When it comes to conflict, one of the most interesting and classic is that which sees humanity oppose the obstacles of the wildest nature. Over the past decade, the video games that have titillated the souls of Robinsonians have been Minecraft and its 2D followers (Terraria, Starbound). In some cases, individual survival has become group survival (Don’t Starve Together); in other cases it has turned into an unscrupulous struggle for supremacy (think Rust’s PvP). With Windbound you will challenge the ocean, hunger, hordes of wild animals and the traps of a stormy archipelago.

The fundamental characteristic of a survival video game, in addition to the hostility of the environment, is the manufacturing system. This studio solo 5 Lives implements an interesting paradigm shift: the resources you collect will not be used to build a fortress, but to enhance a boat, a mobile fulcrum when exploring the deep blue. Shredded by islands, rocks, coral reefs where the most ferocious sea beasts hide, the sea can only be approached on condition of having a raft full of useful equipment: pots, sails, protective spurs and maneuvering space to resist the embarkation of monsters.

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The design of the boat can be personalized. The shape we give it will affect performance.

Among the craftabili: protections, weapons (spears, slingshots, bows), healing items, cooked meals and a certain very familiar para-glide. In fact, it is clear that Windbound is not just a survival, it is an action-adventure clearly inspired by The Legend of Zelda. Above all, try to absorb the charm and aesthetics of Wind Waker and Breath of the Wild. It’s a derivation or a tribute, from our essays, it seemed a compelling and fascinating mix. Thanks to a few gameplay features that, when added together, give the title a unique identity. So thankfully the similarities to Nintendo’s masterpiece turn into an asset, a lesson learned, and not a trivial monkey.

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The protagonist of the adventure, Kara, has lost her clan after a storm: she searches for it among the exotic low-poly hills and the shady waves. The journey he will undertake will be yes, solitary and personal, but it will come to an end. Simply put, the game has a storyline, despite the fact that the world is a procedural open world. Chapter after chapter, you will try to wake up magical ruins: the more you advance in the story, the more hostile the world will be. A mysterious sea monster, which looks like a Kraken, will chase you from the depths.

So far, therefore, Windbound can be defined as a free-wind Wind-Waker, that is, without the mini-games, villages, dungeons and maps that would make so many JRPGs. The added charm is that of the endless generation of islands. There is a “Survival” mode, which turns the game into roguelite, where you have to start all over again: things get more interesting and decidedly hardcore. It will take frequent feeding, understanding when an island is about to turn into barren soil or still challenging a small warthog can turn into a fatal mistake.

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Combat, with classic locking and dodging, is simple and immediate; the beauty lies in the play of movements of the enemies, who always have a few tricks up their sleeve. A toad can release poison, jump, defend itself thanks to its tough skin. Debuff, hunger (which reduces the useful stamina for running and swimming), armor, make Kara more or less vulnerable. When faced with a large rhino, it may be better to throw an explosive, rather than resorting to a stabbing weapon. The general feeling is that of living a continuous hunt, berries, meat and raw materials. But also to have a lot of freedom of approach, since it is possible to make stealthy movements.

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The undisputed advantage is also the soundtrack. During our test, in two very different phases of the story (chapters 1 and 4), we had the opportunity to see that each biome has its own specific trace. In the open sea, you can navigate accompanied by the sound of the arches. The mysterious ruins scattered around the world emit low, deep sounds, like the oboe. It sounds like a Cthulhu song. Even the quality of the sound effects is good and each monster produces a fairly diverse range of noises. The game world is therefore very immersive.

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Bow, slingshot, explosives are all great ways to launch an assault.

Among the shortcomings observed, an AI that is not exactly avant-garde. While enemies may amaze because of their “arsenal”, they can also get stuck in nasty loops that make them simple. Fall damage is suffered from a height that is too low, with sometimes comical situations. The menu commands did not seem so intuitive to us. On certain rocks, the character clashes awkwardly, but this defect is compensated for by an automatic system of climbing on the ledges. The orchestra of the technical elements works: despite a few burrs, Windbound seemed well finished. Excellent, for example, the camera.

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Our intense test left us wanting to come back and search for the Kara clan. There are a lot of things we didn’t have time to find out: is there a boat control system related to wind and abnormal waves? Will there be bosses? How many biomes in all and what characteristics? Given the presence of a plot, what is its actual narrative quality? In addition, we can not speak of a whole new setting: many survival games compete for the domination of the seas. Will he therefore stand out from his rivals? We therefore confirm the positive impression, but do not dismantle the lookout.

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Source : Reddit