We love a good bit of unguided map discovery, (the Legend of Zelda series is enough proof of that) so here’s a few games with exploration at their core that might just entice (or deter) you to catch a small, badly serviced biplane to Bermuda. Now, where did I put my sunscreen?
Is your busy life weighing you down? Do you have a penchant for DIY? Fancy a change of scene and to meet some enthusiastic locals? Well then The Forest is everything you want and more. With stunning, densely packed fauna and scenery so beautiful you’ll fall in love before you can say cannibals- err… I mean, okay there are cannibals; you’re going to have to sign this waiver before we continue.
Your plane has crashed on a (dubiously) deserted island. With little hope of rescue, you decide to tough it out and turn on your inner Bear Grylls, using your rudimentary tools and resources to make something that will just keep the rain off of your head. Rest assured though, soon you’ll be building multi-storey bases and that tree house you always wanted, but soon the secrets of the island beckon, taking you outside of your comfort zone.
Only announced for PS4 last December with little fanfare, The Forest looks to be a fluid and dynamic experience. A totally nonlinear survival horror sandbox game with a base building mechanic… and cannibals? If that doesn’t float your boat then how about pretty graphics and sharing capabilities?
Be sure to pack enough Jungle formula to ward off a small mosquito colony.
This is more like it. Much more of a relaxing affair. Plentiful fresh water springs, monolithic ruins to explore and cell shaded surroundings so lovely you’ll even be glad when it starts raining on you. While you’re exploring the island be sure to note the changes between night and day, as different perspectives can alter your holiday experience. Please do not attempt to interact with the warthogs, they are a savage beast no matter how pretty and innocent they look.
Little is known about the way Rime will play out, but here’s what we do know. From a presentation at Gamescom last year we know that we’ll be playing in a large open, Dali-esque world which subtly changes with day and night cycles. We know that the format of the gameplay will be a platformer/puzzler and that your character has to survive or escape from the island on which he finds himself. We also know that there will be no combat at all, which is a refreshing change of pace.
Being heralded as the love child of PS2 classic Ico and Legend of Zelda The Windwaker, Rime will surely be a destination that gets a good star rating on trip advisor.
If unearthing the origins of mankind is your idea of a vacation then our Neanderthal package is just for you. Explore lush open environments filled with long extinct creatures. Take a ride on a giant eagle and see the land from above. Dining options are limited on this excursion, expect to forage for meals and source your own fresh meat (a herd of rampaging buffalo, for instance).
Set 10,000 years ago, Wild looks to be more than a survive ‘em up, caveman life sim. An online multiplayer experience, the trailer from Gamescom suggests a large dynamic world full of both necessity (in the form of hunting for meals, possibly crafting tools) and mysticism, represented by the unusual wildlife, skeleton shaman chief and tree giant. Seriously, check out the trailer below. The most interesting thing about this title is that you can reportedly play as any creature in the world (that includes the tree giant), and if what was shown in the trailer was just a snippet of the avatars available, we’re in for some incredibly varied gameplay experiences when the TBA release date dawns.
As Islands are obviously notorious for containing a lot of unexplained puzzles (see Rime), The Witness meets the requirements of any budding Island adventurer just trying to get away from it all; like the holiday equivalent of having a day off with a book of crossword puzzles.
The Witness was among first PS4 games to be announced and we’re still waiting to trawl through the mind-bending island to find out what we’ll actually be ‘witness’ to. First impressions would have you believe that the entire experience has players completing line puzzles in order to progress to different areas, yet creator Jonathan Blow insists there is more to The Witness than meets the eye. Recent footage from the Playstation experience has given some hint to what he means. The Witness is a game without instruction, thus all development is facilitated by the player. It’s a game that makes understanding feel natural, and this will assist the player in the games growing complexity.
Personally though, what intrigues me the most are questions about the island and the character. Who are they and why are they here? Hopefully, a little trip to The Witness in the future will provide some answers.
That’s it holiday goers. Are there any places from currently released games you’d like to spend a day or two? I’d stay clear of Racoon City; the locals don’t understand the concept of personal space.