ship that has become your makeshift home.
A slightly light RPG dimension
During the exploration phases, the most enjoyable is the movement system. Yu and Kay glide over the ground or in the air, with fluidity (although on the ground, the movements are a little more tedious). If it is there, especially for the fights or the management of your skills, the RPG dimension remains a little too behind, a little too simplified for our taste.
Finally, we will also regret dialogues that leave you “falsely” the choice of the answer. Because if the game then unfolds several possible aftershocks, they have little (or no) impact on the scenario.
A real moment of relaxation
The developers warn you from the start, from the launch of the game: it is not difficult, so choose the default difficulty (normal). In easy mode, the game won’t really resist you. Unlike Furi, from the same publisher, which was aimed at seasoned players.
But can we blame him? Because the subject is different. Haven appreciates the trip he offers. Its goal is not to frustrate you, but to take you into its shimmering and dreamlike world. It is savoured, in total “relaxation” mode after a hard day’s work.
“Made in France” know-how
The French studio demonstrates both its know-how in terms of production and writing. The storyline is gripping, and the romance of this couple is treated with a lot of maturity, but also humour. Far from the caricatural visions often seen elsewhere.
Finally, it is impossible not to talk about the music of the game. It is also signed by a Frenchman, Danger (alias Franck Rivoire, who already produced the soundtrack for Furi ). Between synthwave and electropop, this electronic music fits perfectly to the general atmosphere of the game.
How to get the game
Haven has already been available on the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X / S and Xbox One stores (via Game-Pass) since early December.
But with the approach of Valentine’s Day, The Game Bakers has also just released it, since February 4, on PS4, Nintendo Switch and PC (via Epic Games Store).
Finally, note that, faced with the sometimes stratospheric prices of games on new generation consoles, Haven is displayed at the reasonable price of € 24.99.
- The very endearing Yu & Kay duo
- Global writing
- Art direction and cel-shading graphics
- A vision of the couple far from the usual stereotypes
- The good feelings when traveling
- A dreamlike journey
- Danger’s music that fits the mood
- A game to be enjoyed quietly, without frustration, without difficulty
- Also playable in co-op
- Its low price
We like less
- Becomes repetitive in the long run
- Some camera issues in co-op mode
- We are progressing too fast
- Fighting not always legible
- Sometimes tedious ground travel
Haven is one of those games which shows that France is a major player in the world of video games. With (much) less means than a Japanese or American giant, the Montpellier studio manages to take us on a journey, in a world that remains in our minds once the console is turned off.
When the news talks about confinement or curfew, what a pleasure to be able to slide freely in the tall grass of a gigantic wild planet! And what a freshness to be able to follow the quest of these two teenagers ready to do anything to live their love, never to be separated. Literature has Romeo and Juliet … Video games now have Yu and Kay, plus the “adventure” dimension! At this price, we don’t hesitate for long!