“The Pathless” is an open world action adventure game.
Players will be transformed into graceful hunters and run along the plains leisurely, and accompany the falcon partners to liberate the cursed earth, embarking on a journey of strength, speed and wisdom.
The Zen-filled world and music are like light smoke that surrounds the whole work from beginning to end. Whether it is fun to play or purely in terms of interactive art, this work is a perfect example of “poetic games”.
※The screenshots of the game in this article are mainly for the iPad version. If you play on the PC (Epic Store) or the console version (PS5/PS4), you will be able to enjoy a more beautiful picture!
About the background of “The Pathless”
“The Pathless” was developed by Giant Squid Studio and officially released on PS4 / PS5 / PC / Apple Arcade and other platforms on November 12, 2020.
Giant Squid Studio’s first work is “ABZÛ” with the theme of ocean exploration. Creative director Matt Nava has a strong background. He has previously participated in the production of popular works such as “Flower” and “Wind Journeyman”.
Having said that, I think you readers should already have a bottom line. That’s right, the “The Pathless” with the same origin is a healing independent game full of “Zen” spirit. What’s more, the gameplay is greatly improved, making the game process more fun. If you like the works mentioned above, you can’t miss this one!
The perfect combination of parkour and exploration: nowhere is the way, everywhere is the way
The title of the game “No Way”, is it really a game full of obstacles? Of course it’s impossible.
“The Pathless” cleverly removes the waste, leaving only the elements that you most want to show to the players, that is, focusing on parkour plus exploring and solving puzzles.
The parkour mechanism is quite special. When the player runs through the wilderness, energy will be gradually consumed. At this time, you only need to shoot the “spirit” floating around to recover. As a master who is proficient in archery, the player does not need to bother to aim at all. He only needs to grasp the timing to draw the bow and release the arrows. The timing is controlled properly, and it is very refreshing to run through most of the map in just a moment.
It can be seen that a lot of effort was spent on the adjustment of “moving”. Flying across the grassland is full of sense of speed. With the rhythm of the shooting magic, let the Mercedes-Benz process accelerate, accelerate and then accelerate, meet the height difference obstacles and then jump through the clouds and water, and use the falcon’s soaring and gliding ability to gracefully cross the mountains. , So that the journey is no longer tedious and boring, but a feast of extreme speed.
In addition, although the game is an open world, it has taken away many of the open world elements that we know well (such as scattered missions, unknown maps, monsters that hinder the player’s progress, etc.). Players only need to focus on exploring the ruins and unlocking them. Curse, and slowly collect crystals in the process to strengthen the ability of the Falcon partner, allowing the player to jump higher and run farther.
In this way, a simple but powerful game loop is formed, parkour→exploration→puzzle solving→enhancement→run farther, making the entire game experience very comfortable, and also showing the strong game design skills of the production team .
Observe with eyes, search with heart: easy but fun puzzle-solving elements
In addition to the refreshing movement, another feature of the game is “puzzle solving”.
“The Pathless” is a bit like the classic “Breath of the Wild” to play. It is also a lonely person exploring and solving puzzles in the nature of Nuo Da. The puzzle solving method in this game is very simple. It only uses the steps of moving the falcon, shooting the target, and pressing the switch. The most important key is “observation.” As long as you carefully look for clues around you, the difficulty of the puzzle is not too high.
The puzzle can be roughly divided into two parts. The first is that the player must “find” where the puzzle is. Because the protagonist has the ability of the soul mask, he can see the scenery that is not normally seen, and it is usually easy to find the main puzzle by following the red light source.
The game also has many hidden and deep secondary puzzle locations, which are usually cleverly hidden by hills, tree trunks, and broken walls. You must be very close to discover them. Discovering these places is also fun.
In the process of solving the puzzle, in addition to the ability to obtain crystals, the most important thing is to find a statue to release the seal. After collecting a certain amount, you can unlock the map and set off for the crusade area BOSS.
By the way, the number of statues on the map far exceeds the level required for customs clearance, so even those who only want to pass the level quickly do not have to worry about spending a lot of time exploring. Of course, if you love this game very much, it is not so easy to find all the elements.
Super refreshing!Challenge the great curse as a sharpshooter
After unlocking the regional BOSS, you will enter the climax part of the game-BOSS battle. During the battle, the player’s parkour, maneuvering and observation abilities were tested at the same time, and it is necessary to use operational skills flexibly to successfully defeat the devil.
Basically, every BOSS battle can be divided into three stages, namely “chasing”, “frontal conflict” and “dual duel”.
In the first stage of the chasing process, the player must sprint and accelerate continuously by shooting magical charms on the map very smoothly. If there is a slight mistake, the player will fall behind. During the process, the BOSS will also use various attacks to obstruct the player, which is a test of speed and concentration. .
After catching up with the BOSS and attacking all its weaknesses, it will enter the second stage “frontal conflict”. The second stage will have different gameplay with different BOSSs. Some have to dodge while looking for attack opportunities, while others have to find ways to avoid obstacles in the scene and approach the BOSS as soon as possible.
The final “duel” stage is an epic battle. Because each BOSS has its own characteristics, at this stage, they have been driven into desperation by the player, and they will use all their means to attack the player. The battle is very imposing. Both the visual effects and the atmospheric impact are very strong, cool. Full of degrees!
Although the battle process is quite majestic and magnificent, it is actually not too difficult to play. Even if you fail, you can quickly re-challenge. It is quite close to the people, but players who want to pursue difficult fun may be more disappointed.
I have specially recorded a short first-stage BOSS battle video for everyone to see (please ignore the poor technology)
A majestic soundtrack played by more than a hundred musicians
The soundtrack is also one of the most admirable elements of “The Pathless”.
The music producer Austin Wintory of this work has also produced countless classic soundtracks for “Wind Journeyman” and “ABZÛ”. This time, hundreds of musicians from all over the world are invited to participate in music production at the same time. There is even a whole unique Team of solo musicians.
The game music is based on the “quasi-oriental” style. It uses a lot of percussion and stringed instruments to interpret the folk customs full of oriental style, and the calm vocals mainly composed of humming are added to the key points to deepen the Zen of the game.
Another point that I find very interesting is that if you hear the “horn” in the game, you know that you may face a bad situation next. The low-pitched wind music appears in the background music in a bad manner. It is a very interesting experience. Players may wish to pay attention to the changes in the background music during the game. Perhaps you can find the ingenuity of many music producers.
to sum up
“The Pathless” is an excellent independently-produced open world adventure game. Through the method of removing the chaff, discarding the repetition of the open world, the fun focuses on the two elements of “parkour exploration” and “puzzle solving”. After the players have worked hard to explore, the best reward they get is the epic and magnificent “BOSS battle”.
The game time is not long. It only takes about 5-8 hours to complete the main line, and all the elements are about 20 hours (it involves the skills of finding hidden locations, which vary from person to person). An independent adventure game It can be regarded as the moderation is too short, and the overall difficulty of puzzle solving and combat is also low.
One thing to note is that although Apple Arcade players can play through iPhones and other devices, it is strongly recommended to prepare a game handle, otherwise the touch interface may make the game fun.
In contrast to the excellent visual presentation and majestic soundtrack, the overall game process rhythm is also very appropriate. Exploration, puzzle solving, and battle cycles are full of fun. I personally think this is a pity that I missed an adventure game. I especially recommend it to those who love “Wind Tour” 》Players who are full of Zen works!